The gaming industry today is much different than it was a few years ago. Although consoles still reign supreme, there is a new kid on the block that is vying for gamers’ attention — streaming services. These platforms, such as Google Stadia and PlayStation Now, offer customers the ability to play new releases without having to break the bank on expensive new hardware. Instead, the game is streamed from a remote server to the user’s screen.
The newest entry in this field comes from Nvidia, in the form of GeForce Now. It works a bit differently from the other services, but as another streaming service there is a lot that remains the same. Here’s everything you need to know about GeForce Now.
Unlike PlayStation Now or Google Stadia, GeForce Now does not have its own storefront. In other words, the games you play on the service come from other locations such as Steam or the Epic Games Store. This means that if you decide to stop using GeForce Now, you’ll still own all the games you’ve purchased and can play them on other devices. It’s one of the biggest advantages separating it from the rest of the pack. This also means you’ll need to have multiple accounts outside of GeForce Now in order to properly use the service. And just because it can access these stores doesn’t mean it can play all of their games.
One of GeForce Now’s main weaknesses is the current roster of games. Many publishers have been pulling titles from the service, with no end in sight. Nvidia says that because the service is currently going through a “trial phase,” users can expect to see games test out the service. This means that several new titles will be added in the coming months, but it also means we can expect to see others leave. Big names such as Activision and Bethesda have already pulled most of their titles.
To further compound the issue, Nvidia doesn’t provide a comprehensive list of games available on GeForce Now. Instead, it offers a search menu where users must look up individual games to see if they are compatible.
As of now there is no official way to stream GeForce Now to iOS devices. The service does work on PC, Mac, and Android devices, including the Nvidia Shield. The vast array of screens the platform is compatible with allows players to take their games with them wherever they go — so long as they have a stable internet connection. Like all streaming services, GeForce Now is dependent on how fast the user’s internet connection is. Poor connections lead to poor quality and a significant amount of lag, rendering games all but unplayable.
GeForce Now offers a free service to all users. There are harsh restrictions surrounding its use as a free service — such as hourlong limits to your gaming sessions — so it’s really only meant to dip your toes in the streaming waters. For those who enjoy their time with the free service, a paid version is available that gives priority access to servers, increased session time, and a few other bonuses. This is currently listed at $4.99/month for 12 months, but don’t be surprised if this changes as the service develops in the coming year.
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