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NVIDIA's GeForce Now game streaming service has finally left the beta

By Kenneth Ang - on 6 Feb 2020, 4:15pm

NVIDIA's GeForce Now game streaming service has finally left the beta

Let's face it. Game streaming services aren't something gamers typically associate with NVIDIA. Indeed, if the name ever popped up in conversation, most of us would instantly start thinking about graphics cards instead.

So, it's only natural that many people wouldn't even be aware of the little game streaming project that NVIDIA has got going on backstage for the past eight years. Surprise, surprise - it's actually a thing.

Aptly named GeForce NOW, the service, which has both free and paid subscription packages (from US$5/month), essentially allows users to play their existing games on any compatible system. Putting it into perspective, you'll be able to take your copy of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice that's on your gaming desktop at home and continue playing it almost instantly on your best friend's Android phone. Look at it this way: you're just plugging a virtual GeForce graphics card into the said device to play your games, with the backstage work of having Steam, Epic Store, Uplay and so on already sorted out for you.

Functionally, it's a little different from rivals like Google's Stadia, since you're not forking out money to play a preset repertoire of games, but rather taking your current games everywhere you go. While it's important to note that the streaming quality for GeForce NOW might not be as good as Stadia's at its highest settings, I'd rather have slightly lower quality than be forced to start a mission from scratch. Wouldn't you? Also, the games in your "cloud desktop" are constantly patched in real-time, so no more waiting for hefty updates when you're just itching to play a match or two of Fortnite.

Still, this holy grail for convenience-loving gamers isn't perfect. It still has a rather big turn-off (for me at least) in the form of a time limit. It's sort of like how an Internet cafe works. You pay for the service and enjoy your gaming session as per normal, up till the time limit expires (1 hour for the free package and 6 hours for the $5/month "Founder" package), after which you'll have to sit quietly on the waiting list until another session is available for you. Additionally, while NVIDIA already has a rather impressive list of games that work with the service, it's still missing content from some of the more popular developers like Rockstar, Square Enix and Konami, just to name a few. 

On top of missing top-shelf games like Grand Theft Auto V, GeForce Now is also 100% reliant on you having a stable Internet connection. No Wi-Fi means no gaming - it's that simple. Anyway, for those of us here in Singapore, the service still isn't available, although you can check out what else it has to offer on the official GeForce NOW page.

Images: NVIDIA