NVIDIA Announces GeForce NOW Streaming Gaming Service

Subject: General Tech | September 30, 2015 - 09:00 AM |

In a continued evolution of the streaming gaming product previously known as GRID, NVIDIA is taking the wraps off of the final, consumer-ready version of the technology now called GeForce NOW. This streaming gaming service brings games from the cloud to NVIDIA SHIELD devices at up to 1920x1080 resolution and 60 FPS for fluid gameplay. This has been an announcement that we have been expecting for a very long time, with NVIDIA teasing GeForce NOW in the form of GRID private and public betas.

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GeForce NOW, which shares a similar goal to services like PlayStation Now and OnLive, plans to stand out through a few key points.

  1. 1080p 60 FPS Support – Supporting higher resolutions than any other service as well as higher frame rates, the resulting product of GeForce NOW could be better than anything else on market for streaming gaming.
  2. Affordability – Coming in at a USD price tag of $7.99, NVIDIA believes that with a combination of included, free, games as well as purchase-and-play games offers a great package for a minimal monthly cost.
  3. Speed of Access – NVIDIA  claims that GeForce NOW can start up new games as much as 2x faster than PlayStation Now, with titles like The Witcher 3 loading up and streaming in as little as 30 seconds.
  4. Global – GeForce NOW will be available in North America, the European Union, Western Europe, Western Russia, and Japan.

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Before we talk about the games list, let’s first discuss some of the technical requirements for GeForce NOW. The first, and most important, requirement is a SHIELD device. GeForce NOW will only work with the SHIELD Android TV device or SHIELD Tablet. That will definitely limit the audience for the streaming service, and I am very curious if and when NVIDIA will decide to open this technology and capability to general PC users or other Android/Apple devices. Part of the SHIELD requirement is definitely to promote its own brand, but it might also help gate access to GeForce NOW as the technology ramps up in capacity, etc.

Other than the host device, you’ll also need a speedy broadband network connection. The minimum requirement is 12 Mbps though you will need 20 Mbps of downstream for 720p60 support and 50 Mbps for 1080p60 resolution and frame rate. In terms of latency, you’ll need a 60 ms ping time as a requirement and its going to be recommended you have a 40 ms ping to the nearest NVIDIA server location for the best experience.

All the GeForce NOW servers are based on NVIDIA Kepler GPUs which is what enables the platform to offer up impressive resolutions and image quality settings for a streaming service. Bandwidth and latency are still a concern, of course, but we’ll touch on that aspect of the service when we have more time with it this week or the next.

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Finally, let’s talk about the game library. There are ~60 games in the included library including certain games that you can play an unlimited amount of with your $7.99 membership fee. NVIDIA says more games will be added as the service continues.

Continue reading our overview of the new NVIDIA GeForce NOW game streaming service!!

A much shorter list is the “purchase and play” games; those that you’ll pay for in addition to your monthly membership fee. These games tend to be more modern titles with NVIDIA hopeful for some pending day-and-date releases in the near future. These games will be available to you through GeForce NOW streaming but NVIDIA did mention that “many” of the purchasable games will also come with game keys that can be used to install the game on a local PC as well. In that case, it’s easy to see a value of access to both versions of the title.

Included Games Purchase and Play Games
Alan Wake Metro 2033 Redux
Alan Wake: American Nightmare Metro: Last light Redux
Astebreed Resident Evil: Revelations 2
Batman: Arkham Asylum Saints Row IV
Batman: Arkham City Saints Row: Gat out of Hell
Batman: Arkham Origins The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Bionic Commando Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power
BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger  
Brothers - A Tale of Two Sons  
Brutal Legend  
Darksiders 2  
Dead Island  
Dead Island: Riptide  
Dead Rising 2  
Devil May Cry 4  
DIRT 3  
Dirt Showdown  
Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara  
F.E.A.R. 3  
F1 2010  
Gas Guzzlers: Extreme  
Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams  
GRID 2  
GRID Autosport  
Guilty Gear X2  
LEGO Batman  
LEGO Batman 2 DC Super Heroes  
LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4  
LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7  
LEGO Hobbit  
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes  
LEGO Movie: The Videogame  
LEGO The Lord of the Rings  
MX vs ATV Reflex  
Orcs Must Die!  
Overlord II  
PixelJunk Monsters Ultimate  
Pixeljunk Shooter  
Race Driver Grid  
Red Faction Guerrilla  
Red Faction: Armageddon  
Revolver360 RE:ACTOR  
Risen 2 Dark Waters  
Sacred Citadel  
Saints Row 3  
Street Fighter X Tekken  
The Raven - Legacy of a Master Thief  
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter  
The Walking Dead: Season 1  
The Witcher 2: Assassins Of Kings  
Toybox Turbos  
Ultra Street Fighter IV  

It should be noted though, that even though you might be able to stream the game on GeForce NOW as well install it on a local PC, your save game data is NOT shared between them.

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That list of just 7 games in the purchase and play category is definitely lacking, with the only title to pique my interested being The Witcher 3. The rest are just a little long in the tooth. There are still plenty of gamers that haven’t been graced by Saint’s Row IV or Metro 2033, I’m sure, and those users might find the value and convenience of GeForce NOW the perfect way to do so.

