it’s 2015: if you’re not streaming your game while you play it, you will be summarily asked to leave society. Don’t you dare try to play a game by yourself any more. Privacy is dead: everyone wants an audience, always and forever. Do you want to watch me shower? No? Well, how about watch me ineffectually flail at a pack of Nekkers in The Witcher 3? No? Well, how about you take remotely control and fight those Nekkers for me, to put everyone involved out of their misery. NVIDIA have, in theory, a way to make that happen.
Their GeForce Experience app has long had tools to record game footage or stream it to one of those Shield tablets no-one has, using your NVIDIA card to achieve this without too much of a performance hit, but it’s about to offer the option to stream your game to friends, or let them take control of it entirely, as well as allow remote split-screen co-op in certain titles.
The straight streaming-to-chums side of things sounds semi-redundant, given you can already do that with Steam, but it’s theoretically much more interesting on two other fronts. One is integrated Twitch and YouTube uploads, which may well take away some of the configuration pain required from tools such as OBS, as well as – sez marketing, anyway – minimising latency and what not. I don’t do a lot of streaming, but the idea that whenever I did I could just click a few big white buttons rather than stare at OBS for the first time in months and think ‘Oh god what I am supposed to do again no God why are you streaming Microsoft Word to YouTube’ is appealing, and POSSIBLY TO YOUR EVENTUAL BENEFIT, RPS READER. If you like listening to a tired Englishman muttering to himself, anyway.
The other thing is what they’re clumsily calling GameStream Co-Op, which is basically doing the PS4 Share thing but on PC. (Only if you have an NVIDIA card, though). This means that, all being well, your online chums can actually control the game for you if you’re struggling/tired/busy doing a jigsaw. Or they can watch and talk at you, if you prefer. I haven’t tried PS4 Share, but it sounds like a good thing for those moments when you’re struggling with a boss, or just if you don’t want your mate to get bored so you let them take over for a while. I’m tempted to play a top-difficulty XCOM 2 campaign with a friend in this way, actually.
Also mooted is the possibility of remotely-played, split-screen or shared-screen co-op games, in which only one person actually needs the game, then chums can join in remotely and control the other character. Apparently this’ll work in the likes of Trine 3, Gauntlet, FIFA 15, NBA 2K15 and Mortal Kombat Komplete. Probably not as good as everyone having their own copy of the game, but maybe you could use it to form a sort of co-operative so between you you can buy a greater variety of games.
This is all in theory, anyway: the thing’s not out yet, so I’m not presuming anything until we know how well it works in practice.
‘Early Access Beta’ – no TOO MANY BUZZWORDS IN ONE GO STOP IT – for this revamped GeForce Experience is due sometime next month. You can keep an eye on availability here. Sadly this won’t work on AMD cards, although I imagine the Red team are investigating similar systems of their own. NVIDIA do say all this new streaming gubbins will work just fine on their new, entry-level GTX 950 card, but I don’t know myself if that’s a decent board. Hopefully Jeremy will be along soon to help with that.