In a Q&A session at CES 2019, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang conceded that cloud gaming will be huge, but claimed that despite the increase in streamed gaming, the gaming PC is here to stay.
Nvidia are one of the biggest investors in game streaming, and the hardware outfit’s GeForce Now is one of the most recognisable names on the scene right now, while Huang suggests that the service already has “hundreds of thousands” of concurrent users.
“Our core starts with PC,” Huang says. “That’s our center point. That’s why GeForce Now plays PC games. That’s why GeForce Now allows you to take the PC games you’ve purchased and play them anywhere. That’s why GeForce Now runs every game that’s available. No porting is necessary.”
“Our strategy is very different [from competitors]. There are other strategies around streaming games, like Netflix or something like that. I think that’s terrific. The more expansive the gaming market is, the better.”
Then he claims: “It will never replace the PC.”
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Jensen claims that streaming can “never” be as good as a PC, because of the one problem no tech company can solve: the speed of light. “When you’re playing esports, you need the response in a few milliseconds, not a few hundred milliseconds,” Huang claims. “It’s a fundamental problem. It’s just the laws of physics.”
This means games where you need near-instant response times like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive or Dark Souls incredibly frustrating, as you miss split second windows through no fault of your own.
Solving this problem seems to be a matter of creating faster than light travel, which seems a little excessive.
So, in the meantime it seems serious gamers are going to continue to be better served by running their games locally rather than relying on the whims of those providing your internet connection, especially with the impact ping and jitter can have on the experience.
However, despite being a fairly serious gamer with a beefy rig myself, the idea of a streamed games letting people experience the best games on low-end hardware in the future is great: opening the hobby up to more people and providing more freedom in the way people interact with video games is something to be excited by. Expect to see both streaming and traditional hardware working in tandem moving forwards.
Excited about cloud gaming? Happy to keep a firm grip on your PC? Let us know, we’re here for you at @TrustedReviews