After 2 years of beta testing, Nvidia has finally officially launched its GeForce Now games streaming service, and it even comes with a free tier for you to try it out.
The service which aims to compete against rivals such as Microsoft's xCloud and Google Stadia provides you with the opportunity to play various games, no matter what hardware you're running. A form of cloud-based computing, it means that everything from your low spec PC to a smartphone or Mac can play the most high-end games, providing your internet connection is up to streaming it.
Instead of having its own library of cloud games like Google Stadia, Nvidia is going with a different method. It allows you to use your existing Steam, Uplay, Battle.Net, and Epic accounts to play games you already own via the service. Basically, you're paying for access to Nvidia's virtual machines rather than particular games.
Two tiers of service are available: Free and Founders. The free tier is aimed at those users who want to see if the service is fro them. You get an hour's gaming session before being bumped back to a queue to rejoin the game at a later point. Subscribe via the Founders package and you can play for up to 6 hours before being sent to a queue. Even once in the queue, you'll enjoy priority access and be moved along a bit faster than Free account holders.
Founders also benefit from being able to experience ray tracing too. There are only a few games that currently support it on the service - Wolfenstein: Youngblood, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Metro Exodus, and Deliver Us The Moon - but more games should be added in future. The Founders tier is currently available as a 90-day free trial before it costs £4.99 per month for 12 months so it's not a bad deal at all.
The catch? There are a couple of caveats. For one thing, don't expect 4K streaming with 1080p being the most you should expect. There's also the matter that not every game on a digital store is catered for, although Nvidia does state there are thousands available, and it covers most of what you would expect.
More importantly of all, you need a solidly reliable internet connection. Rather optimistically, the minimum system requirements cite a 15 Mbps internet connection but really, you're going to need more than that to avoid issues. Still, that's where the free tier is well worth a try so you can see just how well your setup can cope with it.
Other than that, requirements are very low. Pretty much any PC running Windows 7 or above will work, along with any Mac running macOS 10.10 or higher, and any Android phone running Android 5.0 or above.
It's certainly worth giving a try to at least see how your connection holds up. You can join now at the GeForce Now website.
February 17 2020 | 09:00