NVidia was meant to reveal the GTX 1080 Ti – at least, that’s what we thought; instead, we got self-driving cars, a new 4K NVidia Shield set-top box, and this little thing.
NVidia has been offering the GeForce Now service on its NVidia Shield for quite a while; it’s a service that curates some NVidia-licensed games and lets you stream them to the Android TV box.
The game runs in the cloud – in a server – and is streamed to the device. Today’s announcement brings this service to PC and Mac, but with a slight difference.
GeForce Now for PC
The “new” GeForce Now service meant for PCs, and Macs isn’t a game streaming service but a server rental service; what we have here, is a gaming computer that you can rent.
The service requires NVidia’s GeForce experience app; once logged in, users will be greeted with a familiar Windows desktop, where stores like Steam, Origin, UPlay, GOG, and Battle.net would be pre-installed.
It’s quite literally a PC in the cloud, that’s being streamed to you over an Internet connection. You can login to any of these game services and play the games you already own.
The service gives up to 1 TB of storage space for installing the games, and NVidia will take care of any game updates – you don’t have to wait around to download updates.
You can also install other free-to-play games on this virtual machine, stuff like Star Citizen, for example, shouldn’t have any problems getting up and running.
Pricing & Availability
The GeForce Now for PC and Mac service is available for… well, PC and Mac. There’s no word about a Linux client for now.
The price is where this service really hurts: $25 for 20 hours of gameplay with a GTX 1060 or 10 hours of gameplay with a GTX 1080. You can switch between GPUs at a whim, but it’s certainly not cheap.
If you just play for two hours every day with a GTX 1060, you would be paying NVidia about $900 annually. It’s like hailing a cab vs. owning a car – the latter is cheaper, but requires more commitment; however, unlike cabs, this service might only serve a niche.
NVidia plans to roll the service out by March of 2017 – but only in the U.S. The price is as mentioned, but NVidia will be providing the service for free during the early access period – you can sign up for that, here.