Nvidia announced a beta version of its GeForce Now game streaming service for Mac last year, and it’s finally coming to Windows PCs. Starting this week, beta users of the GeForce Now Mac client will be able to install and run the Windows application. This takes the beta service far beyond its roots as exclusive to Nvidia’s Android-based Shield devices, and more so to the core Windows gaming PC audience.
I had the chance to play a first beta of the GeForce Now service on a $ 400 Windows PC at CES today. My biggest concerns with game streaming services are latency and internet connections, but Nvidia configured the service to use a 50Mbps connection over the Wynn hotel’s Wi-Fi. I didn’t notice any issues and honestly felt like I was playing Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds right on the cheap laptop in front of me. If I actually tried to play the game locally it would be impossible because the game was barely rendered or at 2 fps.
Nvidia streams these games from seven data centers across the United States, and some located in Europe. I was playing at a Las Vegas casino from a server located in Los Angeles, and Nvidia tells me they aim to keep latency below 30ms for most customers. There will obviously be big exceptions here, especially if you don’t live near a data center or if your internet connectivity is unreliable. We’ll have to test GeForce now for Windows in a number of different locations, as the service is separate from the one running on the company’s Shield.
Game streaming works by dedicating a GPU to each client, so performance and frame rates should be pretty solid. Nvidia also imports Steam game collections into the GeForce Now service for Windows, which makes it even more intriguing for PC gamers who want to play their collection on the go on a laptop that would not normally support such games. . The service is still in beta at the moment, and Nvidia hasn’t announced pricing details or exact availability, but you can request beta access on Nvidia’s website.