NVIDIA isn’t the only choice for gamers looking to get the best graphical performance. But they’re close enough that they might as well be. It’s almost impossible to get exact numbers. But statistics from Valve show that about 2/3rds of Steam gamers use NVIDIA based systems. However, it’s not immediately apparent at first glance why this is the case.
Bt a recent story highlights one very important reason. The article discusses NVIDIA’s new HGX-2 platform. It’s not something gamers can simply plug into their computers. In fact, much of its point comes from the fact that it’s invisible to end users.
The HGX-2 puts heavy focus on two seemingly disparate technologies. It demonstrates exemplary cloud performance. And it also uses revolutionary new techniques in AI. The link between gaming, the cloud and AI isn’t easy to see.
But it becomes a lot easier to see when reconsidering why NVIDIA is so ubiquitous. The short answer is that they haven’t limited themselves to graphical performance within their graphics cards. They were aware that bottlenecks are inevitable for any given platform. Essentially, most of their competitors have put all their eggs in one basket.
The competitors were focused on singular methods used to reach an end goal. But NVIDIA has instead considered their ultimate goal to simply be putting as high quality graphics as possible onto a screen. Traditional methods are often the best way to do so.
But NVIDIA has invested quite heavily in cloud based technologies. Even unintended side effects of these techniques are quite impressive. For example, NVIDIA uses a proprietary system to stream graphical output between their PC based graphics cards and their tablets.
But an independent 3rd party implementation of their protocol can work on a wide variety of devices. This even allows Sony Vita users to play PC games using NVIDIA’s streaming system. This is something even Sony themselves has struggled to support on the aging device.
But the new announcement showcases that NVIDIA is moving to the next level. The new system can push a reasonably large hard drive’s worth of data in around three seconds. And the AI techniques make it far easier for a system to properly manage such large amounts of data.
The end result of NVIDIA’s HGX-2 on gaming remains to be seen. But it might well become the new standard for cloud execution and remote display of PC games. This could turn into PC gaming suddenly becoming available at almost any time and any place.