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Is Nvidia's GeForce Now cloud gaming worth it? – PCWorld

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Nvidia’s GeForce Now is a cloud streaming service that targets the current weak spot in the market: hardware availability and pricing. Essentially, you pay a subscription fee for the ability to use Nvidia’s “Superpod” computers to stream games from your library in lieu of having a physical GPU in your PC at home. The company recently announced an RTX 3080 tier, which claims lower latency and ray tracing–enabled performance. We will discuss how it works, potential drawbacks, and price. The technology is very exciting, but can it replace a real GPU during the great shortage? Let’s find out!
By utilizing “Superpod” computers with 1,000 GPUs in each (if you opt for the top RTX 3080 tier), Nvidia leverages cloud streaming to allow you to access your game libraries (such as Steam, Epic games, etc.) You can play on a variety of devices, too. Old Apple Macbook? Sure, that works. How about an old clunker PC with a 5-year-old GPU? That’s fine, too. Even your browser can now be a powerful PC! Essentially, this is “Hardware as a service,” in contrast to software as a service such as what we’re used to with Netflix, et al.
Nvidia
What are your options? Nvidia offers a free basic tier, which limits you to one-hour sessions and entry-level hardware. You can upgrade to the Priority tier, which will cost you $49.99 for six months. With this, you get extended sessions of six hours, and more powerful RTX 2080–level hardware. You’ll max out at around 1080p, 60fps. The new RTX 3080 tier will cost $99 for six months, but you’ll be upgraded to 1440p 120fps on most devices. With an Nvidia Shield, you’ll even be able to do 4K with HDR! Eight-hour sessions are allotted for the long-haul gamers here, as well.
Streaming RTX 3000–level GPU performance sure sounds a lot easier than waiting days in line at your local store to pick one up, doesn’t it? Let’s examine the pros and cons for the service:
Pro: Entry-level GPUs carry a massive price premium during this GPU shortage, so $49.99 for six months to rock 2080-level hardware is comparatively a good deal. The $99/six-months RTX 3080 tier will allow gamers to experience ray tracing and even 4K HDR, which is a relative bargain compared to real RTX 3080 pricing (nearly double to triple the MSRP currently).
Con: This is hardware as a service; you’re paying a subscription fee to use a virtual GPU. That makes resale value of traditional hardware out of the equation. You must weigh this against the cheaper upfront costs and added value.  
Pro: GeForce Now works on a large spectrum of existing systems. You’ll be able to run it on Apple Macbooks, old PCs, and even mobile devices or browsers. That is excellent flexibility and saves you tremendous cost on acquiring other supporting hardware that traditionally accompanies a high-end GPU (such as high-performance CPUs, RAM, etc).
Con: The technology isn’t perfect. The biggest issue here will be with your internet connection and latency. For the top RTX 3080 tier, Nvidia recommends at least a 35Mbps connection for smooth performance. Issues with lag, disconnects, and low-resolution buffering are all facts of life on cloud streaming services if you have internet issues. While the RTX 3080 tier leverages a more powerful “rig,” and Nvidia utilizes lower-latency technology, you’ll get the best experience with fast internet.
Nvidia
Pro: You’ll be able to stream your game library, with over 1,000 games supported. If you’ve been building up your Steam collection over the years, GeForce Now will give you access. There are also over 70 free game titles available so you can jump right in!
Con: Not every game you own will be supported, and some game types are not well suited for cloud gaming. E-sport and competitive shooter games, which do best under the lowest latency possible, may not be ideal. They’ll be playable, but keep in mind that for best performance you’ll want a physical GPU for these types of titles. Single player and more casual open-world games should be fine, however.
Pro: If you have a solid internet connection, you’ll be able to play the latest AAA titles with high graphical fidelity, ray tracing, and generally good performance. You’ll also forgo having to deal with hardware issues and driver updates that accompany high-end GPUs. Most importantly, you’ll also stop worrying about the current GPU shortage and ridiculously pricing.
Con: If your internet goes out, then you’ll be out of luck for that gaming period. You also won’t have the ability to overclock or modify your hardware if you’re an enthusiast. This may be a sigh of relief for some who just want to get straight to gaming, however.
Thiago Trevisan/IDG
During this historic GPU drought, Nvidia’s GeForce Now is certainly an emerging technology that can add great value for those who want to game on capable hardware. The technology can be impressive with the ability to stream ray-traced games at 1440p and 120fps. For many gamers, this service is worth a try. It may even be a great way to keep yourself gaming while waiting for the GPU market to come back to normal. Hardcore gamers may still prefer a physical GPU, however—that’s where the best performance will be, as well as endless tinkering ability. (Plus, you’ll own the hardware —an important point for some who won’t want a subscription service).
While the underpinning technology is impressive, keep in mind it’s not always perfect, with real-world issues on the end-user side. You’ll need good internet and low latency to have a great experience, especially with the RTX 3080 tier. While we don’t think the eight-hour session limits on the top tier will be an issue for most, these are the types of limitations that you must keep in mind with a service like this.
In an ideal world, high-performance GPUs would be available at their MSRP pricing, and most gamers would have access to modern improvements in technology. Considering the current market, GeForce Now is a reasonable alternative for those who want to experience next-level gaming at a more reasonable upfront cost. Some may even prefer to use a service like this in lieu of getting a GPU to stay on the bleeding edge.
Could PC hardware go extinct like the dodo bird, or Blockbuster Video? Unlikely, but with improving technology, streaming can certainly be an interesting option. If latency standards continue to improve, and Nvidia keeps offering value for the subscription fee, it may even attract more hardcore gamers, GPU shortages or not. We’d love to see something like Xbox Game Pass offered, where you’d get great AAA-level games that you can keep in your library. (In addition to the free titles offered already.) It’s great to have options—especially during our current GPU market. You can choose to game on physical hardware or get your head in the clouds!
Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.
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Ubisoft NFTs, called 'Digits', launch for in-game items – BBC News

