Nvidia has been trying to make its GeForce Now streaming service a viable product for years, but it has yet to get all the kinks worked out. Google leapfrogged Nvidia when it launched Stadia late last year, offering cloud gaming on a limited basis to those who bought the spendy Founder’s Edition bundle. Nvidia may be close to wrapping up its latest GeForce Now beta, and rumors claim it’s targeting a subscription price that’s just half of Stadia’s.
GeForce Now launched in 2013 as Nvidia Grid, and it remained in beta for a few years on Nvidia Shield devices. Nvidia launched a few years later with a $7.99 monthly fee. That gave you access to a library of older games, but new titles were purchased separately. This wasn’t a success, and Nvidia went back to the drawing board to develop the new GeForce Now. During this beta period, Nvidia has added integrations with Steam and Uplay and made the service compatible with more devices.
A report from VideoCardz.com (which is reliable for gaming information despite the name) claims that Nvidia is planning on a $4.99 monthly fee for the premium GeForce Now service tier. Free users will have their gaming sessions capped at 1 hour, and they’ll have to wait longer to get a slot on Nvidia’s servers. Paying customers get priority access, longer sessions, and RTX ray-tracing support. However, the $4.99 fee might be a limited time offer for just the first year.
GeForce NOW Free
🧽 Standard Access
🧽 1-Hour Session Length
GeForce NOW FOUNDERS $4.99/Month (For 12 Months)
🧽 Priority Access
🧽 Extended Session Length
🧽 RTX ON
🧽 Free 90-day Introductory Period
🧽 Limited Time Offer
We asked Jensen for more details 🤭
— VideoCardz.com (@VideoCardz) January 30, 2020
GeForce Now supports a few hundred games via Steam and Uplay — it used to allow testers to install “unsupported” games from Steam on the GeForce Now servers, but that ability vanished a few months back. Still, hundreds of games dwarfs Google’s Stadia lineup. Google is probably hoping that its custom features will attract developers who will make exclusive games for Stadia, but it’s too early to know if that will happen.
Google will charge $10 per month for Stadia Pro, which includes 4K streaming and game discounts. Unlike GeForce Now, Stadia requires customers to buy games from the Stadia store. The ability to play many of the Steam games people already own, along with the lower monthly fee, could encourage gamers to use GeForce Now instead. At least, that’s probably what Nvidia hopes. Google’s free Stadia tier could be almost as good as the paid one when it launches, and that could throw Nvidia’s plans into disarray.