E3 2013: Nvidia Booth Tour


Nvidia gets on the Grid.

As you might expect, Nvidia had a major presence at E3. If you haven't done so already, be sure to check out some of Nvidia's E3 highlights and declaration on the state of PC gaming, which is filled with a bunch of tech demos, including The Witcher 3 and Warframe. In addition to showcasing what game developers are up to, Nvidia talked about Grid, Shield, and a PVR feature it's baking into GeForce Experience.

Grid is Nvidia's on-demand Gaming as a Service (Gaas) platform. Just as Netflix streams movies and Pandora streams music, Grid renders 3D games in cloud servers, allowing you to play high-end titles on handheld devices like Nvidia's own Shield device, but also tablets and smartphones. Have a look:

Equally impressive was the rack of servers Nvidia had on display. Each one was capable of streaming over 36 games. Over time, you'll start to see other companies launch their own streaming game services based on Nvidia's Grid technology.

We also had a chance to take another look at Shield, a handheld Android device running Jelly Bean. One of the tricks up Shield's sleeve is being able to stream games from your home PC. Why would you want to use Shield instead of a swank PC monitor or HDTV? It's for gaming on the go, such as lounging in the backyard, on the porch, or even during a bathroom break (hey, it beats reading shampoo bottles, right?). With Shield, you can continue your game from room to room, dependent upon the range of your router.

If you're not interested in playing games, you can use Shield as a small size tablet since it's an Android device. You'll notice too that the controller is changed from the one Nvidia was showing at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas earlier this year.

Lastly, Nvidia demonstrated for us a PVR-like function of its GeForce Experience technology called ShadowPlay. It runs in the background and uses the encoder that's built into every Kepler-based GPU, so the performance hit is relatively small -- in the range of 5 percent, Nvidia says.

Since the performance hit is so small, Nvidia says it's okay to just leave it running all the time, letting it record the last two minutes of your gameplay, or however long you configure it. If you pull off an epic move, you can hit a hotkey to save whatever it's been recording in a compressed file that's ready to upload to YouTube.

How does it compare to FRAPS? Have a look:

Since it use the encoder built into Kepler GPUs, you'll need a GeForce GTX 650 or better in order to use this feature. Nvidia plans to integrate ShadowPlay into GeForce Experience for free starting June 25th.

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