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GeForce Now Finally Available for Windows PCs

Nvidia's streaming service, GeForce Now has long been exclusive to the company's Shield line up of devices. Not any more. The company announced at CES 2018 that GeForce Now is finally available for Windows PCs via free public beta.

What this means is, you'll be able to play the latest PC games at maximum settings with smooth frame rates on a less than capable desktop PC or laptop according to Nvidia. Though keep in mind that this is at 1080p resolution up to 120 frames per second. So if you were expecting 4K and HDR on your ageing Windows netbook, think again. You can sign up for the GeForce Now public beta waitlist to be notified when you're granted access.

GeForce Now is currently available in public beta in North America and Europe. While the company hasn't explicitly stated it, GeForce Now is available in India as well. We were able to access it on an Nvidia Shield without having to resort to a VPN. Chances are, GeForce Now should be accessible via your PC too. Since GeForce Now is powered by hardware in the cloud, and streamed over the Internet, you'll need high download speeds. Nvidia recommends 50Mbps for full-HD 60fps gaming, and 25Mbps for HD 60fps, and over 10Mbps for HD 30fps. Factor in the fact that the closest server is in Europe, and you might experience undesirable lag.

At the moment, Nvidia hasn't suggested when it plans to take GeForce Now beyond beta on PCs. This is perhaps an attempt to balance its streaming ambitions with its successful GPU business. Nonetheless, we won't be surprised to see it stick to its Rs. 650 a month price point when it inevitably launches.

Like GeForce Now on Shield, the idea here is that you’ve got a device that’s not powerful enough to play a game. Nvidia runs servers with tons of power, so you can run the game on that server and stream the video down while sending your control inputs up to the server. Based on my experience using GeForce Now on the Shield, this works better than you might expect. Lag was usually imperceptible compared with playing on a console or PC, although there was some occasional artifacting in the video stream.

You can sign up for the free beta test on Nvidia’s site right now. That should start around March, and will be limited to the continental US at first. It will run on Windows and Mac. A 25Mbps download connection is needed to play the games. Shot in the dark here, but I don’t think people are going to like the pricing model. The PC version of GeForce Now will be billed based on how long you play and the type of hardware you want to use. You also have to provide your own games.

GeForce Now will support game uploads from services like Steam and Origin. Your games live in the Nvidia cloud and run on servers using either a GTX 1060 or GTX 1080. Each minute you play the games you’ve uploaded on these systems costs you a certain number of credits. It’s two credits per minute for a GTX 1060 and four credits per minute if you want a more powerful GTX 1080 system. A block of 2,500 credits will run you $25. That means a almost 21 hours of gameplay on a GTX 1060 and about ten and a half hours on a GTX 1080.


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