The pros & cons of NVIDIA GeForce Now.
Cloud-based gaming services just keep coming. As well as Google’s Stadia, another cloud-based gaming service has been launched by none other than NVIDIA. NVIDIA, which is generally known for the design and manufacturing of graphics processing units for the gaming and professional markets, released NVIDIA GeForce Now. But what is it?
It is a cloud gaming service, which permits gamers to play their preferred games that are facilitated on the web at high-graphic settings without the need of using a high-end PC. Depending on the plan you purchase, games will be streamed on appropriate RTX graphic cards providing you with top of the line graphics irrespective of current hardware installed on your computer. It can also stream your favourite games onto another device; for instance, a Smartphone.
Since this gaming service is essentially “cloud-based”, all the games are streamed from an internet server, usually the one closest to your geographical location.
Features of GeForce Now:
NVIDIA’s GeForce Now might not contain a plethora of features at the moment; however, some of its existing features are extremely useful and exciting. If a customer purchases its Founder Edition, they can enable the RTX option which grants them the opportunity to stream their favourite games using RTX 2080 with Ray-Tracing Features, which is without a doubt one of NVIDIA’s specialities. Besides, a feature called NVIDIA highlights saves clips from your gameplay which can then be shared on social media platforms. Its description reads:
“From massive wins to epic fails, all your best in-game moments are automatically saved with NVIDIA Highlights and easily shared with the world.”
For PC the service can be used on most devices without the need of top of the line hardware. On Android, however, a device with at least 2GB of RAM, running Android 5.0 or later, and one that can support OpenGL ES 3.2 or later.
Since it's cloud-based it comes with a drawback; although, this drawback in today’s world isn’t a major one. You will need to have a good internet connection to stream games at desired qualities. For 720p resolution with 30 fps frame rate, your connection speed needs to be at least 15Mbps. For a 1080p resolution with a 60fps frame rate, you will need a connection speed of at least 25Mbps.
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How Much Does NVIDIA GeForce Now Cost?
Currently, there are only two options. There are two key differences between the plans; the Session Length and the RTX feature. The Free plan allows only 1 hour of streaming on servers, while Founders Edition lets you stream for an Extended Length which is approximately 6 hours, and allows the utilization of the RTX feature.
How is it different from Stadia and other cloud-based services?
The main difference between Stadia and GeForce Now is the method of approach. Both are cloud-based gaming services, yet surprisingly they serve different purposes. Stadia allows its consumer access to a library of curated titles for playing, while GeForce Now links a user’s account from various Gaming Libraries such as Ubisoft’s and allows you to stream content you effectively own or will buy through these computerized stores in the upcoming future.
- The ability to play any PC game at any time on any device (with a few exceptions, but those are at a bare minimum)
- Streaming of games with top-notch graphics without spending thousands of dollars on buying or building a PC with expensive hardware.
- The service works mostly under optimal conditions like a good internet connection. Issues with servers tend to be quite common and can be disturbing in the midst of a game.
- Limitation of streaming. With the Free Plan streaming is quite difficult as 1 hour isn’t sufficient; time while gaming passes in the blink of an eye. While with the Founder’s edition, they have to change the server after every six-hours and begin a new session, which can be quite frustrating.
Now for the main drawback of GeForce. This is the main reason NVIDIA’s GeForce is facing a slight decline in the market. Initially, the service had games from many popular Gaming Libraries in the world, but over time, several companies retracted their rights of allowing to stream their games on the service which include Activision Blizzard, Take-Two's 2K Games, Bethesda, Microsoft, T&T's Warner Bros. Interactive, Codemasters, and Klei Entertainment. Popular games from the Halo, Forza, and Mortal Kombat franchises or even stand-alone games like Batman: Arkham cannot be streamed due to respective companies pulling their games from the service.
One of the first companies to initiate a process of pulling their games was Activision Blizzard which claimed to have done so after NVIDIA refused to accept a revenue-sharing deal. The reason for other companies doing so is yet unknown, but in general NVIDIA’s model has been on the receiving end of strict criticism largely because it does not involve publishers selling separate licenses for access of their games on the cloud.
But this isn’t the end. Phil Eisler, Nvidia’s vice president of GeForce Now wrote that they had been working to get more games included in the library for streaming and said that they still have a majority of the games from Steam’s leaderboard and currently they announced a partnership with Ubisoft for Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry series.
Chris Early, senior vice president partnerships at Ubisoft, said in a statement;
Ubisoft fully supports Nvidia’s GeForce Now with complete access to our PC games from the Ubisoft Store or any supported game stores. We believe it’s a leading-edge service that gives current and new PC players a high-end experience with more choice in how and where they play their favourite games.
All things considered, this isn’t even close to the decline of NVIDIA’s GeForce, it is a mere obstacle in their road to success. NVIDIA is an established firm and they have proven their capabilities in the past with new products and they will surely have a plan to corroborate the current situation and find a solution to overcome this issue.
Images via NVIDIA