Just when it looks like the cloud gaming service space will be occupied by the likes of Sony, Microsoft, and Google, another company steps up. After a lengthy beta period, Nvidia is finally bringing GeForce to commercial markets. Some analysts might presume that this would be another failed attempt to cash in on the games streaming market for consumers who do not want to spend money on a dedicated console. However, the company is taking some steps to ensure that the experience remains playable.
Before Google launched the Stadia last year, its developers made bold claims when it comes to performance. In fact, the company was even criticised after it coined the term "negative latency" to advertise its new platform. During the trial period, several journalists noted some issues with lag and occasional dropped connections.
Nevertheless, the $10 monthly service launched anyway and was quickly hit with several issues and complaints. Nvidia, on the other hand, is offering its subscription for only $5 a month, but there are some caveats to consider. TechCrunch points out that unlike the Stadia's limited library of games, GeForce Now connects to the user's Epic, Battle.net, or Steam accounts to access the titles.
It is compatible with Windows, Android, macOS, and the Nvidia Shield TV platform via a companion app. Similar to the current version of Stadia, it is only accessible in several countries as of this writing. Moreover, users must be located within close proximity to its data centres. There are five in the US, one in Japan, one in South Korea, and another five in Europe.
Subscribers are advised to regularly check for updates as Nvidia is still optimising the compatibility of some games. Although some might consider this as a huge drawback, the total number of games available will surpass that of the Google Stadia.
Those who are interested to test it out can sign up for a free account, but will be met with some limitations such as limited access of up to an hour only and a longer waiting time if there are other people in the queue. Overall, Nvidia is approaching cloud gaming services a little differently, unlike Google. GeForce Now is full of potential, but there are abound to be problems that need to be ironed out later on.