I’m conflicted when it comes to the topic of streaming games. On one hand, the utopian vision of high-end gaming experiences being available to anyone, potentially on any device, is intriguing—inspiring even. On the other hand, the intangibility of cloud-based gaming makes it a hard sell.
Call me old-fashioned, but the idea of playing a game—properly playing it, from start to finish—via stream is fundamentally unappealing. There’s too many unstable factors to rely on: it feels like crossing a rickety rope-bridge that could give way at any moment. It’s why I paid no mind to Google Stadia: I was curious, sure, but not enough to buy into a service and then purchase games that would inevitably be inferior to their traditional counterparts.
Now, though, NVIDIA has launched its competing service with an altogether more tempting (and reasonable) business model: GeForce Now. Instead of charging for each title separately, GeForce Now connects to existing game clients (like Steam or Uplay) and runs those clients’ version of any given game. This means that there won’t be any exclusive ‘GeForce Now games’, as they’re all literally just PC titles being run remotely.
On top of this, membership is only £5 per month for ‘founders’—essentially early adopters—with a free tier of membership for players happy with restricted access to the service. With all of this in mind, and a free trial on offer for the ‘founders’ membership tier, I decided to challenge my prejudices against game streaming and finally give it a fair shake. Will my issues with the technology melt away in a humbling experience that teaches me the value of open-mindedness? Or will it fail to meet even my lowest of expectations, forever souring me on the phrase “cloud-based gaming”? Read More