NVIDIA Gaming RSSMix http://www.rssmix.com/ This feed was created by mixing existing feeds from various sources. en-gb <![CDATA[How Some of Valve’s Best Games Came to SHIELD]]> Mark didn’t put together a PowerPoint deck. He didn’t bring a spreadsheet. He didn’t bother thinking up an elaborate pitch. That’s not how game developers work. And it’s not how we work. So when the intense, dark-eyed senior technical evangelist dropped by Valve’s Seattle headquarters in July 2013 to suggest the game developer try something… Read More]]>

Mark didn’t put together a PowerPoint deck. He didn’t bring a spreadsheet. He didn’t bother thinking up an elaborate pitch. That’s not how game developers work. And it’s not how we work.

So when the intense, dark-eyed senior technical evangelist dropped by Valve’s Seattle headquarters in July 2013 to suggest the game developer try something radical with two of its most storied titles, Mark just tossed his SHIELD to a member of Valve’s engineering team.

Mark had brought Valve something that’s long been a passion project for our engineers. We’d been working hard to put Valve’s games onto our mobile chip. Now Mark had “Half -Life 2” and “Portal,” two of the best PC games of all time, on our SHIELD portable gaming device.

Members of Valve’s team grabbed the silver-and-black SHIELD and started playing. Mark knew the only way to get Valve on board would be to show them something great. “Well, this is cool,” one said after a few minutes. “We’re going to have to talk about this.”

In the Game

Developer relations specialists like James help guide game developers through the technological jungle.
Developer relations specialists like James help guide game developers through the technological jungle.

This is a tale of what happens when a passion for gaming intersects with the power of the latest portable devices. It’s also an example of how closely our engineers collaborate with the companies at the cutting-edge of gaming. And how they’re building a new generation of open-source tools that make it easier than ever to move those experiences to mobile devices.

There’s a long back story here. Like many stories at NVIDIA, it’s one that begins with our team of developer technology specialists. Think of them as the A-Team. Specialists with an eclectic array of capabilities drop in — sometimes for months — to help game developers get through sticky technical problems. Then, they move on to help another developer make the most of what our GPUs can do.

And when the motley members of that team work together, the results can be amazing. Putting these games on Android took the talents of more than a dozen of our best engineers. They include Seth, a smart, funny self-described “compilational path-magician,” with a knack for OpenGL. Jeremy, a self-effacing GPU architect who colleagues say can wring 2 or 3x performance gains out of thin air.

And James, a six-foot-five senior software engineer who can quote dialogue from Portal by heart (one of his favorite quotes: “The Enrichment Center once again reminds you that android hell is a real place where you will be sent at the first sign of defiance”).

Because we work so closely with Valve, James has access to code for Valve’s games. And, like his colleagues at Valve, James is immersed in Linux. He even cranks out his code on a Linux-powered workstation tricked out for speed with solid-state hard drives and 32 GB of RAM.

Power Tools

To put Valve’s games on Android, James turned to a group at NVIDIA working on an open source project — REGAL – that lets developers move code built for PCs using OpenGL – a standard that helps developers quickly add cutting-edge graphics to their game — to mobile devices that rely on a special version of OpenGL known as OpenGL ES 2. The target for this technology: devices running Tegra 4.

The 'pathemagician': Seth, one of our team of ...
The ‘pathmagician’: Seth, one of our eclectic team of developer technology specialists who brought Portal, and Half-Life 2, to SHIELD.

The efficient, powerful mobile processor NVIDIA cranks out the kind of power that could only be found on desktop machines a few years ago, using just a fraction of the power. Seth was already working on a Linux for Tegra port. That work helped lead to our Jetson Tegra K1 developer kit. And Seth remains an evangelist for Linux on Tegra.

So James teamed up with Seth and Cass — both experts in the OpenGL graphics standard — to demonstrate that power. The result: they turned to their favorite games. James estimates he’s played thousands of hours of Portal and Half- Life 2.

The result was a five-minute demo at Valve’s offices that was anything but unpolished. By the time Valve’s engineers put the controller down, all the work poured into REGAL and OpenGL, and all the intimate knowledge of Valve’s content started paying off. But Valve’s engineers saw enough to let James and three other engineers keep working.

