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NVIDIA Launches GeForce NOW Game Streaming Service 55

MojoKid writes: NVIDIA has championed game streaming for a number of years now, whether it's from a GeForce GTX-equipped PC to one of its SHIELD devices or from its cloud-based GRID gaming beta service to a SHIELD. Today though, NVIDIA is kicking its game streaming business up a notch by launching a new service dubbed GeForce NOW. The service streams PC games from the cloud to SHIELD devices at up to full HD 1080p resolutions at 60 fps. It may be tempting to call GeForce NOW an official re-branding of its GRID game streaming beta but that is reportedly not the case. The GRID beta is going away with the launch of GeForce NOW (an update will replace the GRID app with GeForce NOW), but according to NVIDIA, GeForce NOW was re-architected from the ground up to provide a better overall experience. NVIDIA sees GeForce NOW as sort of a "Netflix for games." There is a monthly fee of $7.99 for a subscription, which gives customers access to a slew of games. There are too many to list but top notch titles like Batman: Arkham City, Ultra Street Fighter IV, GRID 2 and many others are included. In addition to the games included in the subscriptions price, NVIDIA will also be offering GeForce NOW users access to AAA-titles on the day of release, for a fee. The games will typically be sold at a regular retail prices but not only will users get to play those games via the GeForce NOW streaming service on SHIELD devices, they'll also receive a key for playing the game on a PC as well. To use GeForce NOW you'll need an NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV, SHIELD portable, or SHIELD tablet (with the latest software updates installed) and a SHIELD-approved 5GHz router. Your broadband connection must also offer download speeds of at least 12Mb/s. 20Mb/s is recommended for 720p / 60 FPS quality, and 50Mb/s is recommended for 1080p / 60 FPS.
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NVIDIA Launches GeForce NOW Game Streaming Service

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  • by Master Moose ( 1243274 ) on Wednesday September 30, 2015 @05:51PM (#50631717) Homepage

    I do not look forward to the future where all entertainment is streamed.

    It puts too much power into the hands of the content providers and distribution channels. Arbitrary restrictions such as regional lock outs, approved devices and discriminative pricing are always a part of the package.

    While there is a convenience to streaming services. I can only hope that the option for physical/local "ownership" of media is always an option.

    Not entirely on topic i know, but relative (to this Luddite anyway)

    • by Kunedog ( 1033226 ) on Wednesday September 30, 2015 @06:10PM (#50631839)
      Imagine if the Ubisoft always-on DRM had been an inherent, unremoveable aspect of the game system rather than just something tacked on to a few individual games after the fact, such that Ubisoft couldn't even begrudgingly neuter it in a patch. Well, streamed games are even worse than that would be.

      The game doesn't even run locally. All you get is streaming video/audio and all the lag you'd expect (including controller lag), which is a recipe for disaster in North America.

      Let's say you're lucky enough to have a 30mb/s connection. Why would you want to use it to transfer your game's video instead of, uh, a DVI cable, which is capable of 4 Gb/s? The people who developed DVI apparently understood that that 1920 x 1200 pixels w/ 24 bits/pixels @ 60Hz results in bandwidth well over 3 Gb/s. The people who push streamed gaming seem very, very confused (at best).

      Some people consider IPS monitors unsuitable for games requiring fast reflexes (i.e. FPSes) due to their double-digit response times. Internet latency is often worse and certainly more unpredictable than LCD monitor response time, and with streamed games it applies to audio and keyboard/controller/etc input too.

      Those of us who know anything about bandwidth and compression and (especially) latency can see the enormous technical obstacles facing a service like this, and I've never heard anyone explain how they intend to solve them. Onlive (for example) did everything they could to lock out independent reviewers with NDAs and closed demonstrations. A friend of mine described it as the gaming equivalent of the perpetual motion scam, and IMO that's spot on (except that streaming would still have the draconian DRM issues even if it worked perfectly).

      Streamed gaming appears designed from the ground up to benefit the game publishers and fuck the customers, exactly as you'd expect from any DRM system.
      • by JDeane ( 1402533 ) on Wednesday September 30, 2015 @07:17PM (#50632205) Journal

        The only way "game streaming" will ever work in my opinion is where files are sent to the machine on a predicted as needed basis. Your local machine will still run the game per usual but the 50GB's of assets will not all be downloaded at one time. Blizzard games are doing this now and it really seems to work well.

        Now as for the customer getting the short end of the stick, it's not all bad. If your going to be playing an online game your at the mercy of the publisher anyway. At least with Blizzard's version of streaming you don't have to wait nearly as long to play once you buy it or the patch comes out. So that part is a plus.

        I am not sure this is just a DRM scheme, I think it's more of a money grab on the publishers part because anytime you can cut out the middle man you stand to make more money. In this case the middle man would be your local game stores.

        So part DRM part money grab part customer service, it's a lot of trade offs and you have to decide what ones your willing to make.

