First Impressions of the GeForce Now PC Beta

Nvidia is a familiar name in the gaming streaming world. They won gamer’s hearts with their Shield Devices and Grid Streaming Service. Lately they’ve decided to conquer a new side of Game Streaming: Cloud Gaming. Their latest service is called GeForce Now, and it allows you to stream games from their Cloud to a Mac or PC.

GeForce Now is currently in closed beta. We were recently invited to test the service, and we are here to talk about our experience. Nvidia has decided to take a different approach to Cloud Gaming compared to services like Snoost or LiquidSky. Instead of gaining access to the desktop of a Cloud Machine, GeForce Now presents you with a list of games that you can play. Simply choose a game and start playing. This approach is both positive and negative. The positive side is that it is very user-friendly and is essentially plug-&-play. You don’t have to worry about installing games or about getting the settings just right. Nvidia takes care of all of that for you. The focus is on simple access to the games that you love. The negative side is that you are restricted to the list of games that Nvidia has approved for the service. You can’t add your own games or programs to GeForce Now.

Nvidia’s approach may remind some people of older services like OnLive. I’m here to tell you that this is different. OnLive provided you with an instant library of games that you could play for a subscription. Your OnLive subscription unlocked all of the games. The problem with this model is that in order to fill the library, OnLive had to resort to partnering with small game developers and B-Title studios. The games that were available through OnLive ended up mostly being titles that people didn’t care about. Nvidia is a bigger and more established name in the gaming industry. GeForce Now does not unlock all titles for a set price. Instead, they allow you to play the games that you already own. You must already own a game in order to play it through GeForce Now. This system is more developer friendly since it requires you to pay a normal price for each title. The result is that the library of games available through GeForce Now is made up of titles that you actually care about. You’ll find everything from Player Unknown’s Battleground to Destiny 2. There are also quite a few free to play titles available. You can jump in and play right away even if you haven’t purchased a premium game.

Actually playing games through GeForce Now is a great experience. Nvidia has some heavy hardware powering their Cloud, and it shows when you start playing. You can play most titles on High or Ultra Settings. Games run smoothly at 60 fps, and there is very little input latency. The whole thing felt more polished than other services that have been available for much longer. The service works great with a Keyboard & Mouse or a game controller. During our testing we used an Xbox One S controller. We even experienced controller vibration for games that offer it (we are looking at you Parsec). In all, it feels like GeForce Now could be launched successfully tomorrow. There was very little to indicate that this is a beta product that is still being developed.

Nvidia hasn’t announced how they will handle pricing for GeForce Now. We have no idea if there will be a subscription or some sort of hourly rate. As soon as we do know, we will be sure to update all of our readers. GeForce Now is an impressive example of the future of Cloud Gaming, and we look forward to all of you getting to experience it. If you’d like to try to get into the closed beta, you can click here to visit the GeForce Now website.

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