Word quickly got around. Soon one marketing executive — an inveterate Half Life 2 fanboy — took it upon himself to spend hours ‘QA’ing’ their work. A Half- Life 2 obsessive, he quickly found bugs no one else had yet found. That level of polish paid off.

In March, we took the covers off. NVIDIA announced Portal would be coming to SHIELD. But rather than setting off a last moment scramble, James and his team found that building a gaming experience strong enough to impress Valve meant most of the work was done. The biggest bug: one quality assurance tester found that turning on the flashlight in Half- Life 2 slowed gaming performance. After a quick patch, the game was done.

Big news: In March, NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang announced Portal would be coming to SHIELD.
Big news: In March, NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang announced Portal would be coming to SHIELD.

‘Perfect Port’

It wasn’t until launch day that we announced we were bringing Half -Life 2 to SHIELD, too. The response went beyond just a wave of publicity. Half- Life 2 and Portal are now two of the top rated games on the Google Play Android app store. 89% of those rating Half -Life 2 on Google Play gave it five out of five stars. Portal grabbed even stronger reviews: with more than 9 out of ten giving the game five stars. “Perfect port,” wrote one user. “One of the best games ever now playable on the Shield.”

Most of the credit, of course, belongs to Valve. They built the game. We just made it portable.

The reviews are in...
The reviews are in…

 

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Brian Caulfield Thu, 26 Jun 2014 15:30:48 +0100
<![CDATA[Google Brings PC Class Gaming to Android with AEP, Powered by Tegra K1]]> Google gave a sneak peek today of the newest version of Android coming later this year -“L.” Among other things, L features exciting new gaming capabilities for developers – thanks to the Android Extension Pack (AEP). Google demonstrated what Epic’s Unreal Engine 4 can do with AEP running on our Tegra K1 processor. And it’s… Read More]]>

Google gave a sneak peek today of the newest version of Android coming later this year -“L.” Among other things, L features exciting new gaming capabilities for developers – thanks to the Android Extension Pack (AEP).

Google demonstrated what Epic’s Unreal Engine 4 can do with AEP running on our Tegra K1 processor. And it’s impressive.

“Quite literally this is PC gaming graphics in your pocket,” said Dave Burke, Google’s director of engineering for Android, speaking at Google I/O.

Google made it clear it’s going to provide all the tools developers need to build great games. And since it’s gaming, Tegra K1 has a central role.

With AEP, Google puts game developers on the fast track to bring modern game engines to mobile devices. AEP adds powerful new extensions to OpenGL ES, the mobile graphics standard, bringing PC and console-class features like tessellation and compute shaders to Android.

“We wanted to close the gap between desktop DX11 class graphics and mobile,” Google’s Burke said. “And we do that with something we call Android Extension Pack.”

Epic’s Rivalry demo – powered by Tegra K1 — shows what’s possible when PC-class gaming technologies and performance are brought to mobile devices. Tegra K1 includes support for DX12, OpenGL 4.4, OpenGL ES 3.1, and now Google’s AEP.

Epic Rivalry Demo, Powered by NVIDIA Tegra K1

Tegra K1 is the world’s most advanced mobile processor. It runs the most advanced game engine, Unreal Engine 4, relying on AEP for some of its effects. Tegra K1’s support for a broad array of graphics technologies will help game developers bring immersive gameplay and stunning visuals to mobile devices.

“Through our close collaboration with NVIDIA, Epic’s Unreal Engine 4 ‘Rivalry’ project demonstrated at Google I/O shows what’s possible when PC-class gaming technologies and performance are brought to mobile devices,” said Tim Sweeney, founder of Epic. “In less than three weeks we were able to port content built for high-end PC and the DirectX 11 graphics API to Android and Google’s AEP (Android Expansion Pack) extensions for ES 3.1. Developers can deliver incredible graphical complexity on a mobile chipset thanks to Tegra K1 and AEP.”

We’ve seen this story before. Gaming is in NVIDIA’s DNA. We know how to build great gaming platforms. We helped build the PC gaming ecosystem. We’re doing it again for Android.

Over the past few years, we’ve partnered with game developers to bring optimized and enhanced games to Android through TegraZone. We launched our SHIELD portable gaming device. We helped bring two of the most acclaimed games in PC history – Valve’s Half-Life 2 and Portal – to Android. Now we’re the first to support Android’s new gaming capabilities.

