Two stories have dominated the iOS gaming world lately: Apple’s stonewall versus game streaming platforms like Xbox Game Pass and Stadia, and the company’s high-profile battle with Epic Games over Fortnite’s in-app purchases. What more could a tech news addict hope for than a story that combines both: Fortnite’s coming back to the iPhone on GeForce NOW. Maybe.
That’s actually underselling it a bit. According to the BBC, NVIDIA is working on a version of its streaming service GeForce NOW that will work on the Safari browser. That would allow players access to libraries of already-purchased games from Steam, the Epic Games Store, EA’s Origin, and Ubisoft uPlay, without the installed app that GeForce NOW currently uses on Android and Windows. Running the service through the browser would allow GeForce NOW to skirt Apple’s arbitrary policy that every single streaming game needs to be separately listed and reviewed reviewed (and monetized) in the App Store.
So far every game streaming service has balked at this requirement, including GeForce NOW, Stadia, Game Pass, and the upcoming Amazon Luna. The latter two have already confirmed that they’re working on browser-based solutions. A third-party app that allowed browser access to Stadia was swatted down by Apple on a technicality.
NVIDIA declined to comment on the story to the BBC, but this sort of expansion was inevitable. Though both GeForce NOW and Fortnite are free, this wouldn’t bring an end to players’ iPhone woes. Playing on GeForce NOW requires a strong, stable connection—one that’s usually impractical over mobile networks—and GeForce NOW doesn’t include any touch optimization, so players would need attached controllers. What’s more, they’d be playing the PC version of Fortnite, at a distinct disadvantage versus players with a mouse, keyboard, and big monitor. The same would be true of all the other games in GeForce NOW’s catalog, though single-player games would obviously be less of a problem.
Source: BBC Tech