Until now, any game developer wishing to access Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) performance enhancer had to apply for access. But Nvidia has chosen to be a benevolent graphics god and has released the latest SDK without restrictions. AMD did the same last week, releasing FidelityFX Super Resolution technology (or FSR to its friends) as a free download.
This means that the two biggest leaps in overall gaming performance are free for everyone to use (even me). I’m waiting for the tweet from the first developer to implement both in the game at the same time, and warn us about the graphics they’ve released.
60 games currently have DLSS support, the latest addition is Red Dead Redemption 2, and it’s still a big deal when a game implements it. Who would not want a free performance boost if you have relevant hardware? Anecdotally, I saw a developer talking about downloading the SDK on Twitter. A few hours later, they tweeted that they had implemented it in their game. I kick myself for losing the tweet. It feels like we’re about to enter a new era where these things are just part of PC gaming.
In addition to this, DLSS now naturally supports Linux. Previously, it was limited to Proton-supported titles, such as Doom Eternal, but the latest SDK adds support for native Linux games. And just to show off, they’ve also started supporting beam tracking on ARM-based systems. Nvidia is currently trying to acquire the CPU manufacturer. If they end up with the chip maker as a partner, ARM chips can move out of their current phone and Chromebook shells into real gaming laptops.
I think I can mark this post on my calendar to be read in five years from now. I have no idea what the future of PC gaming will look like, but the last few months have given us a handheld Steam Deck PC with a Linux kernel and AMD inside. I would not be surprised to see a proper Nvidia-based variant somewhere down the line.