Great games need a great audience to succeed. With Android, that audience is there: this year alone, more than 1 billion people will buy an Android device. Technologies like AEP – and Tegra K1 – mean the next billion Android devices will have an even stronger foundation for gaming. The next step: great new games. Let’s get started.

Epic’s Rivalry demo – powered by Tegra K1

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Matt Wuebbling Wed, 25 Jun 2014 18:21:02 +0100
<![CDATA[Top Guns: How a Team of Elite NVIDIA Engineers Helps the Best Developers Get Even Better]]> To the average gamer, “Navier Stokes” might sound like the suave, Bond-like main character from an espionage-oriented first-person shooter. Someone who’s as comfortable in a tuxedo as in a flak jacket. They’d be half right. Navier-Stokes does indeed make an appearance in a growing number of games. Not as a character, though, but as an… Read More]]>

To the average gamer, “Navier Stokes” might sound like the suave, Bond-like main character from an espionage-oriented first-person shooter. Someone who’s as comfortable in a tuxedo as in a flak jacket.

They’d be half right. Navier-Stokes does indeed make an appearance in a growing number of games. Not as a character, though, but as an algorithm. Navier and Stokes were 19th century French and Irish mathematicians, respectively, who were among the first to develop a mathematical model for turbulence – say, smoke rising from a lit cigarette or the wake thrown off by a racing speedboat.

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Ashu Rege leads a team of NVIDIA engineers who inject cutting-edge math into the latest computer games.

The algorithm whose name they share remains at the cutting edge of advanced mathematics. So much so that a proof of its efficacy is one of the famous “Clay Millennial Prizes” in mathematics and worth $1 million to whoever solves it.

At NVIDIA, Ashu Rege, VP of Game Content and Technology, tells the story of Navier-Stokes not because he’s a math geek (though with a Ph.D. in computer science from UC Berkeley, he could certainly play that role). He does so to point out the benefits that can accrue to game developers when they work with NVIDIA engineers.

The Mumbai native is an engineer’s engineer, who grew up programming simple games on a friend’s Sinclair ZX81 in the 1980s. His team was the first to develop an implementation of Navier-Stokes that was fast enough to work in real time – on an NVIDIA GPU. They called their graphics routine “Turbulence.”

“With smoke or with fluids in the real world, you get all these interesting eddies and formations,” he said. “If there is a smoke cloud and you walk through it, it should part. But it should part in certain ways, depending on the speed you’re walking. For a long time, in most games, smoke was quite fake. Navier-Stokes could simulate it, but it would take forever. With Turbulence, we did it in real time.”

Building Games

Every company in the graphics business has in-house experts bristling with advanced math skills. What makes NVIDIA unique, says Rege, is that the company routinely sends its math heavyweights, who speak the language of Navier-Stokes, into the field to work with developers. They’re not just fixing bugs in device drivers. They’re sitting side by side with game developers helping inject NVIDIA tech and high-level math deep into the titles.

Rege is chief scientist, in a sense, for a group bringing cutting-edge science to the artists building the next generation of interactive experiences, and bringing some of that artistic sensibility back to NVIDIA.

“It’s very common at NVIDIA for someone to invent something, and then say, ‘I’m not happy just inventing it. I want to see it in a game,’” he said. “So instead of just sitting in an ivory tower here at NVIDIA, they’ll go and work with developers.”

“I’m talking about some of our best math Ph.D.s, who end up partnering with the very smartest people at our developers. Developers really appreciate it because they end up brainstorming with us about entirely new directions to take their graphics.”

Rege has been at NVIDIA for nine years. His main responsibility is to run the company’s developer support and outreach operation. In that post, he oversees about 100 people, most of whom also have math and computer graphics backgrounds from some of the world’s best universities.

At any given time, a significant percentage of Rege’s engineers are out in the field, spending time with developers. That was the case when Navier-Stokes first came out. It occurred again with the first version of “Crysis,” when half a dozen NVIDIA engineers camped out for months in Crytek’s Frankfurt office, helping get the game ready to ship.

Another triumph by his team involved ratcheting up the realism of the fur of Riley, “Call of Duty’s” bomb-sniffing German shepherd.

