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Nvidia's GeForce Now cloud gaming service comes to the Shield

NVIDIA already launched GeForce Now on Mac OS and PC, though the service is still in public beta and still has a waitlist.

Published onJuly 10, 2018

  • NVIDIA announced GeForce Now will soon be available for the NVIDIA Shield.
  • The new service differs from the identically named previous offering on the Shield.
  • GeForce Now is NVIDIA’s cloud gaming service that lets you play your existing uPlay and Steam library from a server.
  • GeForce Now could launch on the Shield as soon as tomorrow.

It might be a bit long in the tooth, but the NVIDIA Shield continues to chug along as arguably the best Android TV box available today. Now the Shield is about to become even better, thanks to upcoming support for NVIDIA’s GeForce Now service. Wait.. didn’t it already have that? Yes.. also no.

If you’re confused, we don’t blame you. Previously there were actually two different services called GeForce Now, one for PC/Mac and another for the Shield family. The latter let you play games over the cloud from Nividia’s servers and was sort of like a Netflix for gaming. It also had some premium AAA games that you could buy. With the upcoming update, GeForce Now on the Shield becomes identical to the PC version.

In short, GeForce Now acts as a remote desktop provider. You can rent access to a virtual machine, where you can install your existing PC games from distribution platforms like Steam and Uplay. You can then play supported games remotely. You can also buy new games from Steam, directly from the Shield. If you bought a game on the older Shield service, you could only play it using Shield’s cloud service. Since the new GeForce Now actually uses a normal Steam account, that’s no longer the case.

Two price tiers provides access to GTX 1060 and GTX 1080-class performance, respectively. The idea is to sell GeForce Now to those that want to play PC games but do not own computers that match up with the performance requirements.

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GeForce Now can stream games at up to 1080p resolution at 60fps, though the service can go down to 720p at 60fps. You can even play certain titles up to 1080p resolution at 120fps. The service also uses adaptive bitrate streaming to scale the quality based on your bandwidth. Speaking of which, NVIDIA recommends a 25Mbps connection if you want the 1080p/60fps stream and 15Mbps for 720p/60fps.

As useful as GeForce Now sounds, it is still in beta for Mac OS and PC. We do not know if the same goes for the Shield version, nor do we know when the service launches on the Shield.

NVIDIA said GeForce Now could launch as early as tomorrow for the Shield, though we will pass along any additional information we receive.

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