Nvidia’s GeForce NOW makes high-end gaming possible without a gaming PC

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Ever wanted to play games like Rainbow Six Siege or the highly popular PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) on max settings but you were never able to afford a high-end gaming PC? Nvidia has finally brought its streaming service to GeForce NOW to Windows.

A beta version was announced for Mac users last year but Nvidia finally revealed at CES this year that the service will make its way to Windows. Starting this week, the beta for Windows users will start, those who had the beta for the Mac can go install and run the Windows app now as well.

The gaming industry has blown up over the last few years. Every new game tries to out-perform its predecessor and the need for power from the machines that these games run on increases daily.

Unfortunately, the high-end graphics cards are not cheap. For one to enjoy the games at their fullest settings, they must spend a lot of cash which many people can’t or aren’t willing to (understandably so). Nvidia’s GeForce NOW provides an alternate solution to such people who can enjoy the games at their fullest settings without having to spend all that money.

image: CNET
image: CNET

The above image shows a $200 laptop which is running the very popular Rainbow Six Siege. The laptop being used is the HP Stream, which with its specification couldn’t even play this game even on the lowest of settings. There’s no graphics card in this laptop either and it hardly has the hard disk space to even store the game yet here it is.

Nvidia used this laptop to showcase their new streaming service. The game ran smoothly. Although there is one limitation to this which is down to the laptop you use: if your laptop is like the HP stream which doesn’t support 1080p resolution then the game will obviously not run at 1080p. However, it still ran pretty decently on the HP stream.

How was this possible? Through the power of the internet! Nvidia streams these games from several datacentres spread out in the US and in Europe.

Nvidia will dedicate one GPU per customer so once there are more customers on board there won’t be any compromise on the quality of the gaming experience.  Nvidia plans to keep latency below 30ms for everyone, obviously, there will be exceptions to this but that’s what the beta is there for, Nvidia can improve on the feedback they receive.

image: geforce.com
image: geforce.com

Getting this service to Windows was a smart idea because the concept applies more to Windows devices. A Mac device will set you back at least $1000 which is enough to build a decent gaming rig as well. Windows has a larger customer base as well.

The best part about this service is that you’ll be able to install all your games from different game providers such as Steam, Blizzard etc. Thus the streaming service will have a large collection of games for PC gamers to choose from. Not only that, but you can also import your progress, saves etc. thus making it possible for you to play your favorite games on the go anywhere!

There are some requirements, however. According to Nvidia, you’ll need at least a 25 Mbps internet connection. Currently, the beta supports a limited number of games, but it does include one of the best and most popular games currently: PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.

Here’s the full list of supported games. Although everything ran smoothly at CES, keep in mind it was a demo with Nvidia’s own great internet connection. It remains to be seen how everything plays out for a normal customer, beta feedback will be out soon enough.

The prospect of GeForce NOW is really exciting because it means high-end gaming is no longer for those who can afford it. Depending on which games allow it, you’ll be able to play at up to 120 FPS! The beta is currently free, you’ll have to request access to the beta on their website (you’ll probably have to wait as the queue will be large).

The exact pricing details and availability haven’t been disclosed yet by Nvidia but we might have a good idea about when the streaming service goes live for everyone once the beta is over and Nvidia has time to reflect on community feedback.

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