After a low-key AMD keynote that didn’t really scratch any of our gaming itches, it was down to Nvidia’s keynote following immediately to fly the flag for excitement.
After the 2020 Nvidia managed with its well-publicized stock shortages, they were looking to get off to a flyer in 2021.
Did they manage it?
Well, the short answer is, kind of. There was a nod to stock shortages at the start but as nearly twice the number of viewers that AMD drew live on YouTube just before it, it shows that Nvidia hasn’t lost the crowd just yet.
Nvidia began by rightly shouting about it’s RTX and DLSS technology that looks as though it is actually beginning to shape gaming graphics as we know them.
Trailers for Outsiders followed before news of a new Five Nights at Freddy’s with RTX to make the jump scares better lit than ever before!
This was never really going to be full of launches with many of the expected announcements leaked ahead of time, but there was an interesting (albeit short) section about Nvidia’s relatively new Reflex technology that helps remove the latency from competitive esports titles with the correct monitor. Nvidia has now tied up seven of the top 10 competitive games in the world to include this new tech, but that’s all well and good if you haven’t been able to get a compatible monitor in the variety you wanted.
In a move to stop this from being a problem, Nvidia announced five new Reflex compatible displays from Acer, AOC, and ASUS. No word on price as yet but there are 1440p and Ultrawide options in the mix so hopefully we will start seeing this technology begin to spread a bit further into the wild.
We then got confirmation of the RTX 3070 which has been mooted for a while following the launch of the 3060 TI but at a price of $329 and supposedly available from next month this is the cheapest way to get an Ampere card in your rig – and for the cost of $70 less than the TI iteration.
At that price, it would seem silly to hand onto any 10 series card and possibly the occasion 20 series one too.
With nothing new to really shout about, Nvidia still managed to pull off a relatively exciting showcase and saved the thrilling world of mobile GPUs until last with an announcement that, well everybody knew was coming, for the 3080, 3070, and 3060 Mobility GPUs that will start appearing in high-end gaming laptops and notebooks in the very near future.
We are hopeful that these new chips will finally bring the dream of being able to play hugely intensive AAA titles such as Cyberpunk and Microsoft Flight Simulator while on the go. Indeed the whole shebang finished with a demo of Fight Sim playing out on a laptop.
It’s been a tough 12 months for hardware companies and they will be hoping to get some kind of normality back into their supply chains this year. Whether they will manage it or not remains to be seen, but if they do it will be a good year for gaming all around.