GeForce Now is a Netflix-style cloud gaming service that streams video games to systems with the highest possible quality graphics. It started as an exclusive service to the Nvidia Shield TV media streaming and gaming set-top-box, but it was recently announced that a version would be making its way to PCs and Macs. The key difference is that the PC/Mac version allows its users to install games purchased from digital storefronts such as Steam, Origin, Uplay, Battle.net and others on a virtual desktop with 1 TB of storage. Users can also choose which video card they would like to purchase time for—a mid-range GeForce GTX 1060 or the high-end GeForce GTX 1080.
With this service, PC gamers may no longer need to choose between upgrading their hardware or buying new games. Additionally, the service may potentially make games more portable by allowing gamers to log in from anywhere using almost any type of computer, including non-gaming notebooks, to play.
Nvidia’s general manager for GeForce Now Cloud Gaming, Phil Eisler, recently spoke to [a]listdaily about the new service and what it could mean for the PC gaming audience.
When asked what convinced Nvidia to bring the GeForce Now service to PCs and Macs, Eisler said, “There are over 1 billion users in the world who are gamers with inadequate hardware to play the latest and greatest games. We want to turn any PC or Mac into a high-performance GeForce gaming machine. GeForce Now users can get a virtual GeForce GTX 1080 or 1060 gaming PC in the cloud.”
As for getting the word out about the service, Eisler explained that “we kicked it off at CES and will keep working from there. If you try it, you will love it. Gamers can try for themselves with the Early Access program beginning in Q2. You can visit the GeForce Now homepage to join the waitlist.”
The PC/Mac GeForce Now service was announced at the same time as a new version of the Nvidia Shield TV, which supports its own version of GeForce Now. When asked whether there would be overlap between the two, Eisler said: “If you want to use both services, then you will need to register for each separately.”
He then went into greater detail by stating, “GeForce Now for Shield provides a Netflix-style game streaming experience. Members get instant, and unlimited, access to a game library that includes more than 100 PC games from all genres, and premium titles can also be purchased in the GeForce Now store.”
For comparison, Eisler added, “GeForce Now for Mac and PC provides you with instant, on-demand access to your own virtual GeForce GTX gaming PC in the cloud. You can use this machine to play games you own, or purchase new ones, on popular digital game stores like Steam, Uplay, Origin and Battle.net. The service provides a simple way to enjoy the latest games, with amazing visual quality, on machines that otherwise would not be able to run them. You can purchase 20 hours of on-demand playtime on a GeForce GTX 1060-class PC, or ten hours of playtime on a GeForce GTX 1080-based PC, for $25. You will receive eight hours of free playtime on a GeForce GTX 1060 PC, or four hours on a GeForce GTX 1080 PC, when you register for service.”
Eisler said that the GeForce Now service won’t support GeForce Experience when it launches in Early Access later this year. The GeForce Experience software gives PC gamers a host of features, including easy livestreaming, in-game video capture, sharing moments on Facebook, and performance optimization. However, Eisler did state that players will be able to stream games played on GeForce Now using software locally installed on their computers.
Other features, like whether or not GeForce Now for PC and Mac supports 4K HDR game streaming, or if the service can stream virtual reality games, remain to be seen, and Nvidia has no comment at this time.
Early Access for the GeForce Now service begins later this year, and Nvidia has already begun taking sign-ups on its homepage on a first come, first served basis.