More than 5,000 gamers this week are escaping Taipei’s steamy summer streets, making their way up several stories through the Grand Hyatt Taipei’s marble atrium to the cooler alternative realities delivered up at NVIDIA’s Experience Center.
A key diversion at Computex – one of the world’s most important technology shows – the transformed ballroom bathed in NVIDIA green is bursting with young fans seeking an early glimpse at favorite games and new VR experiences powered by spanking new NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 GPUs. The latest Pascal-based GPUs just started shipping in recent days, to broad acclaim by the gaming press.
There’s Lara Croft scrambling through twilight scenes in Tomb Raider, and scenes of Celtic mythology played out in the gorgeous new Hellblade game. Both are seen at dazzling frames rates.
Plus, there are experiences like VR Funhouse, NVIDIA’s own creation based on carnival-inspired mini-games. It features challenges such as tossing basketballs, popping balloons and shooting at targets fired from a cartoonish cannon. And there’s Everest, for a slow trudge along Himalayan chasms and up ice-covered shelves.
“It took a little getting used to but once I got the hang of it, I loved the experience of battling with the other player,” said Chen Wai, an 18-year-old college freshman at Tsinghua University, in Taipei. He played the pre-release version of Unspoken, an action game in which players roam through a hidden world of magical spells and duels.
Underscoring the attraction is the performance of GTX 1080, which offers 2x the performance of GeForce TITAN X and 3x its efficiency. Framerates are up by up to 88 percent in benchmarks, with an average increase of 69 percent.
In VR, the GeForce GTX 1080 shows its stuff with Pascal’s new Simultaneous Multi-Projection capabilities, which improve viewing of VR perspectives on a wide range of screens.
And lines are longest at Experience Center booths showing off Ansel, NVIDIA’s new photo-capturing technology. Announced last month, Ansel allows players to take lavish photos of their gaming experiences, maneuvering the lens through different angles and using post-process filters to capture images in super-high fidelity that can be shared in 360-degree panoramas.
Inez Lim, a 22-year-old Singaporean studying in Taiwan, said: “Ansel is fantastic! It lets me capture images of the gameplay in high resolution.” She took home a printed copy of a scene from The Witness, a puzzle game set on a remote island.