Hands-on: Nvidia Grid Cloud Gaming at CES 2013 [VIDEO]


A few nights ago Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang talked a little bit on their cloud gaming “Grid,” powerful stacks of Nvidia GPU’s cranking out games for streaming on multiple devices. No longer will consumers have to worry about spending thousands of dollars for a high-end gaming rigs just to support their gaming addictions. Smartphones, televisions, anything and everything is fair game. Essentially, as long as you have an internet connection, you can play mega blockbusters like Black Ops 2 on full graphical settings, settings that would melt your current PC or handheld. Revolutionary? Sure sounds like it.

We hit the floor of CES running, hoping to get our own hands on with the service to see if it could live up to the hype. Sure, playing Assasin’s Creed 3 straight from your TV or Android handset is all good and dandy, but would latency issues keep Nvidia’s Cloud Gaming from greatness? Check out our video and see for yourself:

So, after putting the Nvidia Grid Cloud Gaming to the test across multiple games, it appears Jen-Hsun and Co. have almost completely obliterated the lag normally associated with services like Onlive. In fact, latency was so minimal, we were able to play precision games like Street Fighter 4 — where timing is life or death — was virtually indistinguishable from playing on a console. Our only area of concern is that games don’t have the crispness (resolution) as when running natively from a home console or handheld. Almost as if you’re watching a video stream of someone else playing a game. Still, game titles with extra flashy special effects like light bloom, super high-res textures and high polygon counts — the real graphical meat and potatoes — look nothing short of stunning on smaller devices where artifacting is so small, it’s virtually invisible. You can watch Need for Speed Most Wanted running at its highest PC settings, streaming and playable on the HTC One X (oddly branded for T-Mobile) below.

As a kid, I never would have dreamed something like this would have ever been technologically possible. Nvidia is onto something downright revolutionary with Grid Cloud Gaming, challenging consumers to change the way they play, and what they thought could ever be possible with video games. Imagine a future where having the world’s highest-end graphics are easily accessible from your home, or even a hotel. Nvidia is paving the road, making this dream a reality.

[via GameFans]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. Still need a reliable, non interleaved bandwith connection for this to be worthwhile, something that America’s ISP’s do pretty poor at providing.

    1. LOL just a matter of time before the carriers put in quarter slots on our phones so we can chuck in 50 cents to play each game like we did back in the 90’s. Well, all except verizon, which will charge 1.00$

      1. Which is why I told VZW to go fark themselves last year after refusing to get the Note 1. AT&T is far from perfect but its the lesser of two evils IMO in the cellular world and i’ve been having a good experience with them so far. VZW corporate greed is becoming damn near scary on how much it reams its customers for more and more money in small and big ways

        1. You know you’re really screwing up when people compare AT&T to you by calling AT&T the “lesser of two evils.”

          1. I’m talking in comparison to Verizon Wireless dumbass

    2. Good thing I’m in a google fiberhood back home…

      1. Rub it in why don’t you..

        1. I know right :p

          But at least I have Verizon FiOS :)

      2. Kansas Citians unite! Sadly I’m north of the river and will be waiting some time yet…

  2. Is that a htc one x with tmobile branding?!

    1. Why, yes it is…
      That’s weird..

    2. Indeed, sir.. Indeeeeed

      1. I hate to stay off the subject of the video, but did you get anymore info on if we are possibly gonna see the One X join Tmobile’s lineup?

        1. Oh I forgot there is the Tmobile UK.

  3. Wait until their servers get populated.. the true test of latency and reliability of their servers will come then
    But I am hopeful that this will be a great product, and I’ll definitely throw some money on this

    1. on top of that there is zero distance and zero hops between the grid and devices in a setting like a CES so one we factor in the many hops and nodes that you get with most IPs and then factor in server load latency tends to drop off signifaacantly

    2. If this service is successful, they will need entire server farms filled with these. The cost will be tremendous, as anyone who owns an enthusiat PC will tell you running hardware of that magnitude comes with a large power bill. The service will end up costing as much as an HD cable package, and will probably require a comittment. Over time it will probably be cheaper and simpler to just build a PC for yourself.

  4. This looks just like Onlive, but Onlive sucks so I don’t have much hope for this.

  5. My dream scenario with cloud gaming. Something like Grid that can perfectly stream 1080p games with zero lag and minimal loss in quality. While also having the ability to be connected to online stores like Steam and/or Origin so I can purchase any game I choose. The user would simply pay a fee for their games to be hosted on severs like these. So there is never any need to install a new game or buy new hardware, and you could play your games anywhere on any device. I doubt Grid will get all that right, but this seems to be a nice step up from Onlive’s terrible game quality.

  6. So, this is the same thing as OnLive, yes?

    1. Basically, yes.

  7. My question is, can I load any game I own on to it or is it going to do the Onlive thing where you only have their library choice?

    1. It will probably be restricted. It will probably also only support HDMI over HDCP-enabled devices. You’ll probably be agreeing to absurd terms in order to use it, and even with the monthly fee that will be a requirement to play it, they’ll constantly be trying to sell you movies and junk through the UI like Xbox and Playstation, and even the Shield does.

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