Tuesday January 15, 2019

Jensen Huang Comments on the Viability of Streaming Games

Jensen Huang had a long press Q&A session at CES this year, and VentureBeat posted a transcript of the whole thing. Nvidia's CEO talked about the impact of blockchain, AI, their current GPU lineup, and a wide array of other things, but one of the most interesting comments he made was on the future of game streaming services. Microsoft, EA, Amazon, and other industry giants reportedly see cloud streaming services as the future of gaming, and Huang mentions that Nvidia runs one of the most successful game streaming platforms to date, meaning he definitely has a vested interest in the growth of the game streaming industry. But he also mentions that streaming services are fundamentally limited by the speed of light, as physics only allows for a certain amount of latency over great distance. Now, there are (theoretical) ways around that that Huang doesn't mention, like delivering content from local "edge" servers (as Netflix already does) or using local hardware for some sort of interpolation/compensation, but nevertheless, it's interesting to hear Huang's skepticism on the matter. Check out a clip of the interview below:

First of all, if your question is, "How long before streaming can be as good as a PC?" the answer is never. The reason for that is because there's one problem we haven't figured out how to solve, and that's the speed of light. When you're playing esports, you need the response in a few milliseconds, not a few hundred milliseconds. It's a fundamental problem. It's just the laws of physics. However, we believe in it so much that we’ve been working on this for a decade. Our strategy is this: we believe PC gaming is here to stay. We believe everyone will at least need a PC, because apparently knowledge is still important. You can't do everything on TV. You can't live with TV online. But you could live with a PC alone. PCs are used by young people all over the world. It’s their first computing device, or maybe second after a mobile device. Between those two devices, those are the essential computing platforms for society. We believe that's here to stay.

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