Nvidia made quite a show this week, by announcing that GeForce Now finally left beta. For uninitiated, GeForce Now is a cloud gaming service that allows you to play the newest titles by streaming them on your computer.
How Does This Work?
As we said, GeForce Now is a cloud gaming service. This is a process in which you run games virtually through a top-of-the-line computer located somewhere in Nvidia's data centers. Many games are supported, but you will have to first buy them on Steam, or other gaming stores. GeForce Now lets you choose between Free and Founders Subscription. We personally believe that Founders is a way to go as, for just $5 a month, you will get ray-tracing support and lower latency. Furthermore, your gaming sessions can last up to 6 hours, compared to 1 in free pack. Once it stops you are free to join again, but you will probably have to wait in a queue. Both Founders and Free options provide you with 1080p streaming and gaming experience.
History Of GeForce Now
GeForce Now was present in some way, shape, or form for quite a while. It all started with Nvidia's Grid beta in 2013, whose purpose was to improve on Shield, Nvidia's streaming media device. Gradually, service transformed into GeForce Now and enter PC beta back in 2017. With 7 years of experience, it ain't wonder why it's performing much better than Google's counterpart.
GeForce Now Limitations
Cloud gaming service like this sounds like a dream come true for many players with subpar equipment. However, there are some limitations that you should be aware of.
- Higher LatencyYou can expect that latency your latency will always higher, compared to the player's gaming from their local computer. In most cases, this isn't really drastic, but it does give some advantage to another player.
- Not All Popular Games Are Available For GeForce Now to work, the game needs to be available for streaming, and some of the biggest publishers are still reluctant to give it a go. This list includes giants like Rockstar, EA, Capcom, and Square Enix. However, this doesn't mean that popular games like GTA or Kingdom Hearts 3 won't be available someday. Still, compared to its competitor Google Stadia, Nvidia's service offers a much richer library of gaming titles (over 400 titles)
- Slow Loading
Some of the games are only available via single session installs. This means that you'll need to install them every time before playing. This might take a while.
- Requires Good Internet ConnectionIf you want to stream the newest titles in 1080p 60fps, you will need to have an internet speed of at least 100 Mbps. However, you can also use a recommended default which is much more forgiving. If you have a low data cap, this will also help you save some bandwidth.
How Does It Compare To Google Stadia?
Nvidia's service is currently much better in nearly every aspect.
- It offers nearly 20 times more games at half a subscription price
- The servers also feature quicker GPUs and there is ray-tracing support
- Google Stadia requires you to spend $130 to activate the service, while GeForce Now is basically free
- Google Stadia doesn't have session limits, so you can play indefinitely
The bottom line is, GeForce Now is currently way ahead of its competition. If more studios join, Nvidia might dominate the Western cloud gaming market in years to come.