Nvidia GeForce Now, a cloud-streaming rival to Google Stadia, has officially launched following a four-year beta.
At launch, GeForce Now will be available in several regions, including Western Europe, North America, Russia, Japan and North Korea.
For those unfamiliar, GeForce Now allows you to stream the latest and most demanding games video games via Nvidia’s servers, regardless of your hardware’s specs. This means you can play the likes of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey on your low-powered Windows laptop, MacBook or even your Android smartphone – you just need an internet connection with a minimum 15 Mbps download speed.
Nvidia has revealed two subscription tiers will be available. The first option is free to use, as long as you own a compatible game.
Related: Nvidia GeForce Now
Those who signed up to the beta will automatically have their account converted to this free plan. The biggest drawback to the free subscription is that it limits you to one-hour sessions. You can have unlimited sessions, but you’ll have to rejoin the server queue and reboot the game once time is up.
Nvidia is also offering a ‘Founders’ plan that costs £4.99 per month, undercutting the Stadia Pro £8.99/month subscription. This is a limited time offer though, with Nvidia likely to increase the price at a later date.
The Nvidia Founders plan will extend game session times to six hours, while also providing ‘priority access’ to slash down waiting times when queuing for a server.
The Founders plan will also include RTX features, enabling ray tracing for supported games. With Nvidia’s cheapest ray tracing supported graphics cards (GeForce RTX 2060) costing £274.99, GeForce Now appears to offer fantastic value in this regard.
Related: Google Stadia vs Nvidia GeForce Now
The one key advantage GeForce Now has over Google Stadia though, is that it isn’t locked into an ecosystem. Nvidia instead allows you to stream compatible games you own from third-party platforms such as Steam, Epic Games Store and EA Origin. There are currently 400 titles supported by GeForce Now, dwarfing Stadia’s library.
GeForce Now doesn’t best Google Stadia in every department. The latter allows a resolution up to 4K, while Nvidia is currently limiting its streaming service to Full HD. Stadia Pro subscribers also get a couple of free games every month, with Nvidia offering no equivalent.
But with Nvidia allowing you to import games from other platforms, while also offering a free subscription tier at launch, GeForce Now looks to have far sturdier foundations than Google Stadia to make cloud streaming a success.