By Seth G. Macy
Nvidia wants everyone to have access to its hardware. Knowing it’s impossible to fit a GTX 1080 into a MacBook, the company introduced a cloud-based gaming solution to let PC gamers access its top-end hardware without needing to assemble a gaming PC.
The GeForce Now service uses GTX 1080-equipped machines in data centers to stream games to PCs and Macs.
Nvidia is selling its service by touting it as an alternative to upgrading or replacing aging or ill-equipped computers. The service is compatible “with most” PCs and Macs, and requires downloading the GeForce Now client.
From there, the experience is pretty much the same as someone with a dedicated gaming rig. Games can be bought on Steam, GOG, Battle.net, etc., and installed and played on the GeForce virtual machines.
Of course, you can’t just dive headfirst into the world of GTX 1080 gaming. Nvidia’s top-end hardware is only available in the top-tier. After registering, Nvidia offers a free “8 hours on a GeForce GTX 1060 PC,” or 4 hours on a GTX 1080 PC. From there, the pricing schedule follows the same rule of halves: for $25 you get 20 hours on the 1060 or 10 on the 1080.
During yesterday’s Nvidia keynote, unseen Mass Effect Andromeda footage was shown to the public for the first time, running on GTX 1080 hardware.
You can sign up for early access on Nvidia’s site, and it will email you when it’s your chance to try it out.