Cloud Gaming for the Masses?
Last week, NVIDIA announced that GeForce Now was going cross platform. The service originally launched NVIDIA’s shield top boxes, providing a larger library of games for its users. GeForce Now uses cloud computing to run the latest games, foregoing the investment required for many modern PC components.
Gaming on Linux has made great strides in recent years, including multiple successful ports of older games like Left 4 Dead 2. Unfortunately, market share and development costs often make Linux an afterthought, and exclusivity deals such as Quantum Break (Windows Store only) or DRM solutions such as Uplay and Origin, often leave Linux struggling with virtualization programs such as Wine. Apple’s closed nature is even worse, leaving Mac users with pitiful gaming solutions.
NVIDIA’s service uses clusters of high-end gaming PCs which can be rented from NVIDIA at various price points. The service works with Steam and Green Man Gaming, the two largest online game retailers. Right now, $25 gives you 2 hours of gameplay on a PC with one of NVIDIA’s latest GTX 1080 cards. Compare this to the rough $1200 minimum for a PC with similar performance, and suddenly this all makes sense.
The service’s expansion is promising. Bringing Steam on board is no small victory, with a simply massive catalog of indie and AAA titles. Offering users the opportunity to try gaming with the big boys could lead to some more graphics cards sales, or even further expansions in the service. At present, cloud solutions often suffer with low bandwidth and high latency, and NVIDIA’s should be no different, but for those with reliable internet access, this is an interesting next step in gaming.