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Game titan Ubisoft has announced its new system to bring NFTs to its in-game items, starting this week.
Non-fungible tokens have exploded in popularity, and are widely used for digital art collectibles.
Ubisoft's system – called "Digits" – will be offered as in-game digital items with one-of-a-kind serial numbers, which can be bought and sold.
Critics argue NFTs are bad for the environment, while offering little benefit over traditional systems.
Ubisoft – famous for games such as the Assassin's Creed, Far Cry and Rainbow Six series – is the most significant game developer and publisher to launch an NFT project yet.
The company claims it has addressed the environmental problems associated with blockchain technology.
Its in-game NFTs will be stored on the Tezos blockchain, which it claims is far more energy-efficient than other options.
But the use of NFTs in gaming remains controversial, with many players and designers believing they are only considered as a way to make money, rather than providing players with any benefit.
Ubisoft's first batch of Digits will launch with "limited editions" – of a fixed number of in-game digital items – for the company's game Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Breakpoint, on Thursday. They can be paid for with crypto-currency, but only in the launch countries of USA, Canada, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Australia and Brazil.
Many games – especially free-to-play ones such as the popular Fortnite or Warzone titles – make a large chunk of their money through selling in-game cosmetic items or "skins" that change the look of characters or items.
Ubisoft is applying the NFT technology to this game mechanic, and calling its overall ecosystem "Quartz".
NFTs are always unique in some way, but in-game cosmetics are identical for every player who gets a copy. Ubisoft's solution is to put a unique serial number on these digital items.
In one example shown by the company, a digital helmet worn by a character appears to have a serial number "stamped in" to the metal in its appearance – a number Ubisoft says will be different for every owner.
That serial number will be visible in-game to other players, and each player can only own one of each "Digit" NFT, Ubisoft said.
These Digits can then be bought and sold with crypto-currency like any other token on the blockchain – even for those who do not own or play Ubisoft's games. The items will also list previous owners in-game, it said.
"With Digits, items are no longer bound to a player's game inventory since they can be put on sale for other eligible players to acquire on third-party platforms outside of the Ubisoft ecosystem," it said.
But it is unlikely the items would ever be able to be used in non-Ubisoft games.
Some NFTs give the original creator a "cut" of the sale every time it changes hands. Ubisoft has not said if it has set up the system in that way.
The company is characterising the entire release as a "large-scale experiment" and says it has been exploring blockchain technology for four years.
Ubisoft says it is using the Tezos blockchain because it requires "exceedingly less energy" than other systems used to mine Bitcoin or Ethereum crypto-currencies.
Traditional crypto-systems use what's called "proof of work" which involves powerful computers doing extremely intense calculations to verify transactions. Tezos uses a different system, called "proof of stake".
But the whole idea of including NFTs in games is controversial in itself, despite interest from another large gaming firm, EA.
Steam, the largest PC gaming platform, has banned NFT and blockchain games from being listed on its store – which resulted in the removal of some early NFT-based games.
One popular Twitter thread from a game designer on the topic, arguing that NFTs "are harmful to games" and that things are not "made any easier or better by building them with NFTs and blockchain tech", has been retweeted thousands of times.
The trading of cosmetic items for real money has also been proven to work without blockchain technology – by Steam, which released a system for buying and selling in-game skins in 2012.
But Ubisoft said its NFT system is a first step towards "developing a true metaverse". The metaverse concept sometimes includes the idea of digitally-owned items transferring between different digital worlds. Some enthusiasts believe NFTs offer a clear mechanic for doing so.
"Our long-term efforts led us to understand how blockchain's decentralised approach could genuinely make players stakeholders of our games, in a way that is also sustainable for our industry, placing back into their hands the value they generate through the time they spend, the items they buy or the content they create online," argued Nicolas Pouard from Ubisoft's innovation team.
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This Custom Miles Morales PS5 Controller Looks Incredible – GLITCHED

