CES 2013: Play Any Games from Any Device: NVIDIA's Grid Graphics Card for Cloud Computers

The device that NVIDIA promised last year is now here at last

Tablets, phones and portable game consoles have varying levels of processing and graphics prowess, but they are significantly weaker than PCs and normal game consoles when it comes to playing games. NVIDIA wants to make hardware irrelevant though.

It sounds like a tall order, but the Santa Clara, California-based company has had everything planned out since last year.

Basically, if there are servers with good enough graphics capabilities, any gadget with a good Internet connection can run even the latest and most demanding game titles.

Of course, the display of said gadgets will need to have an at least decent resolution, but that hasn't really been a problem since 2010.

NVIDIA's solution is called the GRID graphics card. Long story short, it is a high-end video board for cloud servers.

At CES 2013, NVIDIA has showed Frozenbyte's Trine being played from various devices even though the game was actually being run from a central server.

"By using the NVIDIA GRID Platform, our partners will allow gamers to play anywhere, anytime, without being tethered to a box," said Phil Eisler, general manager of cloud gaming at NVIDIA.

"The world's most exciting games can now be played as easily as you can stream a movie, right onto your TV or mobile device. No more discs to shuffle or files to download and install. Just click and play."

During CES, NVIDIA gave an example of a cloud data center made of 20 grid servers. The rack can produce 200 teraflops thanks to 240 NVIDIA GPUs.

That is the equivalent of 700 Xbox 360 game consoles, which has massive implications. If just one server can host 700 gamers from around the world, providing service to everyone on the planet should actually be doable. It makes one wonder if there is any future for PC gaming systems and Xbox/Nintendo/PS3 consoles in the long run.

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