Gaming on the cloud is eventually going to be a thing but companies so far have struggled with the same issues pertinent at the start of its concept. Google getting in the game with Stadia gives a lot of hope to the whole cloud idea thing, but even they seem to be struggling on multiple fronts, that is performance and distribution. For most companies, performance and bandwidth balance remain an issue as cloud still can’t contend with physical access but at least Nvidia seems to be nailing the distribution part so far.
Although Google Stadia remains one of the best cloud providers in terms of quality and latency, people don’t seem to be on board with the whole buying games on their platform thing. For one, being a relatively new service on the cloud, it’s not very confidence-inspiring given users will lose access to the games they paid for if the service shuts down. Secondly, it’s not very convenient to have to buy the same game again to access it across platforms.
GeForce Now, on the other hand, lets users play supported games on their platform if they own it on existing services like Steam and Uplay. This makes sure you don’t lose access to your games and are able to play seamlessly across platforms. So far the service has been in beta, giving select users free access, but that is going to change with the official launch. According to a recent leak, GeForce Now “Founder” tier will be priced at $4.99/mo. Another interesting bit from the leak is RTX support and with this GeForce Now will be the only platform with the Raytracing option (for now).
With over 400 supported games and that too on already accessible platforms, 5$ a month seems to be a bargain compared to available options. Microsoft’s xCloud is another big contender in the cloud gaming space and they too will probably launch with a subscription model like Nvidia, but you will have free access to all the games in Xbox Game Pass. Most people prefer a subscription model and here Nvidia and Microsoft seem to have an edge in distribution over Stadia. Although it’s still too early to call out a winner here as all of them do certain things better than the others.