GeForce NOW goes off-GRID and out of beta

Start your game engines...

Update: GeForce Now is revving up its bid for living room domination today by announcing that the streaming platform will now support Gamestream at 4K/60FPS with 5.1 surround sound.

The latest build, which launched earlier today, will also support 1080p/60 streaming to YouTube Gaming and Twitch.

Original story below...

Nvidia's game-streaming service, GeForce NOW, has finally exited its beta phase and gained a whole new name.

Previously known as Nvidia GRID, the service has been available for free to existing SHIELD console, tablet and portable owners (remember the portable? aww, bless…) but has of today grown out of its pupal stage.

The streaming service has now become a subscription-only service, exclusively available across Nvidia's SHIELD ecosystem.

SHIELD Family

And that ecosystem is set to grow in Europe tomorrow too, with the impending launch of the Nvidia SHIELD 4K console.

For $7.99 (£7.49 or €9.99) a month you get immediate, unrestricted access to the selection of GeForce NOW Membership Games. This is, at the moment, a pack of around fifty different games (mostly what was available in the free beta tests) which will grow as the service matures.

This is the core of what GeForce NOW is all about and enables you to jump into some great PC games without the need to download anything, just sit back and stream. Just pick a title and it loads in less than a minute.

Membership games

And because it's running on Nvidia's Maxwell-powered supercomputer servers you're able to run up to 1080p at 60 frames per second. Sony's PlayStation NOW taps out at 30fps.

To hit those heights though Nvidia has some pretty high recommendations, expecting to require a download connection of 50mbps for 1080p/60.

Save yourself

Save games will be stored in the cloud, allowing you to return at a later date and pick up from where you left off. That also works if you let your membership slide for a while too, as Nvidia will keep save games for a limited time even if you're not subscribing to the service right now.

But the number of Membership Games will also shrink at times too, as Nvidia decides to remove the less popular games for the setup.

That could be a pain if that happens to a favourite of yours that no-one else plays, losing all your hard fought gaming saves.

Store

Buy now, play now

That though won't happen to the games you buy through the service because you can also purchase the latest games to stream on Nvidia's powerful gaming servers too. Part of GeForce NOW is the store - purchase a game here and you'll be able to immediately get streaming without having to download for hours before you play.

And Nvidia has promised it won't ditch the games that people have bought - those will stay forever, with the save games being kept for up to five years of a lapsed sub.

Witcher 3

Some purchased games will even come with a download code for to use on your gaming PC to play locally too. The Witcher 3, for example, comes with a GoG.com code.

For something as vast as The Witcher 3 though that's possibly of little interest - without the function of a common savegame repository allowing you to keep your streamed and local games synchronised you'll find yourself only playing one or the other.

GeForce NOW is available right now in North America, European Union, Eastern Europe, Western Russia and Japan with multiple server locations worldwide to make sure you're always as close to the best streaming experience as possible.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Components Editor

Dave (Twitter) is the components editor for TechRadar and has been professionally testing, tweaking, overclocking and b0rking all kinds of computer-related gubbins since 2006. Dave is also an avid gamer, with a love of Football Manager that borders on the obsessive. Dave is also the deputy editor of TechRadar's older sibling, PC Format.