CES 2017: NVIDIA Announces GeForce Now for PCs

Subject: General Tech | January 5, 2017 - 01:39 AM |
Tagged: nvidia, geforce now

NVIDIA has just announced GeForce Now, a cloud-streaming service for video games, will be coming soon to PCs. It will not be the same as GeForce Now for Shield devices, though. That service, like OnLive and other competitors, worked by providing users with a catalog of streaming titles for a monthly fee. Instead, in the new, PC version, users will connect to a standard Windows desktop and access games through their digital distribution accounts.

Basically, you are renting a fast PC. Bring your own games.

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From the art standpoint, which I continually bring up whenever cloud services are involved with delivering content, this side-steps many of the concerns that OnLive and others kicked up. Those sorts of services are basically run on the cable TV model, where content can be accessed under the conditions they outline, and, when it’s gone, it’s gone! NVIDIA is not attempting to make a full gaming platform, where exclusive titles are locked until they decide to remove them from existence (for legal or financial reasons). The software is left in the user’s control, and they are given 1TB of storage to do so with.

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Rise of the Tomb Raider on GeForce Now

As for the hardware, NVIDIA is advertising GTX 1080s as the GPU-of-choice for GeForce Now, but they also voiced intentions to separate performance tiers by price. As you rent progressively beefier systems, your credit of time will count down faster. This mixing-and-matching might be the reason why NVIDIA decided to go with a credit system, so users can stretch their time with slower PCs for games that don’t need top-end performance. It does lead to an interesting issue... the price.

NVIDIA quotes $25 for 20 hours of usage.

In terms of price, about $1.25/hr isn’t outrageous when you compare it to something like Amazon Web Services, although you can’t directly compare those systems to these. AWS GPU instances are based on Xeons with Kepler-era Tesla boards. Tesla GPUs are significantly more expensive than a GTX 1080, but Pascal is much newer than Kepler. Regardless, it’s entirely possible that this price is roughly in line with how much it would cost NVIDIA to provide the service.

At the same time, waving the cost in the user’s face will likely scare them away from using it. I would expect that, depending on what the average user does, it might encourage more people to try if it were a flat, monthly fee. It’s risky, because you’d have to price it carefully enough that light users of any given pay period will subsidize the heavy ones, but the sticker shock we get today seems like it might turn some people away.

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It’s an interesting attempt, though, that attempts to provide the same cloud services as competitors, only without attempting to control what you do with it. You know, besides keeping Windows and drivers up-to-date, which is more of a courtesy anyway. If it was cheaper and available outside of Mac and Windows, it might even be a way for people to ween themselves away from Windows, logging into a service rather than dual-booting or locally virtualizing for applications that don't run on their new OS. But, again, we don't even know if they can make it cheaper.

Coverage of CES 2017 is brought to you by NVIDIA!

PC Perspective's CES 2017 coverage is sponsored by NVIDIA.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: NVIDIA

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January 5, 2017 | 01:50 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Wasn't it launched already



You can purchase a GeForce NOW membership for $7.99 per month, which includes immediate access to a library of more than 50 popular PC games, and the option to purchase new game releases from our store. Your first one month of GeForce NOW service are free when you sign up with a credit card, and you can cancel at any time during this period and not be charged. (You will be charged for any games you purchase from our store during this time.) Monthly billing will begin automatically once your free trial expires.

So it was cheaper before when you bought games directly from them now that you don't it goes up in price?

Looks like they just want you to subsides their game licensing fees but that should be taken care of on your end when purchasing a game. You essentially paying double fees to enjoy your game.

2 full games worth in time and you might as well buy a console and play at a higher resolution.

January 5, 2017 | 02:21 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

This is beyond funny.

January 5, 2017 | 02:36 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I have a feeling that Nvidia press conference was driven (pun intended) by their deep learning servers.