        For me Blizzard and Valve have done it right and I buy games from them. Once they decide to turn all evil empire on me I will complain a LOT and everyone will know about it. Until then they are OK in my book for now. On a side note, out of all the game consoles I own I refuse to do any sort of digital purchases anymore. They are so locked in it's just giving customers a middle finger.

      • Meh, it's not that big a deal for most games. Onlive worked, albeit with a little bit of lag. Maybe not great for shooters, but for most action/puzzle/etc. games (especially controller-driven ones that don't require super precision) it was totally playable.

        If your internet connection is good enough for Netflix, Onlive offered a similar experience (slightly worse, since you can't pre-buffer a game like you can a static movie) but still playable. It was a godsend when I didn't have a gaming-capable computer i

    • This is one case where crony capitalism actually works in our favor, because as long as the ISPs are owned by douchebags that would rather impose caps and throttle their users than spend a thin dime upgrading their infrastructure? That day will never come.
    • by youngone ( 975102 ) on Wednesday September 30, 2015 @10:12PM (#50633001)
      While you're right about streaming, I wouldn't worry too much about this service:

      To use GeForce NOW you'll need an NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV, SHIELD portable, or SHIELD tablet (with the latest software updates installed) and a SHIELD-approved 5GHz router.

      So no-one will be using this service.

    • and if comcast / espn / other get's there way you have to buy stuff like ESPN online / diseny online and other for a basic price of $40+ just to just be able to add this on.

  • by 0123456 ( 636235 ) on Wednesday September 30, 2015 @05:55PM (#50631751)

    How is this different to that streaming service that went bust a few years ago because there's no way you can play most games with the latency of an Internet connection?

    At least, I think it went bust, I haven't heard anything about it in years.

    • Onlive? Yep, they went under. Honestly, I think it's more of a business model issue. For example, there are plenty of free-to-play games on Steam, but when I tried Onlive they seemed to offer free demos of a few games but had basically no actual free games, probably because it would be far too difficult to actually monetize them. Considering most people who used it probably had doubts about its longevity, it's no surprise that people didn't really want to invest in Onlive. In order for concerns about latenc
    • I highly doubt it's different in regards to latency. Even Steam in-home streaming via ethernet is too laggy for anything other than slow single-player games. It's like playing with 30FPS instead of 60FPS... Rocket League, for instance, feels just slightly mushy control-wise, which is enough to make it hard to accurately hit the ball. It's a significant handicap in any multiplayer game...

  • DO NOT WANT (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ewhac ( 5844 ) on Wednesday September 30, 2015 @05:59PM (#50631787) Homepage Journal
    Let me see if I'm understanding this correctly.

    You want me to install an invasive gaming client that delivers no actual game content to me, imposes a network lag on all input, does not allow me to run a zero-latency LAN gaming session, does not allow me to run my own public server for my friends... And your business model is to get me to pay for this degraded experience?

    ...Good luck.

    • Re:DO NOT WANT (Score:4, Insightful)

      by jonwil ( 467024 ) on Wednesday September 30, 2015 @06:20PM (#50631897)

      No, they want people who don't own a gaming beast PC to buy a NVIDIA SHIELD device and play games on it. If you are the sort of person who has a gaming PC and plays games on it, this service isn't for you.

      • Re:DO NOT WANT (Score:4, Informative)

        by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday September 30, 2015 @11:09PM (#50633207) Journal

        Except that "You need a gaming beast PC" has been a myth for quite awhile now, hell you can play battlefield 4 [] on an AMD A10 7850k,which you can get in kit form for $345 after MIR [], that is "Walmart PC" territory. Just slap on the free edition of Windows 10 and voila! $350 PC that will play most games at 30FPS, even comes with an SSD.

        That is of course if your PC is truly ancient and you want a new PC, if its less than 7 years old or you don't mind going to Craigslist? You can get a gaming PC for just stupid cheap. The cheapest gaming PC was one I set up for a single mom down the hall as a favor, cost? $150! I just picked up a C2Q PC off of CL with 4GB of RAM, Windows 7 and a 500GB HDD (cost $75) and then $75 for an HD7750. He plays TF2 and other online shooters at 30FPS+ with no issue and since most games don't use quads to their full capability they can always pop in a $100 GPU in a year or two and keep right on gaming.

        So the "beat PC for gaming" is just a myth, its for guys that care more about bench scores than game scores.

        • Wow, it's easy! Just buy an unassembled PC off some website nobody uses, then send in the mail-in rebate, then get the imaginary free version of windows 10, then build your own computer, and after installing and debugging, you're capable of playing current games at a low frame-rate!

          • Wow are you REALLY this dumb, or are you just a console tard? Lets see 1.- Tigerdirect is one of the largest e-tailers in North America, 2.- There are vids of 6 year olds putting together PCs, fuck they come with instructions that use pictures so you don't even need to be able to read (should be great for you) 3.- Windows 10 IS FREE, just type "Windows 10 for free" and you can get the Insider version for a whole $0, and are you really too fucking dumb to know how to fill out a fucking envelope and mail in y

            • by jo_ham ( 604554 )

              Lost the charger for your trimmer?

