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Thread: Nvidia plans to lock Game Ready drivers behind GeForce Experience registration

  1. #1
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    Nvidia plans to lock Game Ready drivers behind GeForce Experience registration

    Nvidia plans to lock Game Ready drivers behind GeForce Experience registration

    Nvidia’s pushing out a new beta version of its slick GeForce Experience software Thursday, building atop the awesome update from last month that lets you play local co-op games with your faraway friends—even if they don’t have gaming machines.

    The update adds the ability to broadcast your games to both Twitch and YouTube Gaming at a buttery-smooth 60 frames per second at 1080p resolution. You can now stream games from your GeForce-equipped PC to an Nvidia Shield device at up to 60 fps at 4K resolution, and that’s with 5.1-channel surround sound, too. It’s all wonderful stuff, pushing Nvidia’s class-leading GeForce Experience software even further out in front of the competition, especially if you’re all-in on Nvidia’s ecosystem.

    But what’s coming today isn’t the real news, even if it’s welcome news. The real news is what’s coming in December—or rather, what’s not coming after December.

    Of drivers and single-source destinations

    One of the key weapons in Nvidia’s arsenal against AMD is its deluge of Game Ready drivers. Virtually every major PC game release in the past two years has been accompanied by a day one, WHQL-certified Game Ready driver from Nvidia, designed to make the latest and greatest games run wonderfully on GeForce graphics cards. They’re great!

    Sometime in mid-December, however, you’ll be able to install Game Ready drivers only via GeForce Experience—and even then only after you’ve registered a verified email address with Nvidia. The drivers you can grab on GeForce.com or via Windows Update will be limited to quarterly releases for bug fixes, new features, security updates and so on. More frequent Game Ready drivers will be GFE-only.

    Locking performance-enhancing drivers that have always been freely available behind a registration wall chafes—hard—but Nvidia says the change will reduce headaches for both casual and hardcore gamers, as well as continue to push GeForce Experience as a go-to PC gaming solution.

    “We kind of have two camps in terms of gamers,” Nvidia’s Sean Pelletier said in a group call with journalists. “On one hand you have the gamer that’s just casually playing things here and there, using their system for daily use and gaming on the side. They don’t want to be inundated with these [Game Ready] drivers…

    “On the other side of the equation you have enthusiast gamers, who get excited about preloading a game, who want to play a game the day it comes out with all the bells and whistles,” Pelletier continued. “That’s obviously the demographic we’re looking at for Game Ready drivers. We’re targeting GFE as a single-source destination for those gamers.”

    GeForce Experience has long functioned as a control hub of sorts for Nvidia users, offering one-click game optimization, easy driver downloads, the impressive Shadowplay video capture tool, the ability to stream PC games to Shield devices, and more. It’s great!—just like Nvidia’s Game Ready drivers. But while Nvidia reps tried to downplay the upcoming registration requirement by pointing out that “mid- to high-90 percent” of Nvidia owners already apply updates via GeForce Experience, the fact stands that currently, you can bask in all those value-adding features—and drivers—without ever having to register with Nvidia or officially log into GFE.

    Nvidia plans to add more functionality to GFE in its quest to make the software a “single-source destination” for PC gamers, however. PC gaming news will make its way into GeForce Experience, as well as hardware giveaways and early access to games. It’s easy to envision Nvidia leveraging GeForce Experience to pass out codes for beta access to games, rather than relying on website-based giveaways as it did with the recent Rainbow Six Siege beta. One day, the free games that Nvidia bundles with its cards could even conceivably be delivered via GFE, similar to how Nvidia offered free Witcher 3 copies to Titan X owners earlier this year. Game-based goodies like that would basically require you to log in to register, anyway—as they have in the past.

    But locking Game Ready drivers away unless you hand over your email address to Nvidia just feels icky—like an overreach that benefits Nvidia more than actual gamers. Alas, most gamers will likely wind up handing over the info, even if they grumble. The allure of Nvidia’s delicious Game Ready drivers is just too great, and once you’ve already invested in a Green Team graphics card, you’re likely to stick with it for a few years before upgrading. You can’t leave performance on the table for that long.

    And it certainly feels like Nvidia knows it.

  2. #2
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    Re: Nvidia plans to lock Game Ready drivers behind GeForce Experience registration

    This is another example of why reverse engineering being legal is extremely important. Everyone benefits, even the manufacturer as it expands how many people can use their products. Lawyers are rather intent of fucking up engineering though and hamstringing US innovation. Some countries have already made mere possession of debugging tools a criminal activity.

  3. #3

    Re: Nvidia plans to lock Game Ready drivers behind GeForce Experience registration

    I guess the question comes is does a game ready driver really benefit. Since they still plan to release quarterly drivers with actual bug fixes. Has anybody used a game ready driver and seen a change from before and after.
    "When you name your baby Jeeves...you've pretty much set up his career for life. You don't see many Hit Men, for example, named Jeeves. "Pardon me sir, but I must wack you now."
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    Re: Nvidia plans to lock Game Ready drivers behind GeForce Experience registration

    Quote Originally Posted by FilanFyretracker View Post
    I guess the question comes is does a game ready driver really benefit. Since they still plan to release quarterly drivers with actual bug fixes. Has anybody used a game ready driver and seen a change from before and after.
    I don't expect vendors to support every platform. They don't need to. But, I would appreciate if they stopped acting insanely paranoid and made supporting their product less difficult or actively sabotaging efforts to do so through litigation and abusing the DMCA. I don't mind writing a driver for a quality product that is a better fit in a given context but it is made way harder than it has to be. Even when relevant documentation is provided it is rarely current or completely correct. It would be very helpful if the relevant companies would support tech that made reimplementing drivers across platforms unnecessary. It's a tremendous waste of everyone's time and the cause of many exploits.

    Only a handful of vendors provide open documentation for their products, and usually only a very narrow selection of them.

  5. #5
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    Re: Nvidia plans to lock Game Ready drivers behind GeForce Experience registration

    Am I the only one that uses a spam email address to register for all this shit?
    "Complaining is the modern metagame" - BNet forums

  6. #6
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    Re: Nvidia plans to lock Game Ready drivers behind GeForce Experience registration

    Quote Originally Posted by Nadiar View Post
    Am I the only one that uses a spam email address to register for all this shit?
    It's pretty much required or making use of smart filters where possible. I signed up for something on Alibaba completely misunderstanding what the language meant and am still getting e-mails from people (2 years later) thinking I need bulk orders of a product and want to setup a manufacturing deal.

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