January 5, 2017 | 03:14 AM - Posted by Ballistic

If Nvidia was attempting to push me away as a consumer of their graphics cards, they may very well have succeeded. I'm in the market for a card that pushes 4k/60fps, and I need one now. By not even hinting at a possible 1080Ti card I'd say there are a vast amount of PC gamers who have been holding out for months that are fairly salty right now - especially after all the BS rumours of the 1080Ti being announced at CES. If AMD delivers with Vega, I'm jumping ship. That was an hour of time I wish I spent doing something more important, like folding my clothes.
As far as all the other crap they were pushing, if I wanted 24/7 surveillance in my house and car, I'd just invite the NSA to come and live with me.

January 5, 2017 | 03:52 AM - Posted by BGrizzle (not verified)

Nvidia likes to announce cards at their own little events. I half expected it to be about this non gaming card stuff again. Just saw a demo video of Ryzen/Vega playing 4K Doom and it doesn't look good if that's AMD top tier performance on display. Nvidia might not need the 1080ti card played yet, anyway. Can't wait to find out in a few hours!

January 5, 2017 | 07:45 AM - Posted by KRDucky (not verified)

If I recall, that video is an older engineering sample of both the Zen chip and the Vega chip. Based on the stuff I am seeing, I would expect the Zen chip to be on par with a 6900K and the Vega chip to best the 1080 easily. They were playing Doom using R9-290X/Fury drivers. They were not even optimized drivers for the new architect.

January 5, 2017 | 07:41 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

i felt the same way about the doom video, nothing to be impressed about.

January 5, 2017 | 01:10 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I spent that hour drinking beer and eating popcorn! All while reading the comments flowing from WCCFtech's attempt at "Streaming" the event. Oh the primates were flinging the feces non stop! JHH better wear a raincoat if he gets near that bunch. If fact it's best to wear a level 3 biohazard suit near that Primate House at WCCF. Oh the entertainmet made up for most of that boring car talk from JHH!

I do know why Nvidia did not show any Volta card, they lost their box of wood screws!

January 5, 2017 | 07:45 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

gpu tech con is where they talk about their new line of geforce gpu not ces. i was hoping that volta would be unveiled this year unfortunately its been pushed back to 2018

January 5, 2017 | 03:18 AM - Posted by JohnGR

Wow. Nvidia is going from bad to worst. I wonder if non payed Nvidia fanboys can see what can happen if AMD fails.

$25 for 20 hour of play (it is probably less hours if you want to play at GTX 1080 quality levels) it is completely ridiculous. Especially when you consider that you have also to buy the games. But if AMD has gone bust and the cheapest Nvidia card, let's say a GTX 1050, was costing $400, it wouldn't look that bad. Right?

It seems that the final goal of Nvidia, is in the future to make PC and console gaming a very very expensive sport, with hardware costing as much as a full computer today, so they can turn it to a subscription service. And if they are asking today $25 for 20 hour of gaming, what will happen in a few years with virtual reality titles? How much would it cost to enjoy just one hour of virtual gaming? How much when choosing to enjoy those games at their highest settings? $4.99 per hour? More?

January 5, 2017 | 04:28 AM - Posted by Hasuto (not verified)

This service isn't going to be for most people who visit a site like this. But it is an interesting step for "future of consoles" I think. I was surprised by how well streaming worked on a Shield handheld, even over WiFi. This has the potential to give you a streaming PC where ever you are, to a tablet or a Chromebook.

With good internet speed (and no data caps) I could see using this to run really powerful applications such as video editing as well. (Something Google has already demonstrated with Adobe.)

What I really want to see is what kind of online game someone can make if they combine this streaming tech with an MMO like WoW. Run everything in the cloud and stream a video of the gameplay. Play on any device you want (phone, laptop, desktop, TV) with the same quality. And most importantly, consider the insane graphics and physics you can get if the entire game simulation is actually running on a central server. I mean stuff like running extreme global physics and lighting models centrally and then streaming the results to all the players. It might not be possible to make it actually economical, but I'd sure like to see someone try. :-)

January 5, 2017 | 04:37 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I don't understand the "sticker shock" at all. There is literally no competitor for this. A person with a laptop who wants to play BF1 can either pay $25 or $1500 for a computer.

