Clouds are fluffy. They can take the shape of just about anything, too: bunnies, cars, lion kings – you name it. Oh, and they block the sun, which has been known to beam horrific, disfiguring burns down from the sky. Yet, in spite of those rather admirable qualities, we hardly ever notice them unless they’re about to open fire (read: water) on our outdoor fun or belch out a couple tornadoes. The same, oddly enough, can be said of cloud gaming. I mean, the potential’s there for a total upheaval in terms of where and when we experience super high-end PC games. But “core” game communities happily ignore all of that until someone whips out their “The End Is Nigh” sign and starts waxing incoherently about how it’ll kill hardware-based gaming forever.
As is typically the case with these things, the truth will – in all likelihood – fall somewhere in the middle. Nvidia recently announced that it’s betting on cloud in a big way with its OnLive and Gaikai-approved GeForce Grid technology, and while that’s not inherently good or bad for PC gaming, it signals the beginning of change – perhaps even a fairly major one. I spoke with Nvidia general manager of cloud gaming Phil Eisler about why he thinks cloud’s set to become the biggest thing in PC gaming within five years – as well as how that stands to be equal parts very good and potentially quite bad.
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