NVIDIA Shows Off GRID Gaming, SHIELD, and PC Gaming Advances @ E3

We made a quick stop by NVIDIA’s booth at E3 today to see what the company had going on and to snap some pictures and video of the coolest tech that was on display. NVIDIA will be making more news in the coming weeks with SHIELD and some new GPU tech that’ll we’ll be able to share soon enough, but their booth had a couple of interesting demos running that we thought you’d all like to see right away.

NVIDIA’s booth at E3 was packed with a wide array of gaming-related technology, ranging from the Tegra 3-based Ooya console and NVIDIA’s own Tegra 4-based SHIELD device, to a menacing rack of GRID servers and just about anything in between. There were high-end gaming PCs loaded with GeForces and HTC smartphones on display too, all running some of today’s hottest titles. As much as we love checking out new games, one of the more interesting demos we saw leveraged NVIDIA’s GRID cloud computing technology.

GRID Servers @ E3

We have talked about GRID on number of occasions already. For a refresher on the technology, we suggest checking out our coverage from CES. If you’re unfamiliar with GRID, at its core, GeForce GRID is a cloud gaming solution. It allows gaming content—namely PC games—to be run and rendered in the cloud by the GRID servers and then streamed out to any device that can run a GRID receiver utility, like a Smart TV, Tablet, a Smartphone, a game console, or what have you.

What we saw at E3 was a rack of GRID servers, dishing up some gaming goodness to an array of devices, including a few netbooks, NVIDIA’s SHIELD handheld gaming device, and even a tiny Ooya console.

We got to play a few games on the devices, all of which streamed smoothly and felt as if they were being played locally. Playing Street Fighter on the Ooya console was particularly interesting. Although the game is not particularly taxing in terms of its graphics, Street Fighter requires quick response and high-speed action—any lag would destroy the experience. But there was no lag at all. In all honestly, it felt as if we were simply playing the game right from the console.

To show what was actually happening on the GRID servers, NVIDIA also had a demo set up that streamed the output from some of the virtualized GPUs to a single screen. Each GPU in the GRID servers were running four virtual GPUs, and what was happening in each session was being output to the screen. We’ve got a few seconds of the video posted above.

After leaving the show floor, we also hit an NVIDIA press event in which the company, along with the help of a number of game developers, showed off a ton of upcoming games and the in-game effects NVIDIA helped the developers create and implement. NVIDIA’s goal with the event was to relay the message that the company is as committed to PC gaming as ever. NVIDIA has been doing a lot of talking about their mobile technologies and GRID as of late, but GeForce and PC gaming remains a strong focus.

We saw some Assassin’s Creed IV in action, Splinter Cell Blacklist, Witcher 3, and a number of other titles. One of the most impressive demos was Epic’s Infiltrator, which employs Epic’s Unreal Engine 4 technology. Infiltrator was demoed using a single GeForce GTX Titan and it looked freakin’ awesome. Though all of the games we were shown looked great, we’ll leave you with a video of Epic Infiltrator because it’s just plain cool. You may have seen it before, but watch it again. And again. And again…