“Hair in general, and fur in particular, is highly complex,” said Rege. “To properly simulate fur, you have to model each and every strand, with each strand assigned certain properties. When the dog jumps into a pond, part of it is wet, its fur needs to look matted. Modeling that and making it look accurate is incredibly difficult.”

Turning Mathematics Into Money

NVIDIA also helped Ubisoft with the lighting on “Splinter Cell: Blacklist,” to make darkened rooftops and rain-soaked walls look real. And Snail Games got help making the clothes on the characters of “Age of Wushu” ripple and fold. Because Snail Games makes costumes available as an in-game purchase, the extra realism was worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Rege said that while his engineers love pushing the boundaries of graphics in a game, they also enjoy less glamorous challenges. For example, a game with just average graphics could benefit from a thorough review by a sharp programmer.

“One of our engineers might be able to tell the developers, ‘How about if you did your order of drawing in this way, so you don’t use up the battery quite as quickly?’ There is always something you can do to make a game run better.”

It’s not just game companies that Rege’s team supports. NVIDIA’s GPUs are increasingly common in the sorts of scientific and engineering operations found in the supercomputer world. So, one of his engineers who might be spending time with a new adventure game one month might be helping out at NASA’s Ames Research Center the next.

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Lee Gomes Tue, 15 Apr 2014 17:00:34 +0100
<![CDATA[PAX EAST: 5 Cool Ways to Game on the Tegra NOTE 7]]> Among the things we’ll be showing off at the NVIDIA booth at PAX East this weekend: the EVGA Tegra NOTE 7, a tablet with the ability to frag on the go or support console-style play in your living room.]]>

Get your NVIDIA green on, New Englanders, and get ready for this weekend’s PAX East gaming festival in Boston.

Among the things we’ll be showing off at the NVIDIA booth is the EVGA Tegra NOTE 7. This thing has serious gaming chops, and the flexibility to frag on the go or support console-style play in your living room.

Tegra NOTE 7 offers game-ready performance and premium features at a budget-friendly price.
Tegra NOTE 7 offers game-ready performance and premium features at a budget-friendly price.

We introduced the Tegra NOTE 7 last year, putting the power of our Tegra 4 mobile processor into a 7-inch tablet. Tegra NOTE 7 offers the gaming experience NVIDIA is known for, as well as a superb stylus and front-mounted stereo speakers for exceptional audio.

We recently added LTE capability to the mix so you can always stay connected. The tablet is available to customers around the world via our partners – including Newegg – starting at $199.

As you know, NVIDIA means gaming, and the Tegra NOTE 7 reflects that.

Here are five cool ways to game using your Tegra NOTE 7:

  • Amazing New Games – New titles are being built for Tegra all the time. Some of the newest additions including The Walking Dead and Rochard while OddWorld: Stranger’s Wrath and Z2: Steel Soldiers are coming soon. Tegra NOTE 7 also comes pre-loaded with awesome content including Eden to Green and Zen Pinball HD.
  • Play Like a Pro –Tablet gaming doesn’t have to be touch-only. Connect a Bluetooth controller to Tegra NOTE 7 to play all your favorite controller-based Android games.
  • GameMapper – First introduced on our SHIELD portable gaming and entertainment device, Gamepad Mapper lets you enjoy previously touch-only Android games using your Bluetooth controller.
  • Go Big – Tegra NOTE 7 features an HDMI out port that connects to your big-screen TV so you can enjoy console-style gaming with a Bluetooth controller.
  • TegraZone – Our free app highlights the best content optimized for Tegra devices including recent additions Alpha WaveClarcClash of Puppets and new Tegra 4 enhancements for Horn.

Coming to PAX? Stop by the NVIDIA booth for your chance to win one of 25 Tegra NOTE 7’s. We’ll hold a 5pm ET booth raffle every day of the show, and also be giving away Tegra NOTE 7  during the NVIDIA panel. We’ll also pick some lucky panel attendees at random to win crop circle t-shirts.

Plus, to spread the joy, everyone who buys a Tegra NOTE 7 at the show from ThinkGeek will receive a free crop circle t-shirt.

So get your game on in Boston this weekend and go home with the ultimate gaming tablet: EVGA Tegra NOTE 7.

