GeForce RTX 2080 launch live blog: Nvidia's Gamescom press conference as it happened

Nvidia's Gamescom 2018 press conference is now over, and as expected Nvidia showed off its new graphics cards: the GeForce RTX 2070, GeForce RTX 2080 and GeForce RTX 2080 Ti.

The event was held in Cologne, Germany, just before Gamescom 2018 properly starts. It all kicked off at 18:00 CEST (12:00 EDT/09:00 PST/17:00 BST/02:00 Tuesday August 21 AEST).

With the conference over, read on for a blow-by-blow account of a presentation that was pretty unique for a lot of reasons.

Nvidia Gamescom 2018 press conference live blog

All times in Central European Summer Time (CEST)

20:07 - The surprise is that video of the dancing space man and robots. Hmm. And that's a wrap! This has certainly been an interesting presentation. There's been dodgy jokes, moans about leaks, leaks by Nvidia itself, lots of mentions of Ray Tracing and some genuinely exciting tech. We now know the RTX 2070, RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti are real, and they are not going to be cheap. We're now off to try out these cards. Thanks for reading!

20:04 - One more surprise! They have certainly surprised us! But no hard specs at the moment.

20:02 - Nvidia are selling this as a super computer GPU for those prices. Oh, and the prices on stage are different: GeForce RTX 2080 Ti from $999, RTX 2080 from $699, and RTX 2070 from $499. Cheaper, but not by much.

19: 59 - Pre-orders are today, on shelf everywhere September 20.

19:58 - Now they've announced it. 10 years in the making: the GeForce 20 series.

19:55 - Now there's a Battlefield trailer, but who cares? Let's talk about those prices. The GeForce RTX 2080 Ti for $1,199?! That's a hefty price tag there. And the $799 for the RTX 2080 is pretty steep as well. Higher than most of us had guessed or hoped. These are for the Founders Editions though.

19:50 - On stage there's still no mention of the new cards. They are talking about graphics in Battlefield V. Is Nvidia trolling us? What's going on?

19:46 - WAIT A MINUTE Has Nvidia just leaked its own cards on its website? While we are watching this presentation, the website shows GeForce RTX 2080 Ti for $1,199 (AU$1,899), GeForce RTX 2080 for $799 (AU$1,199) and GeForce 2070 for $599 (AU$899). Will ship around September 20. No mention of this in the presentation though. Odd.

19:41 - We're being shown some other games now. We'll get more time with these after the event, all running on Nvidia's new hardware. Looking forward to seeing these effects up close and in real time.

19: 39 - Again, the differences in the quality of the lighting and shadows between the scene with RTX on and off is... night and day (sorry). For dark and gloomy games, this kind of tech will really make things feel realistic and atmospheric.

19:35 - Now on to Metro: Exodus. Third in the post-apocalyptic Metro series. Coming out February 22, 2019. This series has always been impressive when it comes to graphics. Nvidia is showing how light coming in through windows into a dark room. The challenge is to make the shadows look realistic. Also needs to illuminate the rest of the room when light bounces off. This process is known as global illumination. Makes for a brilliantly-atmospheric game.

19:32 - If you want to play Shadow of the Tomb Raider, you'll want to play it on PC with a Turing card. Very impressive. Now we're getting an exclusive trailer. Still not played the second game yet. Maybe I should.

19:30 - This really does look amazing. The lights and the shadows are fantastic. The demo is switching between RTX off and on. The difference is very impressive.

19:26 - Showing off Shadow of the Tomb Raider now. Lara Croft and Nvidia grew up together, apparently. We'll get hands on time with this game later on. In the new game, there's going to be a lot of stalking about in the shadows. RTX platform with Ray Traced Shadows will make this all look amazing.

19:23 - That was on one Turing GPU. And now, they are talking about what this will do for games. YES!!

19:22 - We're shown another demo at 4K at 60Hz. Whatever GPU we're building up to will likely make 4K gaming at 60 frames per second, with graphical settings whacked to max, a reality.

19:20 - Maybe it's because we're hungry, but that GPU looks a lot like a pizza box from where we're sat...

19:17 - Current mood: see tweet above.

19:14 - This is a clip of the SOL demo. It looks great, but will we see this level of graphical fidelity in gameplay - and we don't mean cut scenes?

19:10 - Huang makes a joke then pleads with audience to laugh. I've died slightly inside. I just want to see some new gaming GPUs :(

19:08 - This could be the next industrial revolution, Huang says of neural networks and machine learning.

