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NVIDIA 'The Way It's Meant to Be Played' 2013 Event


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#1 ClayMeow

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 08:46 AM

*UPDATE* Official Article Published

 

There will be a more in-depth article coming, but I thought I'd get the ball rolling while I have a short lunch break...

 

Wesstron and I had the privilege of attending an NVIDIA press event these past couple days in Montreal, where a bunch of new technologies and architectures were unveiled.

 

One thing that's important to remember, and many people forget, is that NVIDIA is more than just GPUs. NVIDIA GameWorks studio employs 300 visual effects engineers that work on a whole slew of game developer tools - they strive to be to gaming what ILM is to movies.

 

Along those lines, yesterday NVIDIA announced three new GameWorks technologies:

 

1. Flex, a unified GPU PhysX system

Flex is the world's first unified solver, has two-way coupling effects, shared collision detection, and parallelism at all stages. In layman's terms, it basically allows multiple physics objects to interact with each other in realistic ways. To illustrate this, we were shown several live demos: bouncing, squishable balls; fluid displacing rigid bodies and then those rigid bodies floating realistically; fluid and cloth interaction; deformable objects; and even a water balloon simulation where the demonstrator could pop the balloon in random spots and the water inside would react realistically, either bursting open or streaming.

 

2. GI Works

World's first real-time global illumination solution. It's a fully dynamic system with scalable architecture. Light bounces off surfaces, which also has real-time glossy specular reflections. It basically means that future game developers who utilize this GI Works into their games won't have to bake lighting, which is basically "faking it" - it also means that less light sources will actually be needed in the game because a light's "cone of influence" is greater than it may appear due to the bouncing. For anyone who's dealt with game development before in a 3D environment, you know that lighting is a painful process, so this should be very welcome.

 

3. Flame Works

Provides film-quality volumetric effects for fire and smoke. We were shown a demo with a fire-breathing dragon and the fire was different each time and interacted with physical objects in the world. The demo could be paused and you could see that it indeed was a volume-based system.


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#2 ClayMeow

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 08:47 AM

There were representatives from WB and Ubisoft there and we got three exclusive LIVE game demos. Aside from portions of ACIV, we were not allowed to film the demos because they were never-before-shown scenes.

 

1. Batman: Arkham Origins

BAO uses a lot of NVIDIA technologies: contact-hardening shadows, environmental cloth, PhsyX particles, HBAO+, depth of field, blizzard conditions thru Turbulence, snow prints thru tesselation, tearing cloth, Turbulence, and on Batman himself, TXAA, HBAO+, soft shadows, and cape tesselation.

 

We were shown the dynamic snow system. The snow is truly deformable with realistic shadows and even different depths to the snow (on PC only). Even the AI could leave footprints in the snow. And even if you slide, you leave a "streak" imprint in the snow as you'd expect.

 

On the PC, Batman's cape reacts in a realistic way.

 

2. Watch Dogs

PC version features HBAO+, TXAA, enhanced 4K support, and DX11 Compute.

 

As you probably heard, the game has been delayed, so as it's all still under development, we weren't allowed to take any photos. They played a demo live of a story mission that had never been shown before. Suffice it to say, it was freaking epic. I'll go in more depth later.

 

3. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag

Ubisoft brought several next-gen improvements to ACIV, all built on the PC first: dynamic foliage, improved rain and wet surfaces, parallax occlusion mapping, screen space reflection, volumetric fog, lighted particles, high resolution textures, HBAO, improved shadows, and improved post effects (motion blur, DoF, lens flare, god rays, etc.)

 

The PC has EVEN MORE improvements! These are the PC-only improvements to ACIV: HBAO+, improved soft shadows, MSAA, TXAA (NVIDIA exclusive), improved god rays, support for 4K resolution.

 

We were shown direct comparison shots of current gen vs. next gen vs. PC, and just as you'd expect, the order went good, better, best. And if you happen to have a 4K monitor and a high-end NVIDIA card - OMFG!

 

We were allowed to take photos/video of the game since it's basically ready to go, except for one part of the demo where they enabled a "cheat mode" to show us the different weather effects in the game, from sunny to rain, to storm.


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#3 ClayMeow

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 08:47 AM

Lots of new announcements today:

 

1. GameStream - allows gaming on any screen

All NVIDIA technologies intermingled; Grid (cloud gaming), GeForce (PC gaming), and SHIELD (Android gaming).

 

You can GameStream PC games to SHIELD, but coming soon you'll also be able to stream to your TV by putting SHIELD into "Console Mode" (coming 10/28/2013). The SHIELD's Tegra 4 acts as a receiver for GeForce so you can either play your Android games onto your TV or stream your PC games through Steam's Big Picture Mode. If you connect via a GigE connection, you can stream 1080p. If over WiFi, 720p.

 

I tried Borderlands 2 streaming over WiFi using a wireless gamepad (plus using the SHIELD's gamepad) and was amazed that it was extremely responsive - what I did on the gamepad (poorly, I might add, because I'm a KB&M guy), was fully displayed immediately on the TV - no lag, no stutter. The NVIDIA rep did state that you could connect a wireless KB&M too, at least for the PC games.