So where does this leave me in terms of the streaming service that is GeForce NOW? I have been using the service for a couple of days but I have to wait another day or so before I can share my input in that regard. My opinion is that streaming gaming will continue to be a niche for users that are budget conscious and/or focus on that convenience factor above all else. GeForce NOW might be the best streaming gaming service on the market, but that doesn’t mean I would ever consider trading in my PC or game consoles for it. But I don’t think that is what NVIDIA has in mind for it either.

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The $7.99/mo price tag is a compelling cost for the features and games offered in the included library, though I definitely think NVIDIA is costing themselves a considerable audience by forcing this to be a SHIELD-only product. Only time will tell if there are enough SHIELDs in the market to support GeForce NOW or if GeForce NOW will be able to sell SHIELD to consumers.

Stay tuned for more!

Source: NVIDIA

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September 30, 2015 | 09:44 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

1080p 60fps is very disappointing for such a service, even if competing services are even worse.
For me, at least, the point of game streaming services like these is to enable gaming that is otherwise out of reach (for example, GTA5 maximum settings, 4k 60fps, which would require a very expensive setup). 1080p60 is basically the starting point for gaming, as for anything less, you may as well just use a console, and 1080p60 is very much doable locally on a modest budget and you won't have to deal with the latency issues.
As for the mobile gaming argument, it may be difficult to maintain a superbly reliable 50Mbit connection with low latency while moving around, so you'd probably be stuck at home right next to the router anyway, where you may as well do it locally.

September 30, 2015 | 12:31 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Are you suggesting a higher pricing model for more detail, or do you expect more than what is offered for 7.99/month?

September 30, 2015 | 03:15 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Either way would still be better than the current lack of options for more detail, but for 4k 60fps guaranteed, I would be willing to pay more than $8/month. 1080p60, on the other hand, would have to be (almost) free in order to be relevant.

October 2, 2015 | 06:48 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

So how much would you pay for 4k gameplay?

October 1, 2015 | 02:04 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Yeah and id rather own my own hardware, "as a service" is for morons.

October 2, 2015 | 06:49 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Morons can't spell either, ironically.

October 3, 2015 | 05:40 AM - Posted by Joakim L (not verified)

Tell me, exactly what is dissapointen when there isn't anything better available. That comment just shows that you have no clue about the limitations of todays technology. What connection (today) do you think would be able to support it? Even in the current offering (as you yourself even pointed out), the requirements are pretty (50Mbit/s).

October 3, 2015 | 05:41 AM - Posted by Joakim L (not verified)

Sorry about the typos, gotta love not having an edit button.

September 30, 2015 | 09:54 AM - Posted by Irishgamer01

This was tried and failed. Onlive or something like that.
Anyway PC gaming isn't about streaming.
Why do u think consoles haven't managed top kill off PC gaming.

Foolish. Nvidia clearly have too much cash laying arround.

September 30, 2015 | 10:48 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Or they have too many Keplers laying around :P

September 30, 2015 | 11:36 AM - Posted by Your Dad (not verified)

NVIDIA keeps beating this drum trying to push it to us gamers, but unless we get Korea or Japan Internet competition going, this won't be for us in the good old U.S.A......

Games that do not require fast twitch may be ok to play, but let's be honest, you'll pay for this service but get mediocre results.

If you are one of the lucky 50k (before or after all the recalls I'm not sure) Shield owners around the world then best of luck.

September 30, 2015 | 12:40 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

You can have the fastest internet speed in the world, but you will still have lag with distance. 150ms or whatever nvidia is trying to push is just NOT OK for any real twitch Gaming. If you think it is ok, I will gladly pvp you. (without that lag for me.)

September 30, 2015 | 03:21 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Nvidia requires 50Mbit for 1080p60, and in much of the USA, that's simply not available. If you can't even get the video stream, there's no point in discussing input latency.

While I agree that the lag is a major concern in general, you probably wouldn't be playing twitch games anyway on a glorified telephone (Shield).

September 30, 2015 | 01:20 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Casual Gaming is the new Nintendo. Target audience is kids. BTW this is a big audience and tons of money to be made from it. I don't think Nvidia is going to jump into the lead or anything, but Android, iOS, and Amazon sure think they can get a piece of the pie.

September 30, 2015 | 03:47 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Isn't it odd that the bandwidth requirements for 1080p 60p is the same as 4k 60p video streaming.

You'll eat through your cap in no-time.

I think their limited to 1080p due to processing capability of the units. If I remember right its

4 users @ 1080p
6 users @ 720p

They could have more users per unit but quality would have to downgraded to 720p

They tested GRID at E3 2013 with a datacenter 1.5mils away 40 users total and still had 160ms latency, even consoles are doing better at 150ms.

September 30, 2015 | 07:24 PM - Posted by rkaycom

One day all games will be streamed over the internet, but for that to happen the limitation is the internet itself, not the streaming technology.

September 30, 2015 | 10:54 PM - Posted by Flex (not verified)

I've been testing Nvidia grid on my shield tv. It works GREAT! the only time it went wonky was when my kids were streaming YouTube at the same time. you can argue about latency all you want, or you can just play games for $7.99/month. That's a great price. Streaming is the future.

October 1, 2015 | 01:12 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Until the internet infrastructure in the US is upgraded, the latency just kills it for any type of game streaming.

October 1, 2015 | 02:06 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

This whole idea is stupid and just another bid to milk the consumer more by making sure they never OWN ANYTHING THEY USE.

I hate AMD but i hope they kick nvidias ass now.

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