In an attempt to improve what can be a spotty experience for users of itscloud gaming service for PC and Mac, Nvidia’s launching a “recommended router” program with gaming router makers.
The aim is to embed optimized quality-of-service settings for GFN in the device’s firmware and automatically load them when GFN launches. It’s not adding any new capabilities, it’s just saving you from having to master network skills to make sure your Fortnite battles take priority over your roommate’s Netflix binges.
The first compatible router has actually been out for about a month: Ubiquiti’s Amplifi HD Gamer’s Edition. There will also be firmware upgrades available for current gaming routers and expansion beyond the US and Canada, in early 2019. New partners include Asus, D-Link, Netgear, Razer, TP-Link and more.
Network latency and congestion are the biggest drags on cloud gaming. It doesn’t matter if you have a 500-Mbps connection if the packets of data have a 120-ms gap between them. And too much variability in the speed or strength with which they’re delivered can result in a miserable experience.
Nvidia (like other services) analyzes the quality of your connection before starting, but that’s just a snapshot. The connection can get unusably bad at any point during a game.
Nvidia hasn’t even formally launched GFN yet — it’s still in invite-only beta, and has been for over a year — and we still don’t know how much it will cost. Maybe this is a sign that Nvidia’s finally getting ready to roll it out for real. Maybe at CES?