Nvidia GeForce NOW in-depth: all the keys to understanding Nvidia video game streaming

Video game streaming is one of the futures of video games, a future that is already present in Spain through several technology companies. Nvidia, a manufacturer known for its high-performance graphics cards or devices such as the Nvidia Shield TV was one of the first to bet on this future, and as a pioneer in this new aspect of gaming, it deserved a thorough review.

Is Nvidia's service worthwhile for Stadia or Xbox Game Pass? Is it free? How do I buy the games? Is there a subscription? Do I need a PC? We review all these questions and much more.

What is GeForce NOW

We have usually been able to enjoy video games on consoles and computers, but as technology advances, we have been able to enjoy more and more devices. As the smartphone revolution came, we've seen these devices replace more and more devices, such as the camera, computer (in some uses) or our media players.

In the field of video games, smartphones have become a platform capable of running games of exceptional quality such as Fortnite or Genshin Impact, but the large super productions are still too demanding for us to enjoy on a mobile, both at the power and storage level (a triple-Agame usually takes between 50 and 100 GB).

What if the games were running on a supercomputer and streaming the game directly to our mobile as if this were the screen of our console? This is the basis of video game streaming, which is that every streaming company is dedicated to streaming the games directly on our mobile, tablet, computer and even television. In the case of Nvidia, as a graphics card manufacturer what is on the other side of the screen are computers with graphics processors designed specifically by them.

Is GeForce NOW free?

Even though we play on our own mobile, the computers responsible for running the streaming games are the property of Nvidia, so to enjoy the games at their best we will have to pay for a subscription that today is called GeForce NOW, Founders Edition.

However, Nvidia does offer us the possibility to play GeForce NOW for free as long as we want to test if it's worth it. Simply install the app and play our favourite games available on the platform at no cost. However, we will have several restrictions when using the free subscription:

Timeout: The number of seats available to free users is limited, and if there are no seats available you will have to wait for a queue, which depending on the time of day can be from a couple of minutes to, about half an hour. In the least crowded hours, we can get in without waiting.

Limited game sessions: To ensure constant rotation among free users, once you enter you will be able to enjoy a game session that will last an hour. Once you pass the game time, the system will kick you out of the game (as time runs out, warnings will appear every 10 minutes).

Even if the sessions are limited to one hour, you can restart the game you were playing or any other game. For free you can chain as many free sessions as you want (having to queue in each new session).

The free service is great for those who play in busy hours or one-hour sessions where they don't mind waiting a while before starting to play. In the end, if you want to play sessions without waiting and you will play for several hours, the own waits of each queue will make you see that the Founders subscription is ideal for you.

In exchange for 5.49 euros per month (or 27.45 for 6 months, about 4.5 euros per month) you set aside the restrictions, leaving aside the queues and with game sessions that go from 1 hour to 6 hours, sessions that once closed, you can start a new one again without waiting. In addition to removing restrictions, we will also have access to Nvidia's RTX and DLSS technologies, present on the company's high-end cards, being able to enjoy Raytracing in the most cutting-after games in the industry.

What games does Nvidia GeForce NOW have?

One of the most unique additions to GeForce NOW is the catalogue of games available. Unlike other services, Nvidia does not have its own video game store but allows us to play games that we already have purchased on PC. The game catalogue is given by Steam, Epic Games and Ubisoft Connect. Origin would be the fourth store, but since the only game that has as available is Apex Legends we can't even consider it as a store.

This addition has great value for the PC player because you can play dozens of games you had already purchased on your computer. Even if you are not playing PC it is positive, since the PC gaming market is usually more competitive in prices compared to that of consoles.

The downside is that not all games you purchased will be available. Each computer game must ensure compatibility with the service, so you may find that some of your favourite PC games are not available.

Even with all this, the GeForce NOW catalogue is extensive and can be consulted publicly on Nvidia's official website, being able to consult the complete, official and updated list instantly.

A great advantage of GeForce NOW in catalogue titles is that we forget one of the main disadvantages of the console and PC games. When the games are located within Nvidia's servers, we don't have to suffer any downloads or updates. If you want to play, you can do so without any waits (beyond the queues in the free account).

Do I need a PC to play?

You don't need a high-end computer to play, although it's advisable to have access to a PC with access to the video game stores where you'll buy the games, at no time do you need a gaming computer to enjoy the games.

Once you have your games and account (either free or under subscription) you can play on any device that has a stable connection of at least 15 MB/s to play in 720p resolution or 25 MB/s to play in FullHD, being recommended Wi-Fi 5 GHz or Ethernet wired connection.

An experience that may be the future of the game or just a great complement

Video game streaming is a very promising technology, but today it is taking its first steps. The technology is advanced enough for us to consider whether we really need a console or renew our gaming PC, but it still raises some issues that you should keep in mind when betting on GeForce NOW.

If you're a sporadic player, GeForce NOW is a splendid ally by not having to renew your console. The money you save on buying a next-generation console goes into several years of subscription, and if you're only enough with the free subscription, the savings can go directly to your favourite games.

In the case of being a player who wants to enjoy the highest quality but plays "by streaks", the game in the cloud is also very convenient, saving you the hassle of having to download the games or having to update them every time the stars line up and you have time to play. In this circumstance where for most of the year you don't have time to play but when that game you expected comes out you spend a couple of months but, it comes out much more than paying for a console.

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