With Nvidia GeForce NOW review, we provide you an in-depth analysis of the service and its gameplay experience.
Nvidia GeForce NOW review
After several weeks of playing on GeForce NOW, we’ll tell you about how our experience has been, highlighting all the aspects to be considered. Beyond music or video streaming, video games have always been there as a challenge for the world we live in.
The idea of being able to play any videogame from any device and wherever we want without stopping to think if we need a high-end computer or a new generation console is no longer a dream and is gradually becoming a reality thanks to streaming.
GeForce NOW: It doesn’t matter where you play want to play
GeForce NOW is a videogame streaming service created by Nvidia. Instead of playing on our computer, the games we want to play are processed inside Nvidia’s servers, which have a high-end computer inside.
This order has specific hardware, which today uses an Intel CC150 that at performance level is between an i7 and an i9, as well as an Nvidia Tesla RTX T10-8, which is equivalent to a midpoint between the Nvidia RTX 2080 Super and the RTX 2080 Ti. A positive part of this service is that as technology advances, they upgrade the hardware to a higher model so that we can always play at maximum capacity.
At the catalog level, it is very particular. It is one of the most open streaming services, allowing us to play PC games that we already bought.
This sounds very good for gamers who has a catalog harvested throughout their life of games. But it is also extremely attractive for those who have always preferred to play on the console.
One of the advantages of the PC world lies in its open nature. Steam is indeed the main reference, but we also have other prestigious stores such as GOG (available soon), the Epic Games Store, and even developer stores like Ubisoft Connect. We miss Origin, the Electronic Arts (EA) store that seeing that it is betting on Xbox Game Pass Ultimate does not seem to end up arriving.
Watch Dogs Legion: All Nvidia RTX technology on your phone
Those games whose game is synchronized in the cloud gain a lot of value in GeForce NOW, as has been the case with Watch Dogs Legion. This is one of the latest games from Ubisoft, which we have been testing and which is one of the best examples of the value of the game in streaming.
We have this particular title installed in our personal PC (with a Ryzen 5 2600 and a 6GB GeForce GTX 1060) a computer powerful enough to enjoy a good experience of gaming. As the computer is connected to the internet, when the game is saved it synchronizes in the cloud and is one of the most important added values of GeForce NOW.
The synchronization allows that as we stop playing on the computer and we switch to the phone, we can continue where we left off on the desktop. And when you go back to your computer, the game continues where we left it on our phone. With this synchronization, you don’t need to buy it two or more times for your devices.
In terms of quality, we almost prefer to play in streaming than on the PC itself. It is not something that one decides in any game, but in the particular case of Watch Dogs Legion, the choice is clear. It is because we can access the exclusive technologies of the Nvidia RTX cards.
The first of these is Raytracing, a technology that simulates the behavior of light in real-time to provide a much more realistic experience. In general, when we activate Raytracing, the following criterias can improve the visual quality:
- Lighting effects
- Environmental occlusion
In Watch Dogs Legion, the experience is enhanced by providing an extra bit of realism that is impressive. But this technology is not only applied to games that pursue realism. In Fortnite, all these effects make GeForce NOW one of the best game platforms.
Another great Nvidia technology present in Watch Dogs Legion is DLSS, which is only present in RTX cards. DLSS stands for Deep Learning SuperSampling. It is a rendering technique powered by artificial intelligence. This advanced rendering allows us to achieve better graphic quality, performance, or an intermediate mix of both.
Assasins’s Creed Valhalla and what we learned playing exclusively in streaming
While we experienced the Watch Dogs Legion halfway between streaming and a local experience with the computer, with Assasin’s Creed Valhalla we encountered a barrier to enjoying a hybrid experience that we were not expecting at all.
The latest Ubisoft title takes up a lot of space, for example if you have a 500GB disk, it will take up 70 percent of your disk and you may need to clean up software and games. At this point, you will realize that streaming, even if you plan to play on the PC, is especially convenient.
An invisible console
In 2020 to make a gaming party by inviting people to your house is not an activity that is possible due to coronavirus, but even if you do, nobody will notice that you are streaming the game. This is because the experience is smooth. Another aspect is that the game is always ready to play. The most frustrating thing about playing on a console was turning it on and having to wait, because the system or the game needed to be updated, and to some extent, it is also applicable to a PC. With cloud gaming, everything is updated so you can forget about problems and just focus on playing.
Although the quality of the service is excellent, there are some moments in which, as the hours of gameplay pass by, you miss being in front of a console. Playing on any device with an ethernet cable has been a perfect experience, but when we use Wi-Fi, there are moments when the application warns us of latency peaks or packet loss. More important than the speed of the internet, the stability of the network may also produce a problem.
We must also say that the luxury and comfort of playing from a cell phone with a good controller brings a sense of freedom that is hard to match. But you might check your mobile plan quota before playing everywhere you go or you might be shocked when your bill comes.
In our usage measures, through Wi-Fi, we ended up consuming about 40GB of data in two days of gameplay.
The best of Nvidia GeForce NOW
- You don’t need any tech knowledge to do it compared to a PC: You don’t have to think about whether this CPU or graphics card will serve you to play a certain game because you have a high-end computer that is constantly being updated.
- Say goodbye to updates: This advantage is greatly underestimated, but the luxury of starting to play in a moment, knowing the game and graphics drivers are always updated and you don’t need to wait.
- Saving to the cloud brings absolute freedom: When you are a gamer, what matters to you is not the teraflops or which console is better or if the PC is better, all you care about is mostly the games. To be able to play what you want, when you want, and how you want is incredible.
- Access games without downloading them: The majority of blockbusters in the gaming industry take up more than 50GB on the hard drive (and now it is going up to 60GB). And in the end, we end up being selective with the games we install.
The worst of Nvidia GeForce NOW
- No 4K or HDR streaming: If you play on your phone, tablet, and laptop, it won’t be a big problem. But on a big TV or a monitor, you might look for 4K or HDR.
- The Nvidia Shield TV Pro 2019 was recently upgraded to support a 4K game scaling to 60 frames per second, but it is the only TV device capable of doing so it would also be nice if the basic Shield 2019 could do it too.
- Playing on Wi-Fi can be frustrating at times: Even if you’re couple feets away and have a good connection, the moment you have several people using Wi-Fi at home you, interference and packet loss starts, and you know, it’s very annoying. We understand that it will depend on everyone’s home and router and that if you have a router that prioritizes gaming traffic, it should not happen. It hasn’t happened to us very often, and when it does, it’s not much time, but just enough to mention it.
- The whole catalog of game stores is not there: We know that it’s not Nvidia’s fault and that the company does everything possible to make the catalog as wide as possible, but if you don’t have the complete catalog of games from your favorite digital stores at hand, you can’t leave the PC gaming altogether.
- Need for a powerful connection to enjoy: It’s not a problem for Nvidia either, and it’s more linked to streaming games in general, but to be able to unwind and enjoy yourself anywhere, you’re going to need an unlimited data rate and a fast connection.