Nvidia has been trying to make cloud gaming workable longer than any of the other major players. Its current GeForce Now platform has gone through a few incarnations, and the current one is changing in a way subscribers won’t like much. Nvidia is increasing the paid tier from $5 per month to $10. This brings it more in-line with other streaming platforms, but the price was Nvidia’s big advantage until now.
GeForce Now started its life in 2013 as Nvidia Grid, which was available only on Nvidia’s Shield Android handheld. Nvidia eventually moved to a storefront model like Google Stadia uses today, but it was unable to convince gamers to buy games and pay for a monthly service. Today’s GeForce Now is bring-your-own-games, but you’ll need a monthly subscription to have a good experience.
Today’s changes don’t eliminate the free tier of GeForce Now — it’s just as frustrating as it was before. If you don’t pay for priority access, it can take time to get space on a server to run your game, and sessions are limited to an hour. With Priority (previously called Founders), you can get playing immediately, and sessions are valid for up to six hours. A subscription also enables ray tracing in supported games.
The $5 per month pricing was a great deal, particularly if you already have a large library of games. GeForce Now connects to Steam, Epic, and GOG to mirror your games in the cloud, and it’s added support for a good number of titles. There are hundreds of compatible GeForce Now games, whereas Stadia only has about 100. Microsoft’s xCloud does a little better by the numbers, but it’s a pure subscription model that drops games on occasion.
Nvidia is only charging the new $10 monthly fee to new subscribers. Unfortunately, if you’re reading this and have not subscribed, it’s too late to get in on the grandfathered price. Founders who cancel will only be able to re-subscribe at the higher $10 rate.
In addition to the pricing change, Nvidia has announced it’s bringing new data centers online in Phoenix, Arizona and Montreal, Canada. This should help keep latency low for anyone in these general regions. The service is also now available in Turkey, and it will expand to Saudi Arabia and Australia soon.
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