January 5, 2017 | 05:29 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

or he can get a console an play at a higher resolution and not pay the recurring $25 every 20 hours of game time.

This "service" is supposevily aimed at the people who cant afford "to build their own computers" but a console is much better option for those people then this service.

Especially when this service requires a PC to begin.

January 5, 2017 | 06:34 AM - Posted by Rustknuckle (not verified)

The sticker shock comes from that fact that it is $25 per 20 hours. At that price just a couple of my favorites on steam would so far have cost me more than $700 just to play as much as I have done so far and I am not done with those games. That means to play two games the length of time I wish would in the end cost me well over $1000. Thats pricey for playing two games.

January 5, 2017 | 05:37 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Just what I expect from a greedy company. Sooner AMD get the competitive cards the better.

January 5, 2017 | 07:24 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

im all for fixing this monopoly but how many years is this statement going to be used? AMD cant do it. its been years since they have had a chance in power vs Nvidia/Intel, and I see this going on for another 10.

January 5, 2017 | 07:50 AM - Posted by JohnGR

With the exception of this last year, where things look more balanced, the tech press and many individual consumers, gave fearless battles on the internet to defend and promote Nvidia and never ever lost a chance to attack AMD.

And while it looks at least ironic or even hypocrite to post something like that having an AMD's product logo as an avatar, personally I was always shouting or screaming that no one would favor a monopoly and everyone should be looking how to protect the end consumer's interests.

Let's just hope that AMD will not follow Nvidia with this subscription model or, in case that Ryzen and Vega are successful, will not end up a worst Nvidia in the future.

January 5, 2017 | 07:51 AM - Posted by KRDucky (not verified)

Don't discount AMD yet. Remember, AMD has been stuck working with GloFo which is not very good. AMD's tech is good, but is better for certain things. For example, the Bitcoin mining craze found AMD cards never in stock versus Nvidia. Nvidia could not compute like AMD. AMD excels at Parallelized workloads. It shows in cryptography and encoding. What AMD has been working on is slowly moving the gaming tech away from single threaded work loads and more towards multi-threaded, parallel workloads. You can get better performance and more efficiency out of a parallel workload.

January 5, 2017 | 06:07 AM - Posted by MarkT (not verified)

This just feels desperate, bad taste in my mouth.

January 5, 2017 | 07:51 AM - Posted by KRDucky (not verified)

Nvidia considers anyone not using Nvidia to Not Be Game Ready.

January 5, 2017 | 11:40 AM - Posted by Anonymously Anonymous (not verified)


I recall Ryan talking about the added latency of streaming a game in an early shield review "... once you get used to it".

January 5, 2017 | 12:04 PM - Posted by Thedarklord

@PCPer , I am looking forward to / hoping for a review on this service, interested to see what it performs like on different platforms, Lag/Quality/Etc.

January 5, 2017 | 12:46 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Well he tested the shield with it on his new internet connection and he still had lag. Unless hes across the street (interms of hops) of a Nvidia datacenter hes not going to get a good connection.

It fairs worse for every day joe/jane this is aimed at who are not spending +$50 a month on internet access for a decent up/down connection.

January 5, 2017 | 04:21 PM - Posted by Anonymously Anonymous (not verified)

There is latency even when streaming from a pc in the next room over a wired connection to a shield device. There is no getting around the laws of physics and the infrastructure here in the States is going to only make this a sub-par experience.

maybe good for e-cafe scenarios? 'meh'

January 5, 2017 | 06:19 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I was hoping that leap computing would be first it has been nearly 2 years not impressed at all

January 5, 2017 | 08:28 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

This is really funny... nvidia should've announced this on April 1st.

Seriously... this is really expensive, and that's if you live close enough to the servers for the lag to be tolerable (at least sub 50)

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