The innovative minds at Nvidia have made a name for themselves as PC innovators by providing top of the line GPUs and ground breaking ways to increase computer efficiency. They have been working on more than a few surprises since we last saw them, but the biggest news that came out of the VRX 2015 conference and expo was how Nvidia is helping make the world VR ready.
As we get closer to launch, some of the most trusted brands are gearing up to take on the mysterious date of Q1 2016, and consumers are beginning to wonder which one they should buy. You can spend all day reciting the differences between Facebook’s Oculus and the HTC Vive by Valve, but the fact of the matter is that without a proper GPU and a machine that can support it, players will be stuck in the mundane world around them.
GameWorks VR is the latest software innovation from Nvidia, and it’s designed to get you the most out of your virtual experience. GameWorks is a software development kit that is designed to be directly implemented into the Unreal Engine 4. The beauty of this software is in it’s comprehensive components, but the genius behind it is that players could spend all day looking at pictures and videos of demoes using Gameworks technology, and not even register what it is.
With GameWorks, Nvidia has created a new tool called, Multi-Res Shading. Multi-res shading is the process of combining multiple levels of resolution into a single cohesive image. In video games, your eye is typically going to be looking at the center of the screen.
Shooting games, platformers, basically every game you play follows this logic. With that in mind, multi-res shading then focuses a majority of the GPU’s power towards rendering the center of the screen. From there, the outer edges of the screen are still rendered in a high definition quality, except that they are able to compress pixels and the information in them so that the less important parts of the screen, require less power to render.
The result is impossible to identify, but makes a world of difference. The technology was developed for virtual reality, the point being to reserve most of the GPU’s strength to stabilizing the framerate and keeping a steady level of immersion into the world. From there the developers divided the screen into sections, with a single large square in the middle to represent where the player is looking.
This method of rendering a virtual world was discovered in the midst of a virtual experience. The curved lenses that bring people into VR create some of the most incredible images that are formatted specifically for your eyes, however, as you look around, the lenses distort the edges of the image in order to create “perspective”.
The question from there then became, “If i’m not looking there, and I can’t see it anyway, do I really need it?”, the simple answer being no. Despite the numerous advancements that have been made with VR, the technology is still in its relative infancy.
VR now currently requires about 7x the amount of computing power than a standard game. This results in the necessity of Nvidia’s new GTX 970 GPU as an entry level into VR. This becomes especially true when considering that any frame rate below 90fps can result in a nauseating experience, no matter how immune you are to motion sickness.
Every megabit counts when rendering the most immersive virtual experience to date, and the Multi-res shading is a way to cut corners without corners. It’s the equivalent of eating healthy in order to feel healthy, or taking the short route as opposed to the scenic route. Game works VR aims to create the same high quality virtual experience, except in the most efficient way possible.
Nvidia is one of the driving forces behind Virtual Reality, and with their help, it can become a global experience. Nvidia is ready for the virtual revolution, and they want to help you get there.Some of our posts include links to online retail stores. We get a small cut if you buy something through one of our links. Don't worry, it doesn't cost you anything extra.