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Jordan Dodge Fri, 11 Apr 2014 14:00:19 +0100
<![CDATA[‘Watch Dogs’ Trailer Offers Taste of Gaming’s Next Big Cultural Moment]]> Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Game of Thrones. The NCAA Final Four basketball tournament. These are more than just events – they’re cultural touchstones. But as big as they are, videogames are bigger. More than 600 million tuned into games that are more than just something they watch – but a shared experience that touches one gamer… Read More]]>

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Game of Thrones. The NCAA Final Four basketball tournament.

These are more than just events – they’re cultural touchstones. But as big as they are, videogames are bigger. More than 600 million tuned into games that are more than just something they watch – but a shared experience that touches one gamer at a time.

UbiSoft’s Watch Dogs promises to be that kind of experience, to tell that kind of tale. And we’re helping Ubisoft tell it, with the game studio building NVIDIA GameWorks technologies such as GameWorks HBAO+ and TXAA Anti-Aliasing into their open-ended story of a man on a mission in a near-future Chicago.

Tune in. If you’re a gamer, there’s no better way to do that than by jumping into our ongoing coverage of gaming, from the inside out, on GeForce.com. If you’re anyone else, check out this video for a quick taste about what the gaming community is talking about.

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Brian Caulfield Fri, 11 Apr 2014 00:50:31 +0100
<![CDATA[New Drivers, New GeForce Experience, New SHIELD Software Released]]> In our ongoing effort to provide an unmatched gaming experience, today we’re releasing new drivers that build on the DirectX11 industry standard to offer dramatically enhanced performance, a version of GeForce experience that’s packed with new features, and an over-the-air (OTA) software upgrade for SHIELD that’s chock full of new features. New Drivers Our new… Read More]]>

In our ongoing effort to provide an unmatched gaming experience, today we’re releasing new drivers that build on the DirectX11 industry standard to offer dramatically enhanced performance, a version of GeForce experience that’s packed with new features, and an over-the-air (OTA) software upgrade for SHIELD that’s chock full of new features.

New Drivers

Our new 337.50 Beta driver enhances the efficiency of the DirectX 11 driver to offer up to 71 percent faster gaming performance. Since these optimizations are made using DirectX, they can apply to a wide variety of different titles.

Looking at some of the most popular titles being played today, we see some significant performance gains. Call of Duty: Black Ops II will run 20 percent faster, Sleeping Dogs will run 31 percent faster, and Alien vs. Predator, Total War: Rome 2, and Sniper Elite v2 will all run more than 40 percent faster.

DirectX 11 will continue to be the graphics API powering the hottest titles throughout 2014. As we get closer to the end of the year, we’ll be seeing what developers will be capable of with a preview release of DirectX 12 (see “DirectX 12: A Major Stride for Gaming“).

With all DX11 GeForce GPUs (Fermi, Kepler, and Maxwell) offering support for the DX12 API, GeForce owners are in the ideal position to enjoy the top titles today, as well as the hottest new titles on the horizon.

For a comprehensive overview, including performance numbers and game loading speed benchmarks, see our in-depth article on GeForce.com.

GeForce Experience 2.0

Coming alongside the new 337.50 Beta drivers, GeForce Experience 2.0 now includes the ability to optimize more than 150 games.

GeForce Experience 2.0 now brings two signature features to notebooks for the first time. Shadowplay, which allows gamers to capture their gaming exploits with little hit to frame rates, and share them on platforms such as live-streaming video service Twitch (see “How an Intern Helped Build an Instant Replay Feature That Will Be Used by Millions“). And GameStream, which allows gamers to stream games and enjoy them on the go.

In addition to capturing video, ShadowPlay is the easiest way to stream to Twitch.

Desktop gamers will also get the ability to capture the action on their full desktop, gamers can customize how their GameStreams are encoded, and gamers will get the ability to stream their games to SHIELD at home or on the go (see earlier post on SHIELD OTA).

For more details, see our in-depth coverage of GeForce Experience 2.0 on GeForce.com

SHIELD Upgrade

SHIELD’s latest over-the-air upgrade includes major updates to our GameStream technology that helps SHIELD adapt to the way enthusiasts like to game.

Since the launch of SHIELD, gamers have wanted to play their PC games outside the home. With today’s software release, we are making that a reality with remote GameStream support – launching as a beta.

