How Will NVIDIA’s GTC 2021 Event Address Games Tech?

Ever since the launch of their exceedingly popular RTX 30 series GPUs last September, NVIDIA has had its hands full keeping up with demand. For that reason alone, it’s hard to imagine the Santa Clara, CA-based tech giant would have a fresh round of gaming-centered hardware to announce at the company upcoming GPU Technology Conference (GTC) this year. And given the news and announcements leading up to the show, it seems games-related news and content will take a backseat this year.

In NVIDIA’s announcements leading up to GTC 2021, the focus is on accelerated computing and artificial intelligence (AI), The keynote from NVIDIA’s CEO and founder Jensen Huang is going to focus on sharing “the company’s vision for computing that scales from the edge to the data center to the cloud.” Under the keynote, scientists focused on AI who will be speaking have the spotlight, followed by a parade of other industry luminaries across a wide range of fields.

Some of the highlighted speakers speaking at GTC 2021, from the conference homepage (Image: E4G)

Data science, AI, and accelerated computing — while important in so many technologies and can also absolutely affect the performance and capability of games — aren’t necessarily centered on game development and optimization.

AI is at a tipping point where it can help games offer more realistic non-player characters (NPCs), enemies that can learn from and adapt to your play style, language processing, and many other aspects that can make games feel more real and believable. This recent story from GamesRadar+ delves deep into the future of AI in games. So, the key topics at GTC may be of interest to game developers, given the potential that AI has.

But if you want to find games content at the GTC website without having to sift for the potential value, you have to dig a little bit to land on the topic of gaming, which is nested under “Explore Other Conference Topics” in another section. There are still plenty of game development and related topics — and with 1,400 talks planned for GTC 2021, a lot of territory can be covered.

For games, NVIDIA’s offering getting started with ray tracing in game development, using NVIDIA tools to optimize games, and content creation in Omniverse, a multi-GPU, real-time simulation, and collaboration platform.

Here’s a few of the featured speakers and talks NVIDIA’s highlighted in the games category:

  • Creating A Next Generation 3D Workflow | Amy Bunszel, EVP, Autodesk
  • Bringing Sniper Elite 4 to Nintendo Switch | Arden Aspinall, Studio Head, Rebellion North
  • The Next Level of Optimization Advice with Nsight Graphics: GPU Trace | Dana Elifaz, Team Lead Manager – GPU Trace, NVIDIA
  • Ray Tracing in One Weekend | Peter Shirley, Distinguished Scientist, NVIDIA |
  • RTXDI: Details on Achieving Real-time Performance | Chris Wyman, Principal Research Scientist, NVIDIA

NVIDIA’s GTC will be hosted digitally from April 12-16, with conference passes offered free. To get more info, drop on in at the GTC website.