GeForce Grid is described by NVIDIA has a cloud gaming platform which is a “gaming-as-a-service” product which lets developer address a larger market by executing games on remote servers and stream them to all kinds of devices (laptop, tablets…) over the Internet. This is not unlike OnLive by the looks of it.
Of course, the main issue when dealing with game streaming games is latency. It’s not a new problem, and we’ve talked about this when OnLive was first demonstrated. To reduce the latency, there’s no secret: NVIDIA or their partners (Gakai was on-stage) need to build data-centers closer to customers. So far, the first one is located in Sunnyvale, so Bay Area residents may see network latency as low as 5ms to 10ms.
The net benefit to the game developers is that 1/they don’t need to port games to many platforms and instead focus their time in building better games. 2/ Digital Rights Management (DRM) is built-in, so it’s easy to build a paid service around this. And the games are “real games”, this is no Angry Birds in the image below (sorry for the blurry image, our video feed is not in HD).
Of course, another benefit that is largely accepted is that data-centers are upgraded on a regular basis to ensure that the latest games are sent to the newest, more powerful, hardware. We’ve always liked the idea, but the main issue with streaming games is latency, and image quality as one has to compress the video stream before sending it to the player. If NVIDIA can solve those two in an efficient way -and the opportunity is definitely there- GeForce Grid can push cloud gaming to the next level.