Nvidia is bringing ray tracing and Android support to its GeForce Now game streaming service
The long-running beta finally ends this yearBy Rob Thubron
Something to look forward to: With several companies putting their faith into cloud-based game streaming, it's easy to forget that Nvidia has been testing its service for years. After a long wait, the company has announced that GeForce Now will finally get a public launch sometime in 2019, and it's adding support for real-time ray tracing and Android phones.
Following its unveiling at CES back in 2017, the GeForce Now Beta launched for Macs in the summer of that year. The program expanded to PCs at the start of 2018 and remains in beta. To date, users have streamed 30 million hours of gameplay across over 1,000 games to PCs, Macs and Nvidia shields.
GeForce Now lets users play graphically demanding games on low-end machines by accessing Nvidia's high-end PCs via the cloud, which were packed with the GTX 1060 and GTX 1080. Players have to buy their own games from Steam, Uplay, or Blizzard's Battle.net, and these are installed onto a cloud gaming rig.
Technology doesn't stand still, of course. Nivida has announced it is rolling out its RTX servers in Northern California and Germany (more locations will follow), with each blade server featuring 40 GPUs. They will also be made available to third-parties for services such as datacenter and cloud graphics applications.
For GeForce Now users, the RTX servers mean real-time ray tracing effects in games that support the feature, including Metro: Exodus, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and, in a few months, Minecraft.
Additionally, Nvidia said it will soon launch a GeForce Now Android app, starting with a beta program. It recommends using a Bluetooth controller as some PC games are unplayable on touchscreens.
We still don't know how much GeForce Now will cost, but it will doubtlessly have changed from the extremely high prices announced in 2017. You can sign up to a waitlist here.