NVIDIA GeForce Now Puts Pascal In The Cloud For On Demand PC Gaming

NVIDIA is bringing its cloud-based GeForce Now game service to PCs and Macs, the company announced at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Previously exclusive to Shield device owners, it was only a matter of time before NVIDIA invited PC gamers to the fold, many of which lack the necessary hardware to play high-end titles. That is what NVIDIA is banking on, anyway.

GeForce Now is powered by NVIDIA's mighty Pascal architecture, and specifically its GeForce GTX 1060 and GTX 1080 graphics cards, which have been outfitted in the company's cloud data centers. When gamers register for GeForce Now, they can play for free for 8 hours on a GeForce GTX 1060 PC or 4 hours on a GeForce GTX 1080 PC. After that, it's $25 for 20 hours on a GTX 1060 or 10 hours on a GTX 1080. It's sort of like renting a PC, or as NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang put it during NVIDIA's CES keynote, GeForce Now is "basically a GeForce gaming PC on demand."

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080

"There are more than 200 million GeForce gamers around the world today, yet hundreds of millions of others have computers that aren't well-suited for modern video games," said Jen-Hsun Huang, founder and chief executive officer of NVIDIA, who announced the service during his keynote address at CES. "With GeForce NOW, a new generation of gamers can now play the latest PC games with great performance and amazing quality."

GeForce Now is not new. Previously known as GRID, the service has been around in some form or another for the past several years. However, GeForce Now only allowed for streaming games to NVIDIA's various Android-powered Shield devices. By adding support for Windows PCs and Macs, NVIDIA is opening the floodgates. Gamers who have under-powered systems, especially ones with integrated graphics, can use GeForce Now to tap into a power gaming PC in the cloud.

GeForce Now

One thing that is key for mass adoption is supporting titles that gamers already own, and it appears NVIDIA has addressed that. In its press release, NVIDIA states that gamers can use GeForce Now to play games from popular digital stores, such as Steam, Battle.net, Origin, Uplay, and GOG. Gamers also need not worry about losing their progress in a game when hopping on a different PC or logging off GeForce Now.

"GeForce NOW saves in the cloud game progress and achievements, and synchronizes them with locally installed games. This means gamers can use GeForce NOW on a secondary laptop and pick up right where they left off playing on their primary gaming PC," NVIDIA says.

Early access to GeForce Now will kick off in March followed by a full commercial service launch in spring.