Nvidia is soon to release a new version of the Nvidia Shield Android TV. It will also expand its GeForce Now cloud gaming service in the coming months to more than just Shield devices.
However, the new GeForce Now will be an alternative offering, just for PC and Mac users. And the Shield version will remain too - albeit a little refreshed. But as they will both go by the same name, you can be forgiven for being a little confused.
So what is GeForce Now and what are the differences between the two versions?
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What is Nvidia GeForce Now?
Nvidia GeForce Now was originally launched as Nvidia Grid and is the company's answer to PlayStation Now. It is a cloud gaming service that gives access to games stored on dedicated GeForce graphics-enabled PCs which can be played on an Nvidia Shield TV box or Shield Tablet.
Nvidia has improved the technology recently, updating all of its servers to Pascal-based PCs and up to GTX 1080 graphics, so it is capable of running games at their best and streaming them to your device. It is also soon to offer a similarly named, but different kind of service to PC and Mac owners.
A new, alternative version of GeForce Now will also be available on PC and Mac from springtime. It will give access to games bought through Steam, GOG, Origin and other online hubs to play whenever and wherever you want. The games can also be played on a GTX 1080 PC, to give you the very best experience no matter what computer you are streaming them to. GTX 1060 PCs are also available as a better budget option.
For both versions of GeForce Now, the games are stored and played remotely and video up to 1080p and in 60 frames per second is streamed to your device with control codes being sent in the opposite direction over the internet. It is an extremely low latency service so there is very little lag and it responds as if the game were stored directly on your device. In many ways, you can't tell the difference.
How do I get it and when?
The existing Nvidia GeForce Now service is available on the current Shield TV and Shield Tablet devices, plus the new Shield TV which is coming soon. The new version will launch in March in the US first. We're still waiting on launch dates for other territories.
It will just require the download of an application for your PC or Mac.
The new Shield Android TV user interface has GeForce Now games integrated into its design.
How much does it cost?
The existing Nvidia GeForce Now costs £7.49 a month for unlimited access to around 60 games, with a further 40 or so available to purchase outright.
The new version, however, has a different payment structure as you are technically playing your own bought games, downloaded from Steam or another supplier, through the service. You will purchase packets of credit for $25 a shot and, depending on how high-end the experience and what PC it is run on at Nvidia's end, those credits will give you playing time.
An example given by Nvidia during its announcement event was that $25 could get you around 20 hours worth of play on a GTX 1060 PC set-up or less time if you opt for the best quality on a GTX 1060 PC.
What games are available?
The big thing about the new GeForce Now is that your own games will be available to you. So if you have a healthy library of games on Steam, Origin, GOG or whathaveyou, you can simply install them on the remote machine and play them whenever you fancy.
It dramatically opens up the potential for the service over the 100 titles previously available.
For Shield TV or Tablet owners, their version of GeForce Now will soon get all of Ubisoft's titles too, with day and date releases, so you can purchase games at the same time they hit the stores.
Where are my save files stored?
All of your save files are stored in the cloud so you can pick up where you left off whenever you like.
Can I use Wi-Fi and what is the minimum internet speed it works on?
Wi-Fi works well (we had the current GeForce Now service running on a Wi-Fi connection in a hotel room with no problems whatsoever) and the absolute minimum broadband speed it will work on is 1.5Mbps. However, Nvidia recommends at least 6.5Mbps if you want to maintain a stable frame rate and ensure that latency is low.
Indeed, it told us that a 10Mbps connection is ideal as then there is enough bandwidth to have at least 6.5Mbps dedicated to the experience with the rest being used by other internet connected devices at the same time.
Can I play multiplayer games?
GeForce Now is now compatible with multiplayer online games too. The Division will be playable, for example, when it launches soon.
What's more, you can play in multiplayer online worlds alongside players of the PC versions of games.