The Revolution Will Not Be Televised – We’ll Stream It From the Cloud

by Brian Burke

The tipping point for me came about four years ago. In a garage.

I made $3,000 in a garage sale, selling off my 10-x-5 foot wall of CDs for $2-3 apiece. At that point, I knew I was all-in to the digital music revolution. My entire music collection, over 16,000 songs, now fit in the palm of my hand.

Brian Burke's iPod
NVIDIA’s Brian Burke loves music. Maybe too much. That’s why he finally moved to the cloud – so he could truly have it all.

So when I shifted to NVIDIA’s GRID game-streaming service, I realized I’ve done this before. iTunes – and, later, streaming services like Spotify – allowed me to explore more music and take my music anywhere. They made me a better music fan. Now GRID game streaming lets me revisit old favorites, and play seminal titles I never had the chance to play. And it’s making me a better gamer.

While I’ve worked at NVIDIA for 15 years, I’m not always on the bleeding edge of technology adoption. My move to digital music reflects that. I’ve had too many eight-tracks, too many albums, too many cassettes. I grew up before artists released singles on the internet, when listeners consumed albums as a whole. I loved holding the music in my hand and reading through the liner notes for guest appearances, thanks and odd facts.

I moved fast to my new downfall: too many iTunes cards. My far-flung taste in music, popular and obscure, exacerbated my habit. Willie Nelson resides on my MP3 player along with Ice Cube. Little-known Middle Class Rut hangs out next to mainstream sensation Bruno Mars. You can dance to Midnight Star, spin to Dead or Alive, boogie to KC and the Sunshine Band, mosh to In Flames or slam to Onyx with just a spin of the dial. I’d buy a $50 prepaid card at lunch and blow through it before I had finished my salad.

My next epiphany came on a press tour in New York. I discovered that when TechnoBuffalo’s Todd Haseleton finished a TV segment for Fox Business, he’d roam Manhattan in a suit and tie with Country & Western piped in to his ear buds. I emailed him a list of Texas country artists who thrived in my hometown of Austin, well off the commercialized beaten path of Nashville’s Music Row. Artists like Charlie Robison, Chris Knight and Walt Wilkins, whom I loved. Instantly he replied that they were on his Spotify list and ready for his weekend road trip.

I had dabbled in music streaming before. I’d listen to Pandora to discover new artists. But Todd changed all that with his email. I had just been reassigned to NVIDIA GRID, our game-streaming service. So I was curious. Right around Christmas I jumped into Spotify and it was a revelation.

NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang on Stage
It takes a supercomputer: Brian Burke’s thirst for games could only be slaked by something with the power to put his favorite games everywhere.

It’s opened up a whole new world for me. I can grab whole albums and discover new stuff without breaking the bank. But the sharing has me the most excited. I set up a playlist of Texas country artists and shared it with Todd.  My son mentioned Cage the Elephant so I used my phone to add them to my collection. My brother-in-law shared a playlist of the Latin Freestyle acts that my wife listened to in high school, like Lisa Lisa & The Cult Jam and Shannon. I previewed the Tejano concert of Jay “The Voice” Perez that we would be attending for my sister-in-law’s birthday.

Gaming is experiencing a cloud revolution just like music did. And, for me, cloud gaming has taken a similar trajectory. Laptop Magazine’s Sherri Smith loves Darksiders 2, so I played it on SHIELD. My son replayed Brutal Legend and Psychonauts and loved them both, again. Last week, we offered up Brothers: a Tale of Two Sons, an indie title TotalBiscuit had named Game of the Year. I played it because my colleague Sebastien told me it was great.

We recently had four straight weeks of great streaming content releases for NVIDIA SHIELD when Saints Row VI joined Saints Row III. Alan Wake dropped on Feb. 24 and Metro Last Light Redux hit GRID on March 3. These are all top-rated games that I missed the first time around. Now I can take them for a spin on SHIELD for free. Then I’ll continue my Dead Island saga with Dead Island Riptide so I’ll be caught up when Dead Island 2 hits.

Netflix and Spotify have revolutionized how we enjoy movies and music. NVIDIA GRID streaming promises to bring the same convenience and variety to gaming that only a cloud service can offer. Getting access to some can transform an occasional gamer into something more. NVIDIA SHIELD customers can experience this revelation for themselves now on NVIDIA GRID.