As a Mac gamer, there’s always a large chunk of games that are out of reach, as they are released on Windows only. However, there are numerous ways to counter this and a new one has just arrived.
NVIDIA GeForce NOW is a cloud gaming service for Macs (and PCs). How it works is that you install a small client software on your computer, and then connect remotely to a powerful PC in one of Nvidia’s data centers. While this does require a fast and stable internet connection, it removes almost all performance requirements from your own computer. The remote computers are powered with high performing CPU’s and Nidia’s latest graphic cards and running Windows 10.
In theory, this means that any Windows game is now at the hands of gamer, although you still need buy the game (currently supported platforms are Steam, Battle.net and Uplay plus a few stand-alone games like League of Legends) to be able to play it on the service. Nvidia brings the PC – you bring the game, sort of.
However, there’s still some limits on which games you can play, as games still needs official support from Nvidia to work. The list is ever growing, but it’s still only a fraction of all games on Steam. Also, any game not on these service, like games exclusive to Origin, won’t work at this time. Still, it’s a sizable list
It is actually possible to get an unsupported games from Steam to run, but it a) requires you to download the game each time you play (which isn’t as painful as it seems when you download at 250MB/s) and b) the game can’t require to install any additional software during installation (like a launcher).
The client user interface serves its purpose for now, but it is a bit difficult to get a good overview and as the list of games increases, it will only get worse with this design.So, if you have a good connection (I recommend playing over either a wired connection, or a 802.11ac 5Ghz WiFi), and the game is in the supported list, how does it work? Surprisingly well.
Sure, there’s occasional lag and you have to content with 1080p, but the streaming quality is really good and input delay is barely noticable. It works well with both mouse+keyboard or controllers like a DualShock.
Since it’s currently in a beta, it’s free to use. Initially, NVIDIA announced that it would a pay per use service (ie pay for 20 hours of use), but they have retracted thos planes and final pricing is yet to be revealed.
To summarize, the at this time it’s a very promising service but still have to find a way to add more games to their library without having to add them manually. Personally, I’m hoping they’ll add Star Citizen to their collection, would be awesome to play that at max settings on my Mac.