Nvidia on Wednesday laid out its plans to become the “Netflix of games,” with a new streaming service for its line of Shield devices that will cost $8 and starts with a three-month free trial.
Called GeForce Now, the service lets players stream from a library of games to the company’s Shield console, the Shield Tablet or Shield Portable gaming units. The company said gamers can click on a title, and instead of the usual download chore of gigabytes, it can be played immediately.
GeForce Now will go live Thursday for gamers in North America, Europe, Eastern Europe and Western Russia, as well as Japan and South Korea.
Why this matters: Game streaming was one of the key features of Nvidia’s Shield console when it was announced in March, but it’s taken until now for the company to unwrap it officially and announce a price.
Nvidia joins a crowd
This is a new venture for Nvidia, but others have already tried and failed at it. The most high-profile of those was OnLive, which went bust in 2012. It was ultimately purchased by Sony and rolled into its own Sony PlayStation Now game streaming service. GameFly also rolled out its own streaming game service this summer. GameFly’s service streams to select Samsung televisions and Amazon’s Fire TV set top boxes and has already been described as the “Netflix of games.”
Nvidia officials pointed to the company’s forte: better graphics. Andrew Fear, a product manager for GeForce Now, said the new service is built on well-known GeForce GTX graphics.
“Our Geforce Now service is faster than any of the latest generation consoles and the great thing is that we’re going to continue to update our hardware and our servers every year,” Fear said.
Fear could have a point. GeForce Now will stream PC games at up to 1080p resolution and at up to 60 fps. GameFly maxes out at 30 fps, and PlayStation Now currently streams PS3 games.
Sony’s library is the largest of the three, with more than 400 games. GameFly appears to have about 40 titles, while GeForce Now is going out the gate with about 60 games. The company said it will continue to add games to the mix and—like Netflix—take games out of rotation as well.
Not just Grid
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