For complete remote access to your PC, we’ve built in wake-on-LAN support to allow gamers to remotely wake their PC from sleep mode and remote login support to let you log into a locked PC from SHIELD.

Giving gamers even more ways to play PC games on SHIELD, new Bluetooth keyboard and mouse support lets them pair their SHIELD with an HDTV in console mode and play their favorite keyboard and mouse PC games such as World of WarCraftCivilization V, and League of Legends on their big screens.

And notebook support – also in beta – lets gamers stream to SHIELD from a GeForce GTX-powered notebook PC, including all GeForce GTX 800M, GTX 700M and select GTX 600M series GPUs.

Beyond GameStream, a new user interface on our TegraZone app lets you find games with just a touch of the NVIDIA button built into every SHIELD. And we’re making it easier to play more Android games the way you want, by adding a new user interface to SHIELD’s Gamepad Mapper, which lets you play thousands of games built for touch on SHIELD’s console-grade controls.

SHIELD will also be getting the latest version of Google’s Android operating system – Android 4.4.2, also known as KitKat. The result is a quick, fluid experience that continues to give SHIELD users access to the rich ecosystem of Android games, apps and utilities.

For more, see our in-depth user guide at GeForce.com.

Haven’t picked up a SHIELD yet? To celebrate the software upgrade, we’re promoting SHIELD at just $199 through the end of April.

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Brian Caulfield Mon, 07 Apr 2014 16:19:18 +0100
<![CDATA[Update: Oculus Exec, Day After $2B Facebook Acquisition, Speaks at GTC]]> How awesome is Oculus Chief Software Architect Michael Antonov? A day after news broke that the virtual reality startup will be acquired by Facebook for $2 billion, Antonov showed up at our annual GPU Technology Conference to talk about how his firm’s Oculus Rift virtual-reality headset can be used with GPUs. Antonov spoke after he… Read More]]>

How awesome is Oculus Chief Software Architect Michael Antonov?

A day after news broke that the virtual reality startup will be acquired by Facebook for $2 billion, Antonov showed up at our annual GPU Technology Conference to talk about how his firm’s Oculus Rift virtual-reality headset can be used with GPUs.

Antonov spoke after he couldn’t make it to a session Tuesday, originally slated for just hours after the Facebook deal was announced. GTC attendees had crammed into that session in the hopes of hearing more about the company’s ground-breaking technology.

With just a few hours notice on social media, nearly 100 show attendees jammed into a hastily arranged room, where Antonov explained how his company’s technology works. And while he deflected a question from the audience about the deal with Facebook, Antonov deserves kudos just for showing up.

Note: an earlier version of this post reported Antonov’s title incorrectly. 

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Tony Kontzer Wed, 26 Mar 2014 13:00:55 +0000
<![CDATA[NVIDIA SHIELD – New Games, New Features and Now $199 for a Limited Time]]> NVIDIA SHIELD was designed to be the ultimate portable for serious gamers.  To achieve that mark, we engineered SHIELD with the most advanced and purpose built technologies available, including a powerful Tegra 4 processor, console grade controller, and amazing bass reflex speakers.  SHIELD was designed to be an evolving gaming system, providing expanded features, functionality… Read More]]>

NVIDIA SHIELD was designed to be the ultimate portable for serious gamers.  To achieve that mark, we engineered SHIELD with the most advanced and purpose built technologies available, including a powerful Tegra 4 processor, console grade controller, and amazing bass reflex speakers.  SHIELD was designed to be an evolving gaming system, providing expanded features, functionality and gameplay enhancements over time. For our upcoming software update, we have provided several important improvements.

The biggest change: updates to our GameStream technology that helps SHIELD adapt to the way enthusiasts like to game.

Since the launch of SHIELD, gamers have wanted to play their PC games outside the home. With the upcoming software release, we are making that a reality with remote streaming support – coming in beta. For complete remote access to your PC, we’ve built in wake-on-LAN support to allow gamers to remotely wake their PC from sleep mode and remote login support to let you log into a locked PC from SHIELD.

Giving gamers even more ways to play PC games on SHIELD, new Bluetooth keyboard and mouse support lets them pair their SHIELD with an HDTV in console mode and play their favorite keyboard and mouse PC games such as World of WarCraft, Civilization V, and League of Legends on their big screens.

