With Virtual Reality not too far off in the distant future, Nvidia has been shifting its focus to include support for this new frontier, tackling the unique challenges that it provides for the gaming market. Recently, they released their recommendations for VR with their current lineup of graphics cards as well as a slew of information on how the whole process of delivering VR from computer to goggles works.
In an interview in PCWatch, a japanese computing website, Jeff Fisher, NVIDIA’s Executive Vice President, talks about growth of the computer gaming industry thanks to the increased interest of E-sports, and lays down information about the difference between rendering graphics for intensive AAA titles versus Virtual Reality games coming down the pipeline.
In short, it works as you would expect: because of the lower graphics levels of MOBAs such as Dota 2 or League of Legends, the hardware requirements are smaller allowing you to achieve 120FPS 1080p to 4K resolution relatively easily. However, if we are to achieve 90FPS 1080p resolution using a VR headset, we need to put up the money to get top-level graphics cards in order to get the most out of our system.
The reasons behind this are detailed in a presentation by Nathan Reed, Developer Technology Engineer at NVIDIA on their GameWorks VR page in which he draws a clear picture. VR requires two identical high-resolution images to be rendered for each eye at 90FPS while keeping latency between the computer and VR system down to at most 20 milliseconds. The hardware requirements of rendering two 1080p scenes alone would bring many but the best systems today to their knees, but add on the FPS and latency requirements and we would be talking about an impossibility. That’s where GameWorks VR comes into play.
Reed writes, “GameWorks VR refers to a package of hardware and software technologies NVIDIA has built to attack those two problems I just mentioned — to reduce latency, and accelerate stereo rendering performance — ultimately to improve the VR experience.”
It’s a good read for those who like to take a look under the hood and understand the how as well as the why on how their systems work, and for those who are preparing for the upcoming future of Virtual Reality.