July 2, 2013

NVIDIA E3 2013 Press Conference

The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) may best be known for its launches and announcements of the latest console games, E3 2013 was the most controversial, competitive and downright crazy show we've seen in the recent history of gaming.

NVIDIA did some well-deserved strutting at E3 , showing off the superiority of the PC as a gaming platform.The massive NVIDIA booth at the South Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center was the perfect opportunity for NVIDIA to demo several new upcoming and current PC titles running on the latest GeForce GTX 770 and GTX 780 GPUs, such as The Witcher 3, Warframe, Borderlands 2: Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep, Metro Last Light, and Splinter Cell Blacklist. Visitors to the NVIDIA booth at E3 2013 were delighted at being able to play graphically-stunning PC games in their hands.

NVIDIA’s E3 media event started at the end of a very, very long day. Relaxing was the first order of business, but it may come as a surprise to hear that not only were the attendees relaxing, but so were many of the presenters. Representatives ranging from Digital Extremes to Epic Games took the stage and had fun showing off the tech they've built in partnership with NVIDIA. It was the perfect atmosphere for showing off NVIDIA's impressive tech and why PC's will continue pushing gaming forward dragging consoles behind.

NVIDIA’s Introduction

After Tony started off the event he went straight into NVIDIA’s current property on gaming's landscape. Specifically, PC, console gaming and ventures like cloud gaming and their new Shield handheld:

· With regards to PC gaming, Tony brought up NVIDIA's new GeForce Experience software that lets gamers update their drivers automatically. It's also built to help find and set optimized settings for certain games, even with the hurdle of the wide range of PC hardware out there. They've got a super computer working to ensure better-than-console experiences for all PC gamers running Experience. They've also got Shadow Play, which makes the PC like a gaming DVR, recording gameplay with almost nil performance disadvantages. Considering Experience had over 2.5 million downloads in its beta phase, I'd say it's catching on fairly well

· On the mobile side of things NVIDIA has its experimental handheld Shield. NVIDIA believes touch can only go so far, which I agree with especially considering the recent announcement of Deus Ex: The Fall. I'd love to play that game without fingers on the screen. Android games will be playable, many optimized for the Shield, providing a large catalog of titles day one. Then there's the ability to stream games from the PC to Shield, which is a handy function similar to what the Nintendo Wii does with its Gamepad. Expect Shield to ship in the next few weeks.

· As far as "The Cloud" NVIDIA says it's impossible to ignore and is likely to be the next way people enjoy games. That's why they're working on GRID, which is a service that renders games in the cloud and then ships the display out to a device of your choosing.

· Consoles, as always, are wonderful devices which NVIDIA trickles down tech to. Tony gave the example of FXAA for console anti-aliasing.

NVIDIA got over 200+ engineers working to deliver the best performance, graphics and game engine integration available. Part of that is developing core technology and algorithms, but also cross-platform SDKs, libraries and tools.

That includes the company's three global testing facilities, with the primary facility located in Moscow. Testing engineers are constantly working to improve gaming performance on NVIDIA devices, running performance tests and building an assortment of tools. It's no way to play a game, constantly focusing on improving performance in minute ways, but their sacrifice is for the greater good.

Then Tony went ahead and listed NVIDIA’s entire innovative tech that they've built over the past 14 years, from texture-space bump mapping to global illumination. Basically, NVIDIA's a huge driving force behind new graphics tech and they're not stopping any time soon.

NVIDIA’s Dominance

This introduction was just a buildup so NVIDIA could remind why they're the leading GPU manufacturer out there. According to non-NVIDIA sources NVIDIA is currently running a 66% market share as of Q1 2013 and that's because of the huge technology adoption across a majority of games -- even higher adoption rate in highly rated games. NVIDIA wants great games to run well and they go out of their way to make it happen.

NVIDIA confirms that they're working on game integration with all of the usual suspects: Cry Engine 3, Unity, Unreal Engine 4, Frostbite, Source and id Tech 5. Considering next-gen consoles are finally joining the 1000+ GFLOPS GPU club that NVIDIA’s been part of since 2009, the engines will have to do some work catching everyone up. Oh, and NVIDIA is stretching for 5000+ before too long.

NVIDIA wants nothing more than to work with developers to make their games better. It's a hugely beneficial relationship between game developers and NVIDIA, but the real winners are gamers. Luckily, most developers and probably most folk at NVIDIA are gamers too.


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