Nvidia made a number of announcements this week at GDC, and while the company didn’t make quite as much noise as Team Red, it did announce some significant updates and improvements. We expect to hear more from Team Green at Nvidia’s GPU Technology Conference, but here’s what happened this week.
First, Nvidia announced a new GeForce Now Developer Program. GeForce Now is the name of Nvidia’s new streaming service, and while I haven’t had a personal opportunity to check the on-demand streaming out myself, both the feedback I’ve heard and the various online reviews have been positive. If your hardware is powerful enough, GeForce Now is an interesting alternative to conventional game libraries. Now, Nvidia has created a developer program for GFN that it claims “provides an easy way for you to take advantage of this new market by instantly streaming your games directly into broadband-connected living rooms around the world.”
Program benefits include a free Shield development platform as well as marketing and promotional considerations from Nvidia. Developers have two options as far as monetizing their content — they can either list a title for sale in the store, or they can add games to the membership library and “receive variable pay based on monthly play hours.”
Square Enix joined the GeForce Now program last month, and both Sega and Warner Brothers are joining this month, with a total of nine games becoming available on the platform over the next few months.
New GameWorks SDK
Nvidia’s other major announcement this week concerned an update to its GameWorks SDK. The new version, 3.1, introduces three major effects — Nvidia Volumetric Lighting (showcased in Fallout 4), Hybrid Frustum Traced Shadows (a new effect for transitioning between soft and hard shadows depending on distance to viewer) and NVIDIA Voxel Accelerated Ambient Occlusion (VXAO). This last type of ambient occlusion is used in the new Tomb Raider and we’re working on a visual comparison in that title.
PhysX also got an update in the 3.1 SDK, with a new implementation of rigid body dynamics and Nvidia Flow, which will allow for the simulation of fluids like fire and smoke with more flexibility than previous implementations.
We’re hearing consistent rumors that Nvidia will announce new GPUs at its upcoming GTC conference, which would make sense given the timelines involved. Current rumors suggest Nvidia might announce both a GTX 1070 and 1080, but that’s a projection of current naming trends, not an absolute. Last time around, Nvidia chose to skip the 1000s and moved straight from the GeForce 3 to the 4000 family, then skipped GeForce 1xxx in favor of the 200-series. If the company is going to launch a new numbering method, this would be the logical time to do it.
[Source:- Extreme Tech]