It seems the holiday season just kicked off, with Nvidia releasing a game-ready driver to coincide with the release of Call of Duty: Black Ops III this Friday. In addition, the company announced that it would offer a prize pool of over $100,000 worth of graphics cards, games or Shield Android TV boxes for registered GeForce Experience users who download game-ready drivers this holiday season.
Nvidia's new driver, version 358.87, is the latest game-ready driver for Call of Duty: Black Ops III. Nvidia seems to be delivering these crucial drivers earlier than expected lately. The company is also touting that it will continue to deliver game-ready drivers on or before launch day for several upcoming AAA titles including Fallout 4, Assasin’s Creed: Syndicate, Civilization Online, Just Cause 3, Starcraft II: Legacy of the Void, and Star Wars Battlefront, just to name a few.
In addition, Nvidia announced that registered GeForce Experience users who download these game-ready drivers using the company's optimization and video capture program will automatically be eligible to win prizes that include GTX 980ti, GTX 960 and GTX 950 graphics cards, games and Shield TVs. This seems like a pretty sweet deal in exchange for a few minutes of downloading and installing patches, although the frequency of the updates (considering the amount of games coming out this holiday) may make this seem tedious to some.
Nvidia was not specific with the contest terms, simply stating that the company is offering prizes "now" to registered Geforce Experience users. If we had to guess, this contest will persist through the holiday season, likely ending in early January or late December. However, users must download the drivers via the Geforce Experience software while logged in to their Nvidia account to be eligible.
Nvidia's commitment to providing game-ready drivers for AAA game titles for its customer base on or before launch day seems to offer some reassurance to PC enthusiasts, who may feel disenfranchised by the recent slew of painful PC game launches (or in some cases, relaunches) that seem to make day-one performance and compatibility issues an unfortunate expectation.
Although these problems can sometimes be less about driver compatibility and more about shoddy development, it's somewhat comforting to know Nvidia is dedicated to giving its customers the best experience possible for day-one PC game launches. Also, who can resist free swag?
You can download Nvidia's latest driver manually here, but seriously, with the opportunity to win over $100K in prizes, you may want to consider using GeForce Experience if you haven't already.
Updated, 11/5/2015, 1:30pm CT: A change was made to clarify the known contest terms and conditions.
Derek Forrest is an Associate Contributing Writer for Tom’s Hardware and Tom’s IT Pro. PC gaming, graphics hardware and VR devices are among his favorite topics to cover. He is a lifelong PC enthusiast, former IT administrator and a custom PC builder with a penchant for creating music, voice acting and all things geek.