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Now: free beta version of GeForce Now

February 4, 2020.

GeForce Now.

GeForce Now. © Nvidia Corp.

GeForce Now, the cloud-based gaming service for Windows, macOS and Android, is now open to all after a months-long closed beta. Unlike Google Stadia, this service is based on the BYOGame concept: you can use it to play any game you’ve bought off of various platforms like Steam or Epic Games Store. What you’re effectively doing is leasing access to a remote Windows environment with all the power of GeForce GTX. Now, you can play paying or free games, restricted only by compatibility, just as you would locally. GeForce Now will be especially popular among macOS users, whose gaming options are severely restricted compared to Windows (especially since the axing of 32-bit support by macOS Catalina, which effectively kills off many classic games). While GeForce Now is open to all, it’s still a beta version with its usual irritants. For example, on the Mac, the copy-and-paste function doesn’t work between macOS and the remote PC, which is a pain if your Steam password is long and complex; another example, the number pad of extended keyboards is not recognized. That said, image quality (1080p/60 fps stream) and latency are truly astonishing, and the remote PC can support maximum graphics settings. You can try out GeForce Now in the free tier, but you’ll be limited to an hour’s play, and during peak times, you’ll have to wait in line behind paying customers. Or, you can pay CAD6.50 per month for priority access, longer playing sessions (several hours, says Nvidia, without elaborating), and real-time ray-tracing (RTX technology, but only three games supported as yet: Metro Exodus, Deliver Us The Moon, and Wolfenstein Youngblood). The list of compatible platforms has two conspicuous omissions: iOS and Linux.

Ars Technica, Sam Machkovech, “RIP Stadia? Nvidia’s newly launched cloud-gaming service is (mostly) a stunner.”