NVIDIA’s GeForce NOW has emerged as the most compelling game streaming service, at least if you already have a wide selection of purchased PC games at your disposal. It draws upon Steam, the Epic Games Store, and others to populate players’ libraries, and it’s adding new games every week. Its latest expansion is geographical, bringing the service to new areas.
At the time of writing NVIDIA’s own datacenters powered by RTX cloud servers serve up GeForce NOW streaming to the US, Canada, and most of Europe. The company partners with telecom infrastructure companies to offer official support in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Russia as well. Today NVIDIA announced upcoming support to Australia, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, partnering with local data providers Pentanet, Zain KSA, and Turkcell, respectively.
It’s technically possible to play GeForce NOW games outside of officially-supported countries using a VPN, but the speed and latency hit make this impractical. Partnering with local ISPs and telecoms in the “GeForce NOW Alliance” allows NVIDIA to deliver streaming games fast enough to play as if you had the hardware in front of you, with only a minimally detectible amount of lag. Briefly: it’s good enough for Fortnite, not quite zippy enough for Rocket League.
This means that users who can hit the required up and down speed on their internet connections (25 megabits per second up and down) will be able to enjoy streaming games at 1080p and 60 frames per second, on Windows, Mac, Chromebooks, Android (including the SHIELD TV), and now iPhones and iPads via a Safari web app. Mouse and keyboard or controller support are enabled for each platform. It’s free to play in one-hour sessions, but you’ll have to pay up ($25 for six months, at the moment) for extended sessions and support for RTX-enhanced graphics.
NVIDIA didn’t say when players will be able to log on in Australia, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, other than “later this year.” The company also said that more telecom partners will be coming in 2021 and beyond to boost availability to more areas.