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A custom Spider-Man: Miles Morales PS5 DualSense controller is making the rounds online, and it looks incredible. Created by digital artist Giuseppe Spinelli in collaboration with LetsGoDigital, the striking controller is simply a concept artwork that coincidentally arrived with the launch of the first trailer for Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse (Part One).
The Miles Morales-themed DualSense controller was originally created to celebrate the launch of Insomniac’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales on the PS5, but only surfaced recently. Spinelli also revealed that he had been working with airbrush artist Enrico Bertagnoli (aka Berta) to create more Spider-Man themed PS5 controllers too, apart from this Miles Morales controller.
This custom Miles Morales PS5 DualSense sports a striking red and black web design around the frame of the controller, with the game’s slogan “Be Yourself” plastered on the touchpad. The lighting around the touchpad was even changed to a more thematic red instead of the usual blue. The controller was made as a showcase piece, since it’s not actually a licensed Sony product (though it would be great if PlayStation took a few hints). Check out the images below:
Custom Miles Morales PS5 DualSense Controller SpinelliCustom Miles Morales PS5 DualSense Controller Spinelli
Custom Miles Morales PS5 DualSense Controller SpinelliCustom Miles Morales PS5 DualSense Controller Spinelli
Custom Miles Morales PS5 DualSense Controller SpinelliCustom Miles Morales PS5 DualSense Controller Spinelli
Custom Miles Morales PS5 DualSense Controller SpinelliCustom Miles Morales PS5 DualSense Controller Spinelli
Unfortunately, the controller is not for sale right now. Spinelli and LetsGoDigital aren’t entirely against the idea of mass producing them in bulk, though it comes with its own set of issues. Thanks to a combination of supply chain issues and having to painstakingly paint each controller manually, it will not exactly be cheap or speedily available. Alternatively, you can DM or email Berta on his social media channels if you’re interested in getting your hands on one. It’s not entirely guaranteed, though.
The few custom Miles Morales controllers that Spinelli and Berta did create are currently being preserved as memorabilia, with one of them residing in Bonami Gaming Console Museum in The Netherlands.

Source: Giuseppe Spinelli
Writer | Geek | Aspiring Novelist | Will probably ruin your kitchen | Legend has it Sam beat Dark Souls while skydiving (he didn’t)



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Heat vs. Grizzlies: How to watch NBA online, TV channel, live stream info, game time – CBS Sports

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