NVIDIA SHIELD in console mode

And notebook support – also in beta – lets gamers stream to SHIELD from a GeForce GTX-powered notebook PC, including all GeForce GTX 800M, GTX 700M and select GTX 600M series GPUs.

Now with official support for over 100 PC games, including spring’s biggest hits such as Titanfall, GameStream provides an even more incredible way to enjoy your favorite games away from the PC.

Beyond GameStream, a new user interface on our TegraZone app lets you find games with just a touch of the NVIDIA button built into every SHIELD. And we’re making it easier to play more Android games the way you want, by adding a new user interface to SHIELD’s Gamepad Mapper, which lets you play thousands of games built for touch on SHIELD’s console-grade controls.

Finally, SHIELD will be getting the latest version of Google’s Android operating system – Android 4.4.2, also known as KitKat. The result is a quick, fluid experience that continues to give SHIELD users access to the rich ecosystem of Android games, apps and utilities. The upshot: in just eight months since SHIELD was first launched, our handheld gaming platform is more powerful, and flexible, than ever.

The software release will be hitting devices next week on April 2. Haven’t picked up a SHIELD yet? To celebrate the software upgrade, we’re promoting SHIELD at just $199, starting today through the end of April.

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Jason Paul Tue, 25 Mar 2014 22:00:58 +0000
<![CDATA[DirectX 12: A Major Stride for Gaming]]> Microsoft today introduced DirectX 12 at the annual Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco. DX12 is Microsoft’s latest version of the graphics API that is the dominant standard in the growing, $25 billion PC gaming industry. Developers have been asking for a thinner, more efficient API that allows them to control hardware resources more… Read More]]>

Microsoft today introduced DirectX 12 at the annual Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco. DX12 is Microsoft’s latest version of the graphics API that is the dominant standard in the growing, $25 billion PC gaming industry.

Developers have been asking for a thinner, more efficient API that allows them to control hardware resources more directly. Despite significant efficiency improvements delivered by continuous advancement of existing API implementations, next-generation applications want to extract all possible performance from multi-core systems. Developers also want to take direct advantage of advanced GPU hardware features, from which developers are currently insulated to provide fool-proof usage. DirectX 12 was designed from scratch to provide the infrastructure for these advanced applications.

Xbox One racing game Forza running on a PC powered by an NVIDIA GeForce Titan BlackSpeaking to a crowd of about 300 developers and press, Anuj Gosalia, development manager of DirectX at Microsoft, described DX12 as the joint effort of hardware vendors, game developers and his team. Our work with Microsoft on DirectX 12 began more than four years ago with discussions about reducing resource overhead. For the past year, NVIDIA has been working closely with the DirectX team to deliver a working design and implementation of DX12 at GDC.

Gosalia demonstrated the new API with a tech demo of the Xbox One racing game Forza running on a PC powered by an NVIDIA GeForce Titan Black. In addition, our software team has provided a driver to game studios to facilitate further design feedback as well as actual game development.

A critical factor in the adoption of any new API is the size of the available market. In the past, feature adoption has been muted by lack of support in the substantial console market, as well as absence of feature deployment on popular versions of the Windows OS. With DX12, there is an unprecedented convergence of APIs and breadth of support. DX12 will span PCs, XBox One, tablets and even phones.

In addition, NVIDIA will match Microsoft OS support for DX12. Over 70% of gaming PCs are now DX11 based. NVIDIA will support the DX12 API on all the DX11-class GPUs it has shipped; these belong to the Fermi, Kepler and Maxwell architectural families. With more than 50% market share (65% for discrete graphics) among DX11-based gaming systems, NVIDIA alone will provide game developers the majority of the potential installed base. chart

The genesis of DX12 can be found in technology trends. GPUs have continued to rapidly increase in performance, while single-core CPU performance has been gated by power limits. Multi-core CPUs have provided some advancement but still trail GPUs in peak performance. In parallel, applications have embraced task-parallelism, adopting sophisticated scheduling systems to scale performance with the number of CPU cores. This has in turn driven the need for an API that scales similarly with core count. GPU performance can be exploited three ways: drawing better pixels, more pixels and more objects. We have reaped much of what can be gained from pixels. DX12’s focus is on enabling a dramatic increase in visual richness through a significant decrease in API-related CPU overhead. Historically, drivers and OS software have managed memory, state, and synchronization on behalf of developers. However, inefficiencies result from the imperfect understanding of an application’s needs. DX12 gives the application the ability to directly manage resources and state, and perform necessary synchronization. As a result, developers of advanced applications can efficiently control the GPU, taking advantage of their intimate knowledge of the game’s behavior.