19:06 - The demo shows a very realistic space marine dancing with robots. The robot looks like a robot. What I'm getting at is that if you want to show off realistic graphics, maybe show something normal, not sci-fi. That's cheating a bit. But it does look good though. But then we've had impressive CGI movies for a long time now.

19:03 - We're going to see a live demo (called Sol) now. Lots of physics, lots of light beams, lots of reflections. It's all going to be very realistic, Huang promises. "Things that look like things". Running on one Turing GPU.

19:02 - This is complicated stuff, but essentially: RTX is going to make graphics look good.

18:58 - People are now clapping colored balls. 2018.

18:57 Game makers, like EA, are loving this tech it seems! "This new Turing GPU is a monster," says Huang.

18:55 - Huang says there are 78 RTX-OPS in Turing vs the Titan X, which has 12. This is all pointing towards Turing-based GPUs being VERY powerful. Could provide some impressively realistic gaming graphics.

18:52 - This is all clever stuff, but I want to see the new GPUs! 

18: 51 - AI can help generate missing pixels - in real time - that is accurate.

18:50 - I hope no one is playing a drinking game where you down a shot every time Huang says "Ray Tracing".

18:48 - Turing allows one GPU to do the work of four DGX super computers. That's a hell of a claim!

18:44 - Now talking about the DGX, the powerful super computer. People wanted it to be a console, so he's made a jokey announcement that you can buy it to play games on. This presentation has been quite big on jokes so far. Hope it will all pay off...

18:41 - We've seen this demo before, and it is impressive. Captain Phasma (from something called Star Wars, which is a film everyone talks about) looks particularly good.

18:38 - Huang is still explaining ray tracing. How it can be used to draw light rays. Nvidia worked with the likes of Microsoft and Epic to create a real time ray tracing demo. Which we saw at GDC.

18:35 - Now talking about RTX Hybrid Rendering and how this works. Definitely think this is going to be called RTX, not GTX. Unless this is another joke.

18:34 - Huang is now taking us through the GPU revolution that Nvidia helped spurn on. It's all about the architecture, he says, and that's why they invented the "Nvidia RTX". 

18:29 - He's getting quite in-depth about light rays. But this week is Gamescom, not Lightcom. What about GAMES?! 

18:26 - Huang called it the GTX 1180, but the crowd - who expected it to be called the RTX 2080 - laughed as if it was a joke. Was it?

18:25 - Despite the leaks, Huang promises everything you've read on the internet so far has been FAKE! Exciting! Maybe we will be surprised.

18:24 Nvidia CEO and founder Jensen Huang has taken to the stage! And started with a joke... I think... about the GTX 1180 launch.

18:23 - Games do look blummin' amazing these days.

18:23 -  Now on to the progression of gaming graphics. We have come a long way. Bigs up the history of GeForce graphics cards, of course.

18:22 - It's begun! Starting with a video looking back at the advancements of ray tracing and computer generated images.

18:18 - Ooh people are being told to sit, it could be beginning soon!

18:16 - More shots of the crowd. The music is wonderful. Really love the music. More music please (not all of this is serious).

18:12 - The livestream is getting a bit weird. Talking about Nvidia marionettes made out of humans or something. Also the presenters keep insisting they are 'excited'. I believed them the first time, but it's getting less convincing...

18:09 - Still waiting for the show to start. Seems to be a bit of a delay. During this time Nvidia is hyping up this 'celebration' HARD on the livestream. Hopefully it won't disappoint...

18:05 - We've got our seat and a wonderful view of what looks like Matrix vomit. Or ray tracing stuff. Something like that.

18:02 - The hall is filling up and we have some lovely totally not annoying music to accompany people searching for their seats. Don't forget you can watch the live stream here, but at the moment it's just showing some awkward interviews.

17:53 - Good news! We're in... where we're queuing some more. Won't be too long until we see what Nvidia has in store for us, though...

16:57 - Just seen this on Twitter. Painfully accurate! Will you be ditching your perfectly capable GTX 1080 Ti for whatever Nvidia show us today? Let us know on Twitter.

16:17 - The queue to get in is getting longer.

16:05 - We are now at the event, which is at the Palladium conference center on the outskirts of Cologne. Not long to go until it starts!

13:00 - Cologne was looking stunning this morning as we took a stroll waiting for Nvidia's event to start. We should get to the venue by about 16:00 local time.

12:05 - Nvidia has been steadily building the hype for this event (see the tweet above), so we're expecting some seriously exciting announcements in just under six hours!

We'll be heading to the venue soon, where we're sure hype levels for the Nvidia's upcoming reveals will reach fever pitch.

Matt Hanson
Managing Editor, Core Tech

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.