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Could 5G and NVIDIA make gaming hardware obsolete?

NVIDIA recently went to an AT&T conference to introduce the idea of GeForce NOW over 5G. (Source:
NVIDIA recently went to an AT&T conference to introduce the idea of GeForce NOW over 5G. (Source:
NVIDIA brought its GeForce NOW to the AT&T Spark Conference to showcase the service's potential when combined with 5G. The company is confident that its new cloud-based graphics solution can negate the need for expensive hardware in areas such as 60fps gaming. It is now moving to build partnerships to bring this to a wider audience.

Why do gamers splash out on expensive components to build or optimize their PCs? To get the fastest, smoothest, most lossless performance, of course. Poor performance in CPU, GPU, memory, or the connections between them can mean life or death - in in-game terms, that is. However, NVIDIA has recently sought to turn these needs on their heads with their GeForce NOW service.

GeForce NOW depends on putting GeForce card power in the cloud. Therefore, players connected to it can gain access to "AAA gaming" (NVIDIA's words) regardless of what their actual machine is rated to do. GeForce NOW is avaiable to Windows PCs, Macs or the NVIDIA Shield. The company claims that it can bring 60 frames per second (fps) gaming - at least - to these devices. Users can play their own games using the service, or access many more in the GeForce NOW cloud. 

Currently, this new offering is in beta, and is accessible via application in North America or Europe. However, it is clear that NVIDIA has bigger plans for GeForce NOW. The company presented it during the recent AT&T Spark Conference. The service was showcased in conjunction with 5G, amid claims that this combination could deliver high-fps gaming on any device of any price. It was also apparent to conference reporters that NVIDIA intend to partner with a mobile carrier (e.g. AT&T) to provide GeForce NOW on a subscription basis. 

This seems like the makings for a promising future in which anyone with any hardware can compete so long as they play over 5G. On the other hand, this proposal does not take some practicalities into account. They include the reliability, consistency and integrity of the network in question. On that note, NVIDIA did use an on-site 5G base station to conduct their demo. Ultimately, time will tell if high-speed mobile broadband is really the be-all and end-all of gaming woes. 


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Deirdre O Donnell, 2018-09-11 (Update: 2018-09-11)