Today’s debut focused on the form of the graphics API, the model. Future Direct3D releases will include new rendering features, in addition to the new driver/application model outlined today. The work presented at GDC is just part of the story for upcoming releases. NVIDIA and Microsoft will continue to invest heavily in the future of gaming on the PC. – Yury Uralsky contributed to this post. 

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Henry Moreton Thu, 20 Mar 2014 17:45:35 +0000
<![CDATA[New GeForce 800M GPUs Unlock Meaner, Leaner Notebooks]]> Today, we’re launching our GeForce 800M top to bottom line-up of new notebook GPUs. They deliver the usual massive performance improvement – 30%, 40% and in some cases even 60% over the previous generation. And we’ve again unseated ourselves for “world’s fastest notebook GPU” crown. But, let’s be honest, you’d expect this with each new… Read More]]>

Today, we’re launching our GeForce 800M top to bottom line-up of new notebook GPUs.

The thin and light Gigabyte P34 gets its gaming chops from the GeForce GTX 850M.
The thin and light Gigabyte P34 gets its gaming chops from the GeForce GTX 850M.

They deliver the usual massive performance improvement – 30%, 40% and in some cases even 60% over the previous generation. And we’ve again unseated ourselves for “world’s fastest notebook GPU” crown.

But, let’s be honest, you’d expect this with each new generation of notebook GPU.

This launch has something different. It brings a multitude of new features designed just for gamers.

The biggest is NVIDIA Battery Boost, which will untether notebook gamers from wall sockets for the first time. It delivers up to double the gaming battery life, automatically.

The Razor Blade uses the GeForce GTX 870M to pack unprecedented power in to a sleek chassis.
The Razor Blade uses the GeForce GTX 870M to pack unprecedented power in to a sleek chassis.

Here’s how it works: instead of your notebook pushing every component to its max, Battery Boost targets a user defined frame rate, such as 30 FPS. The driver level governor takes over from there, and operates all your system components, including CPU, GPU, and memory at peak efficiency, while maintaining a smooth, playable experience.

GeForce ShadowPlay also comes to notebooks with this launch. ShadowPlay is a new feature in GeForce Experience that lets you capture high-quality in-game footage or broadcast your gaming exploits to Twitch.TV, all with virtually no performance impact.

Touchscreen technology and cutting-edge graphics provided by the GeForce GTX 860M come together in the Lenovo Y50.
Touchscreen technology and cutting-edge graphics provided by the GeForce GTX 860M come together in the Lenovo Y50.

We are also adding notebook support for GameStream, to enable smooth streaming of PC games over WiFi to a GameStream ready device, like NVIDIA SHIELD.

And don’t worry, we didn’t forget about existing GeForce customers. Later this month, all GeForce GTX 700M and GeForce GTX 680M, 675MX, 670MX and GTX 660M GPUs will be able to update their GeForce Experience software to support ShadowPlay and GameStream.

This new line up does not sacrifice frame rates for power efficiency. GeForce 800M GPUs are even more power efficient than our previous generation, by a good margin.

The Asus G750Jz uses the GeForce GTX 880M to compete for the title of world’s fastest gaming notebook.
The Asus G750Jz uses the GeForce GTX 880M to compete for the title of world’s fastest gaming notebook.

Meanwhile, look for a new generation of thinner, more powerful gaming notebooks featuring our new GeForce 800M series. The Gigabyte P35R, Lenovo Y50, MSI GS 60, MSI GS 70 and Razer Blade are all good examples of thin and light, GeForce GTX-equipped gaming machines. And those looking to game on the world’s fastest notebooks should consider power-packed systems such as the Alienware 17, Asus G750JZ, MSI GT 70, and MSI GT 60 which can all be had with a GeForce GTX 880M under the hood.

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Mark Aevermann Wed, 12 Mar 2014 16:00:29 +0000