Nvidia revealed the game streaming service GeForce Now for Mac and PC yesterday at the company's CES 2017 keynote event.
GeForce Now is a game streaming service that works similar to the service that Nvidia Shield users can use already.
The core idea behind the service is to move the computing power to the cloud so that PCs and Macs without dedicated video card can play the latest and most demanding games.
Now you can transform your Mac or PC into a powerful NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1080 gaming machine with easy access to the latest PC games. Connect to top digital stores like Steam, Uplay, GOG, Battle.net, and Origin to play your games. It’s that easy.
A relatively fast Internet connection is required however to take advantage of GeForce Now. Nvidia states that GeForce Now requires an Internet connection with at least 25 Mbps.
Another limitation, at least for the time being, is that only residents of the United States may apply for early access to the service.
GeForce Now uses a different system than traditional game streaming services. The service is more a high powered gaming rig in the cloud than an all-in-one service.
It does not ship with any games that you get when you become a member, but lets you access the catalogs of gaming platforms such as Steam or Origin.
This means that you need to purchase the games on these platforms, or alreadyown them, to stream them using GeForce Now.
GeForce Now is more flexible than existing game streaming services because of this. Users have more games they can choose from thanks to support for several gaming platforms. It is unclear right now whether gamers will be able to play games they already purchased on one of the supported platforms, but it seems likely that this will be the case.
One benefit of this approach is that games may be played that are not yet available on a platform. Nvidia showcased the latest Tomb Raider game on a Mac for instance during the event; the game is not yet available for Macs.
While that is mostly beneficial for Mac users, as they may play games only released for Windows on their devices, it may also be beneficial to Windows users who run older operating systems that games may no longer support officially.
The main downside to GeForce Now is price. Nvidia wants $25 for 20 hours of play. Considering that games need to be purchased on top of this, it is a rather expensive affair.
You need to add latency to this, as input is delayed due to the streaming nature of the service.
Depending on how often you use the service, you could be better off buying a gaming PC or a video console instead.
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