              That itchy neckbeard is clearly affecting your mood.

            • Wow, that is a lot of anger!

              Of course almost anybody here *could* do all of this. But it's non trivial, either. Personally I have better things to do with my time. And for non-Slashdotters...I know a lot of non-techie people who just wouldn't seriously consider building their own computer.

              Windows 10 for free is the free upgrade, isn't it? I run Mac and Linux so I don't have old windows disks lying around to upgrade.

              • Uhhh not trivial? I'll just leave this here then [] but will note he is taking his time, I've seen a basic unit thrown together no problem in under 20 minutes flat, hell it takes longer for Windows to update than it does to throw together a PC now!

                BTW it took me under an hour from putting the parts on the table to Windows install, and I had FOUR hard drives, TWO Optical drives, and an R9 280 GPU. I guess you haven't seen a PC case lately, everything but the really cheap shit is tool-less, just pop out slider,

  • It may be tempting to call GeForce NOW an official re-branding of its GRID game streaming beta but that is reportedly not the case. The GRID beta is going away with the launch of GeForce NOW (an update will replace the GRID app with GeForce NOW), but according to NVIDIA, GeForce NOW was re-architected from the ground up to provide a better overall experience.

    So it's an official re-branding GRID.

    • by Punto ( 100573 )

      Which is actually the smartest move they can make for that brand, given [], although I think I'm the only parson in the world to ever make the connection. One of my favorite things at GDC for the past ~3 years was going to their booth and asking "are you seriously sticking with GRID? All caps?", they seemed to be completely clueless about it..

  • I hate companies that limit features to particular branded hardware for marketing rather than any actual technical reason.
    This app allows you to use nvidia gamestream with other android devices: []

    • Seems to be very common in the android world with Samsung.

      Often you get the excuse that rather than "backroom" deals, this is to ensure compatibility and customer experience.

      I say, these companies should make it clear that they will only "support" the supplier they are in bed with and get rid of these arbitrary restrictions.

    • This app allows you to use nvidia gamestream with other android devices:

      Not here it doesn't. It won't find my PC.

  • "To use GeForce NOW you'll need an NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV, SHIELD portable, or SHIELD tablet (with the latest software updates installed) and a SHIELD-approved 5GHz router.".... the PC... the PC ... don't forget it, otherwise it is going to suck!!
    • by Shados ( 741919 )

      This service is for people who dont want to buy a gaming PC.

      • by Z80a ( 971949 )

        It's getting quite hard to NOT buy a gaming PC, given the fact even the intel solutions are now able to run most good games at a decent frame rate.
        The era where you could buy a machine that won't even boot the games is quite over.

        • by Shados ( 741919 )

          The problem is Mac (though they can run some amount of games) and, more importantly, lap-tops.

          Those macbook air don't run games very well. They'll run them, sure. But after 2 years? They'll still work fine for email and word processing and light image editing. But for games? Nope nope nope.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Great! I really look forward to running the crash-tacular, semi-required, starting with boot service that Nvidia is going to include in their next set of drivers, even though I never plan on paying for this. Just like their SHIELD streaming service, which breaks things in subtle ways if you disable it (increasing Thunderbird start time by ~10 seconds, for example).

  • Maybe, just maybe this could have worked before the era of ISP data caps, but now there is no way.

    For the sake of argument, lets assume you're using the minimum requirement of 12Mb/s. Lets also assume you're on the high end of the average american household ISP data cap [] at around 300GB/month. This means you're getting 0.9132Mb/s [] of sustained usage rate all month long to fit beneath your data cap.

    If you take that 300GB cap and divide it out at a rate of 12Mb/s, that means you can use their service for 2 []
  • Face it this is only to be considered if you have fiber at home, because that's where the latency is lowest. Or perhaps some cable deployments.
    You even have to consider monitor latency, and wired ethernet vs wifi. Consumer will use the laggy TV without turning off or tweaking processing, and will rarely run an ethernet cable from TV to router, unless they're within 20 cm from each other : that's one weakness of the plan.

    Really if the conditions are met that seems a fine and neat system. It eliminates the ne

  • They sorry now? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Streaming video games is weak on it's own merits. PC and console are already the best bets. Nvidia deserves to lose every penny they allocate for a Linux (Android) game device. For years and years they stymied Linux and now they want to profit on Android. Dicks. Yeah their video cards are good, so were 3DFX's who they sued and bought out. Credit for good video cards goes to their devs, not their management.


  • "Netflix for games." but only works on Shields.. er.. no.
  • Its nice to hear for a long .. we were expecting some news about it streaming is cool and on this topic we try to benefit some [] fps improvment while streaming

The only possible interpretation of any research whatever in the `social sciences' is: some do, some don't. -- Ernest Rutherford