Nvidia on Tuesday opened up for membership its cloud-based game streaming service GeForce NOW, taking on Google’s Stadia in a market that is primed for high growth over the next few years.
The platform uses a GeForce graphics card to power personal computers, android phones and Shield TVs, enabling the devices to run games with enhanced graphics.
Games are streamed from Nvidia-owned data centers. That computing over the internet is powered by the chipmaker’s highest-end graphics cards, meaning that even those connecting from old laptops, TV set-top boxes, Chromebooks and mobile phones will have access to high-definition gaming, Nvidia said. Titles gamers have already e bought elsewhere will be made available to play on Nvidia’s service.
GeForce NOW, previously available on a public beta version, will offer a Founders version at $4.99 per month alongside a free tier. Google Stadia offers a 4K version as part of its premium service priced at $9.99 per month, while the free high-definition version is expected to roll out this year.
Stadia has been downloaded nearly 593,000 times since its launch in November, according to data from industry site Sensor Tower.
GeForce NOW will also compete with Microsoft’s Project xCloud, which is likely to be launched this year.
GeForce NOW offers more than 30 free-to-play games and users can also add games previously owned, while Stadia’s premium version launched with a slate of 22 games.
Users who opt for Nvidia’s Founders version will have access to games which support ray tracing, or the ability to simulate how light rays will bounce around in a visual scene, making the visuals more realistic.
There isn’t a version of GeForce NOW for the iOS operating system that runs iPhones and iPads.
Last September, Apple released its Arcade game service, which charges $4.99 for access to more than 100 exclusive games that subscribers can play on their Apple devices, including computers. Sony’s PlayStation NOW costs more for games related to its console. Microsoft has Game Pass, which offers a wide range of titles and lets Xbox users’ games be played on other devices and Google launched the streaming service Stadia in November.
The GeForce Now free membership provides one-hour sessions with standard access to GeForce NOW servers. There’s no limit to the number of sessions you can play. All GeForce NOW beta members automatically have had their beta accounts converted to this free plan. Simply sign in and continue gaming.
Gamers can also upgrade to a no-wait, longer session-length premium experience. These members will enjoy priority access to GeForce NOW servers ahead of free members and extended session lengths of up to six hours. They’ll also have exclusive access to RTX content on GeForce NOW.
For a limited time, Nvidia is offering the premium experience as a Founders membership. The first three months are free, followed by a discounted rate of $4.99 a month for all of 2020.
- A 64-bit version of Windows 7, or newer, is required. Please note we do not support 32-bit versions of Windows.
- macOS must be 10.10 or better.
- GeForce NOW requires at least 15Mbps for 720p at 60fps and 25Mbps for 1080p at 60fps. You’ll need to use a hardwired Ethernet connection or 5GHz wireless router.
- Most built-in or USB keyboards work fine. Nvidia recommends a USB gaming mouse for PC and Mac.
- Sony DualShock 4 controllers (USB wired and Bluetooth)
- Logitech Gamepad F310/F510/F710
- Microsoft Xbox 360 and Xbox One controllers (USB wired)
- Dual core x86-64 CPU with 2.0GHz or faster
- 4GB of system memory
- GPU that at least supports DirectX 11
- NVIDIA GeForce 600 series or newer
- AMD Radeon HD 3000 series or newer
- Intel HD Graphics 2000 series or newer
- Mac Hardware Requirements:
- iMac 20” Late 2009 and newer
- iMac 21.5” Late 2009 and newer
- iMac 27” Late 2012 and newer
- MacBook 2008 and newer
- MacBook Retina Mid 2017 and newer
- MacBook Air 11” Early 2015 and newer
- MacBook Air 13” Late 2008 and newer
- MacBook Pro 13” Early 2015 and newer
- MacBook Pro 15” Late 2008 and newer
- MacBook Pro 17” 2009 and newer
- Mac Pro Late 2013 and newer
- An Android phone with 2GB with Android 5.0 (L) or later, and OpenGL ES3.2 support or higher.
- A gamepad including:
- SHIELD Controller (2017)
- Razer Raiju Mobile
- Razer Junglecat
- Steelseries XL
- Steelseries Stratus Duo
- Sony DualShock 4 for PlayStation 4 USB wired gamepad with optional gamepad clip to attach to your phone. If you are connecting the gamepad using USB, you need to use a USB on to go (OTG) cable to connect the gamepad to the phone, which can be purchased on Amazon.
- Xbox 360 wired gamepad with optional gamepad clip to attach to your phone. You need to use a USB on to go (OTG) cable to connect the gamepad to the phone, which can be purchased on Amazon.
- Xbox One Bluetooth wireless gamepad with optional gamepad clip to attach to your phone
- You must own a supported game from a digital store such as Steam, Uplay, or Epic.