Nvidia takes on Google with cloud-gaming service

Yolanda Curtis
February 5, 2020

NVIDIA is hitting the ground running with this, offering two different service tiers for gamers looking to stream their PC libraries. If it's a PC game you can probably play it via GeForce Now. Games still have to be approved and added to the service by Nvidia, but as long as you own the game in question already, there's no extra charge to play it on GeForce Now. This single fact lowers the barrier of entry to game streaming significantly because users can purchase games during Steam or Origin sales instead of paying full price for those same games on Stadia or the Playstation Store.

If you were a beta member for GeForce now, you'll find your account automatically upgraded to the free plan. You therefore log into your digital store accounts through GeForce Now and can play any of 1,000s of games without actually having to download them. Whereas, for £4.99 / $4.99 / €5.49 per month (for the first 12 months), Founders get to up the specs to RTX GeForce graphics - including ray-tracing - and greatly extend their play sessions. In return, your gaming sessions will be extended up to six hours, and you'll be able to enjoy games with Nvidia's RTX graphics. Paid members also get priority access to the servers. With Stadia, you are stuck playing the free-to-play games that come with a premium membership or buying new games through the Stadia marketplace.

GeForce Now, the cloud gaming service from PC hardware manufacturer Nvidia, has officially exited its beta testing, with both free and paid memberships now available worldwide.

The free version of Nvidia GeForce Now is restricted to one hour's play at a time.

The $4.99 plan gets you priority access, longer gaming sessions, and real-time ray tracing for eligible games.

Following years of testing, Nvidia announced on Tuesday that anyone can try out the service for free, without needing to join a wait list.

Despite that low barrier of entry, Nvidia's placement in the game streaming space is especially interesting as in theory this will offer some of the highest quality possible, also. In order to stream in 720p at 60fps, you'll need at least a 15Mbps connection; streaming at 1080p60, on the other hand, requires a 25Mbps connection. GeForce Now currently supports more than 500 games.

Analyst Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights & Strategy expects the cloud gaming market to grow exponentially over the next five years as giants like Alphabet Inc's Google, Microsoft and Nvidia enter the market with acceptable experiences.

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