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Jen-Hsun Huang says internet speeds slowing down 4k game streaming

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The idea of the “cloud” is nothing new and has, in fact, been around for a number of years in one form or another. The concept goes back to the use of small “dumb” terminals that were nothing more than display devices for com putting done in a central location. After it became possible to put more power into the systems we used the cloud faded into the back ground. With the production of mobile devices that did not typically have the same power and capacity as a desktop the cloud returned. It had a major resurgence when the smartphone and tablet leaped onto the scene and now it seems that everything is trying to become cloud based; including gaming.

Not that long ago NVIDIA launched their Grid cloud GPU system that promises high-end performance on even low end devices. Not that many people bought into the idea though so NVIDIA has had to work their way around this and has moved into producing their own gaming tablets and devices in the form of the Shield. These, of course, feature NVIDIA’s own Tegra SoCs to make things work the right way with Grid. If you are not using a shield device you have to go through another middleware service to get the games you want.

It seems that this infrastructure might be an issue in future cloud gaming performance. According to Jen-Hsun Huang, the existing infrastructure is preventing a quick transition to 4k gaming from the cloud. Huang was quick to point out that it was not the Grid servers that were part of the issue though. In recent comments he pointed to internet speeds as the primary culprit.

This last part is very interesting though as it is becoming more common for people to have real highs-speed internet access which is capable of streaming 4k content. In some areas 300Mbps is hitting the streets and 100Mbps is a common bandwidth for the home. Both Amazon and Netflix already offer ultra-HD streams to their clients and some of the data that we have seen shows that the internet speeds are there to accommodate the content.

It is actually much more likely that the current limits are in the middleware providers and the software that pushes out the gaming content than consumer internet speeds. Most middleware providers are simply not going to pay for the bandwidth to accommodate 4k or software platform changes at this time. There is not enough people using cloud gaming to make it worth their while when you consider the costs involved. This more than anything is what is going to delay the possibility of 4k game streams… well than and the simple fact that a majority of gamers are still not ready to rely on the internet to host and process their games…

Sean Kalinich

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