Cloud gaming took a major step back in most people’s eyes following OnLive’s recent mishaps but not everyone feels the platform is destined to fail. A recent interview with Nvidia’s Phil Eisler may help to instill some confidence in cloud gaming as he sees a bright future ahead.
Eisler is the general manager for Nvidia’s GeForce GRID Cloud Gaming division. He’s the first to admit that cloud gaming has some serious hurdles to clear but it’s not insurmountable. The GM points out that a speedy Internet connection is a key to the platform’s success. A 5Mbps connection should be able to sustain 30 frames per second at 720p resolutions but if you want to bump up to 60FPS and 1080p quality, a connection in the 15-20Mbps range will be necessary.
Latency is also another problem Eisler mentioned. First generation cloud gaming platforms were only able to get latency down to around 250 milliseconds – not exactly optimal for multiplayer gaming. Gaikai, powered by GRID servers, is reportedly able to get this figure down to around 160ms. Part of this reduction comes from Nvidia’s GPUs which is able to capture and encode quicker than competitors. They are also working on client optimizations which are expected to shave off another 20ms of latency.
Sony’s decision to buy Gaikai earlier this summer for $380 million tells Eisler the Japanese electronics giant sees a future in cloud gaming. It’ll be interesting to see what Sony ultimately decides to do with the acquisition and if cloud gaming can live up to the hype from Nvidia.
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