How Nvidia GeForce Has Now Improved PC Gaming
Nvidia GeForce Now is Nvidia’s take on a cloud gaming service, and its unique features have helped push PC gaming in a more accessible direction.
Recently, video game streaming services such as Google Stadia, Amazon Luna, PlayStation Now, and Xbox Cloud Gaming have started to gain attention due to their accessibility and ease of use. It is therefore not surprising that this industry giant Nvidia has also decided to join us by offering its own cloud gaming service: Nvidia GeForce Now. Although the technology is relatively new, Nvidia GeForce Now includes a number of exclusive features that ultimately made PC gaming better.
Cloud gaming services have recently gained in popularity and allow users to stream the games they own on a provider’s dedicated hardware. While the concept has sparked controversy over game ownership issues, it has also helped make PC gaming more accessible to the average consumer. With Nvidia GeForce Now coming out of beta recently, it has quickly become one of the best cloud gaming options out there.
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What is Nvidia GeForce now
The concept of cloud gaming services is similar to any other media streaming service such as YouTube or Netflix. The media does not exist on physical storage owned by the user, but rather on a different server that sends video data to a personal device. In the case of cloud gaming, the game itself runs on a different computer that streams audio and video to the players while receiving their input via keyboard and mouse. As expected, although cloud gaming services provide fantastic accessibility to a user’s game library without a costly investment, they still require a solid internet connection.
As cloud gaming services gain traction, Nvidia GeForce Now is the Nvidia version of the service and it comes with a number of unique features that cannot be found elsewhere. It specifically focuses on the PC gaming experience which allows users to access virtual PCs where they can download clients like Steam to install games on the system. This allows users to access their game libraries without having to purchase any of the games again. As long as users have a solid internet connection, they will be able to play games at 1080p and 60 FPS with low input lag.
How Nvidia GeForce is changing the game on PC
While there are a number of cloud gaming services available in the market, only a few of them focus on PC gaming. As a result, Nvidia GeForce Now is able to open up PC gaming to a whole new audience of gamers. Compared to consoles, PC games generally have a higher barrier of entry because a good platform will cost more, require research by the buyer, and have different specifications for different games. However, with Nvidia GeForce, PC gaming becomes more accessible because gamers won’t need to build their own. Instead, they’ll have access to a premium PC for a simple monthly subscription.
Additionally, as Nvidia is already a major competitor in the GPU industry, gamers will be able to use cutting edge technology during their gaming sessions. With their remote PCs powered by Nvidia GPUs, gamers will have the ability to play their games. games with real-time ray tracing and Nvidia DLSS support, even if the device they are using does not support it. This brings great benefit to devices that don’t work well with PC gaming such as Macbooks, mobile devices, and Chromebooks. It changes PC gaming in that gamers no longer need to invest in a good build to achieve the highest potential that PC gaming offers.
With the recent shortage of video cards due to encryption and the pandemic, prices have risen significantly over the past year and will likely continue to do so in the future. Even users who have the ability and knowledge to build PCs may be limited in hardware due to the rising prices. With cloud gaming services like Nvidia GeForce Now gaining traction, it will hopefully mean more users will have access to capable hardware, even as PC component prices continue to climb.
The cons of Nvidia GeForce Now
Of course, as exciting as this technology is, Nvidia GeForce Now has a few drawbacks similar to other cloud gaming services. The most obvious is that while accessibility improves in terms of hardware, it is still hampered by the user’s Internet connection. Nvidia recommends at least 15Mbps for 720p / 60FPS or 25Mbps for 1080p / 60FPS performance. Additionally, a user’s router will also have an impact on streaming as latency will likely be an issue unless it is on a 5 GHz band. This limits service to countries and areas that have high coverage and until technology improves, it remains an ecological concern due to bandwidth demands.
Nvidia GeForce Now also has a more limited library compared to other services due to the game ownership controversy caused by cloud streaming services. Nvidia GeForce Now is unique in that it doesn’t sell games to users or give them a library of select titles to choose from. Instead, it allows users to link to their Steam, GOG, and Epic accounts to play games they already own. As a result, some publishers have requested that their games be removed once Nvidia GeForce Now exits the beta, meaning gamers will not have access to some titles even if they have already purchased the game. While the decision to pull some games has generated negative reactions from gamers, Nvidia probably can’t go against the publishers’ wishes, so some gamers will unfortunately have limited access to their libraries.
The future of Nvidia GeForce now
Even with these drawbacks, Nvidia GeForce Now continues to evolve and change PC gaming for the better. As technology improves for cloud game streaming, more and more users will have access to PC gaming instead of being limited by its high barrier to entry. The future of cloud gaming in general appears to be a middle ground that doesn’t necessarily replace PC gaming, but rather offers a distinct alternative for users who feel limited by their own hardware.
The potential of Nvidia GeForce Now lies in the ability to develop its technology in the future. As it stands, it’s not just a matter of paying a monthly subscription, as users essentially need to have a solid internet connection to handle streaming properly. The improved accessibility for hardware is certainly there with its unique ray tracing and Nvidia DLSS features, but cloud gaming in general may take a few more years before it becomes a viable option for everyday users. While the future of cloud gaming services is difficult to predict at the moment, Nvidia GeForce Now offers a distinct take on the concept, which will hopefully move PC gaming into a more accessible future.
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