Nvidia has announced plans to collaborate with Tencent Games to bring cloud-based PC gaming to China, with further collaborations lined up that will benefit all gamers.
Tencent Games' START cloud gaming service began testing earlier this year, and it'll now be powered by Nvidia's GPUs. As is typical for a cloud gaming service, the point is that it'll allow players to use lower spec systems to still play high-end titles. It's a fast moving field within gaming, and this collaboration seems like it has potentially huge repercussions in the long run.
Tencent aims to make the experience consistent with if you were playing locally on your own gaming PC, although obviously this is going to come down to broadband speeds. China has a fairly high broadband penetration rate across densely populated areas, with a vast population meaning plenty of opportunity for START to grow in popularity.
Senior vice president of gaming at Nvidia, Jeff Fisher, explained, "as one of the leading global platforms for game development, publishing and operations, Tencent Games is set to deliver amazing cloud gaming," which might lead you to wonder - who is Tencent Games?
It's not a household name but you've almost certainly played a game that Tencent has some tie to. Since 2018, it's purchased small stakes in numerous companies including Ubisoft, Riot Games, Supercell, Epic Games, Activision Blizzard, and Paradox Interactive. So, any cloud gaming service launched by Tencent Games is theoretically a big deal. Except, of course, this one is only in China. For now.
Nvidia already operates GeForce NOW in a few parts of the world, albeit in beta form. While it's still not quite as good or as satisfying as having your own gaming setup, there's a lot to like about the concept.
This all seems like a path to cloud gaming becoming more of a big deal for those who can't invest plenty of money into an up-to-date gaming rig.
Alongside the announcement, Nvidia and Tencent Games has also announced a 'joint innovation lab' for gaming. The two firms will work together to optimise game engines, further develop new lighting techniques including ray tracing and light baking, as well as explore new ways of using AI in games. That's all promising talk, although we'll have to wait and see what comes of it.
Keep an eye on Tencent Games, and this collaboration. The two firms clearly have some long term plans in mind.
March 26 2021 | 18:30