The full transcript has emerged from the CEsS 2019 Q&A session in which Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang called out the Radeon VII as “lousy”. It turns out there were plenty of other takeaways from the session as well, including Huang’s affirmation that while cloud gaming will be huge, PC gaming on local hardware is here to stay.
Nvidia has pumped a lot into game streaming already and is, at this point, one of the most successful proponents of it thanks to GeForce Now. Huang touts “hundreds of thousands” of concurrent users even at this early stage, primarily down to PC users trying to take their games anywhere.
“Our core starts with PC,” said Huang. That’s our center point. That’s why GeForce Now plays PC games. That’s why GeForce Now allows you to take the PC games you’ve purchased and play them anywhere. That’s why GeForce Now runs every game that’s available. No porting is necessary.
“Our strategy is very different [from competitors like Google and Microsoft]. There are other strategies around streaming games, like Netflix or something like that. I think that’s terrific. The more expansive the gaming market is, the better.
But, and there’s always a but, “It will never replace the PC.”
As for why streaming will never replace local hardware, it simply comes down to the speed of the service and the demand for as near-perfect an experience as possible from gamers. There is not going to be a solution to delayed response times. They can be improved but they can never be perfected, meaning competitive gamers will always have an advantage playing on their actual PC hardware.
“If your question is, “How long before streaming can be as good as a PC?” the answer is never,” said Jensen. “The reason for that is because there’s one problem we haven’t figured out how to solve, and that’s the speed of light. When you’re playing esports, you need the response in a few milliseconds, not a few hundred milliseconds. It’s a fundamental problem. It’s just the laws of physics.”
There’s always pesky science getting in the way isn’t there. The only thing between us and instant response game streaming is faster-than-light travel. It does mean that your PC gaming future is safe though. Those after the ultimate in reaction times are always going to benefit from playing on the actual hardware rather than relying on our ISP overlords to defy science. Options are great though, and it seems we'll have plenty of choice in the future both in terms of how and where we play our games.