 

2. New Holiday Bundle launching 10/28/2013

GTX 770, 780, or Titan: BAO + Blacklist + ACIV + $100 Off SHIELD

GTX 660 or 760: Blacklist + ACIV + $50 Off SHIELD

 

3. NVIDIA ShadowPlay

1080p game capture that doesn't tax the CPU and has a very low overhead. As such, you can have it always on and if you leave it in auto-mode, it'll save your last 20 minutes of play, or you can do manual capture. Along those lines....

 

4. GeForce Experience Streams to Twitch

Easy one-click broadcasting that leverages Kepler and ShadowPlay to stream 480p, 720p, or 1080p at a 60fps upload. They demoed a live-stream of Blacklist.

 

5. NVIDIA G-Sync

THIS IS THE GAME-CHANGER.

 

Essentially, NVIDIA has created a module that integrates into the top gaming monitors (ASUS, BenQ, Philips, & ViewSonic are already on board) and allows the GPU to drive monitor timing. Basically, NO STUTTER, LESS LAG, NO TEARING. Once a frame is done drawing, G-Sync tells the monitor to update/scan.

 

We saw an NVIDIA-made demo, plus a demo of Tomb Raider, comparing your "normal" monitor to a G-Sync Monitor - both Gaming monitors by ASUS. You truly don't understand how "bad" we have it now until you see it compared to a monitor to G-Sync. Because the monitor is designed to refresh with your framerates, dips in FPS no longer affect your experience - it's all "buttery smooth" through and through. This means, in the future, developers won't have to worry about maintaining that luxurious 60fps throughout and can thus put more stuff on the screen if they desire.

 

NVIDIA invited three huge names in the gaming industry to express their praise of G-Sync: Tim Sweeney (Epic Games), Johan Andersson (DICE), and John Carmack (id Software).

 

6. GTX 780 Ti

The newest high-end enthusiast GPU; the "best GPU ever built." Cool, quiet, fast, and low power. Sadly no hand-on demo with that, though they did have the actual card to see (unconnected).


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#4 Fragsman

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 08:53 AM

Very interesting!


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#5 cjloki

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 08:58 AM

I saw where kyfire posted something like this yesterday so I did a fb share for my friends...but very interesting stuff...thanx clay

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#6 ClayMeow

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 09:21 AM

You're welcome :).

 

Day's not over yet, though I imagine the big announcements are. We have a round table discussion and Q&A session next and then some one-on-one interviews.

 

If anyone has any (reasonable) questions they want asked, post them here and I'll try and check beforehand and see if I can get some answered. Don't expect pricing on the 780 Ti, nor the G-Sync monitors just yet. G-Sync monitors will be hitting retail in 1Q2014 and pricing will probably vary from manufacturer.


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#7 Guest_Jim_*

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 10:00 AM

I have a question Andrew. Is the GTX 780 Ti going to be part of the holiday bundles with the regular 780 and Titan, assuming it launches in the time window?


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#8 ClayMeow

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 10:19 AM

I have a question Andrew. Is the GTX 780 Ti going to be part of the holiday bundles with the regular 780 and Titan, assuming it launches in the time window?

I'll ask, but my guess is that it wouldn't be released until after the holidays - though that's not to say they wouldn't have some other promotion by then. Also, it should be important to note that the third-party manufacturers may do their own thing - already looking at it, I saw EVGA was throwing in BAO with a "mere" 760.


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#9 Prunes

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 11:06 AM

How will the GTX 780 Ti fare against the Titan? And there's been rumors regarding a Titan ultra or something. Any words on that? You probably won't get answers on the last question, but still :)

Also the shadowplay thing, does that work on the 600 series and older?


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#10 DanTheGamer11

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 11:29 AM

How will the GTX 780 Ti fare against the Titan? And there's been rumors regarding a Titan ultra or something. Any words on that? You probably won't get answers on the last question, but still :)

Also the shadowplay thing, does that work on the 600 series and older?

 

All Kepler GPUs.

 

GTX 760Ti OEM only?


Edited by DanTheGamer11, 18 October 2013 - 11:32 AM.

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#11 Black64

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 12:40 PM

I like better graphics! Sounds interesting.


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#12 ClayMeow

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 12:58 PM

So as far as the GTX 780 Ti goes, apparently this was just a sneak peek - a press release should go out in roughly two days with all the details. It's scheduled for a November launch, but the two people I asked about the holiday bundle pretty much both said "that's a good question; I don't know." So hopefully that's answered when the details are released.

 

As for it going up against the Titan - again, none of the details were provided, simply that it's the best single-GPU card ever made.

 

Dan is correct - ShadowPlay works for any Kepler card, as the encoding is built into the architecture.

 

On a related note, something I didn't mention above, Kepler will be a part of the next generation of Tegra chips - right now called Project Logan, but for all intents and purposes, Tegra 5.

 

EDIT: For those asking about GPUs other than the 780 Ti, nothing else was announced.


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