Streaming full-fat, high-end triple-A video games to you over the cloud is becoming big business, but the quality of the services on offer varies massively. For our money, GeForce Now is one of (if not the) best option around – and when it’s firing on all cylinders, it genuinely feels like magic. With that in mind, here’s some great news from CES: the service is about to get a little bit better.
Announced as part of Nvidia’s wide-ranging showing at the 2024 edition of the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show, the graphics power house reaffirmed its commitment to the game streaming space – with expansions and new features coming to the GeForce Now service.
For a start, more countries will be able to access GeForce Now more conveniently and at higher quality. There’s new data centers launching to support Poland, Chile, and Thailand, while Japan gets access to new servers that unlock the ‘Ultimate’ version of the service, where the server machines you stream the games from are powered by the beefy RTX 4080 graphics cards.
Additionally, the service will begin to support 1440p streams to Android devices, Now’s support for Nvidia’s lag-reducing Reflex software will be improved, and there’s a cloud form of the G-Sync technology that’ll help to lower latency and stuttering.
But more interesting is the addition of a new way to use the service – a GeForce Now ‘Day Pass’. As it currently stands, you can only play GeForce now with a month-long, recurring subscription. That all changes soon, however – Nvidia is introducing a ‘Day Pass’ for the service.
The idea behind this is pretty simple. Nvidia is used to serving the most hardcore of gamers products like uber-expensive and powerful graphics cards. The company knows those people aren’t interested in game streaming – or at least, not all the time. The Day Pass is partially intended to serve those people.
Say you go on holiday or a business trip and want to continue playing something you’ve already started, or want to complete your mission dailies in whatever your service game of choice is. You could now theoretically do this on a low-power laptop, or even your phone, with a one-day GeForce Now pass. You could also use the pass to try out the premium version of the GeForce Now service without committing to a six-month subscription.
The Day Pass will come in two forms. A Priority Pass for priority access to premium servers with sold PC hardware with 1080p and 60fps streaming will cost $4. Ultimate, which gives access to 4K and 120fps streaming from a RTX 4080 rig, will run $8.
For a comparison, six months of continuous Priority Access is $50, and the same for Ultimate is $100. Obviously, the regular subscription is the better value – but if you only want a single day or two of access while visiting family or something, the Day Pass is definitely worth consideration.
I actually see myself as the market for this sort of thing. I love taking games with me when I travel, but that’s typically involved playing visually-compromised versions on a portable device, or lugging around a hefty RTX laptop. This is the ideal alternative – and GeForce Now is no slouch when combined with the Steam Deck, either.
The main issue with these sorts of things remains scale – ensuring players never have to queue to get on a server and such. Especially if an offering like this grows the install base significantly. As a promise, on paper, this is an exciting development – and another feather in the cap of gaming’s best streaming service.