Full Review Nvidia Geforce Now Service – PC, Android, Nvidia Shield – Stream Steam and Epic Games!

hey everybody it’s lon seidman and we’re taking another look today at the nvidia geforce now game streaming service we last looked at this when it was in beta about a year and a half ago and i know a lot of you have been waiting for your beta invitations to get in and try the service out the beta is now over it’s in full release mode so i thought we would take another look at it today and see what it is all about and also maybe look at a few things that have changed since the beta now i want to let you know in the interest of full disclosure that nvidia provided us with a founders membership to try out for this review however all the opinions you’re about to hear are my own they are not paying for this review nor is anyone reviewing it or approving it before it gets uploaded all right so let’s dive into this we’re going to look at all of the currently supported platforms that this supports beginning with the pc what you’re about to see here is the same experience as what you’ll have on the mac now what’s different about geforce now over google stadia is that you don’t have to buy the games through nvidia in fact you can’t buy the games through nvidia you have to own them on steam or on epic or one of the other supported platforms that they are working with and that means that if i ever decide to stop using geforce now i don’t lose my games because they’re on my steam account and i can just load them up on my gaming pc and a lot of these games that i own support save game

syncing so i could start playing the game here on the service and then pick it up on my local desktop machine later it’s really cool to have that flexibility so that is a neat feature and i think very liberating from a consumer perspective i’ve got doom right now running remotely here and we’re playing it on this little 200 mini pc and overall it performs really really nicely they say that it’s close to what you might experience with a gt rtx 2080 gpu uh the maximum resolution is 1080p and i have mine right now set to the highest resolution it looks pretty good you’ll see artifacts occasionally here and there more so of course if you are running it in one of the lower bandwidth modes but if you have a good amount of bandwidth available to you and we’ll step through what some of the requirements are in a minute you’ll have a really compelling pc gaming experience here without having to own the expensive hardware i will work on android phones and we’ll look at one of those in a few minutes and of course the nvidia shield which is their tv box also supports this and the performance feels about the same as it did during the beta as you can see here there is going to be a little bit of latency that you’ll experience just because of all the networking involved in getting this to run because this key press has to be transmitted to the server over the internet and if your pc like this one might introduce some lag to

begin with you’ll be amplifying that lag so my measurements are about 80 to 100 milliseconds of additional lag that you’ll experience using this service versus running it locally but for games that are not all that critical on hitting the buttons at the right time you shouldn’t really have too many problems with it doom has been playing fine for me i’m not the best doom player out there but it does seem to be working here pretty decently i would recommend for the best performance to just plug everything in via usb so you just minimize all of the lag points locally just given that you will again get about 80 to 100 milliseconds of additional lag just by using the streaming service here but again i just like the fact that i own this game i can play this on the service or somewhere else and if i am away and i’m just dealing with low powered hardware here it will stream for me quite easily so let’s take a look at the settings screen here and the big thing you need to look at is the streaming quality section i’ve got mine right now set to the highest possible settings which is a 50 megabit per second bit rate on the game streaming video that is getting us 1080p at 60 frames per second you can reduce the bit rate and keep the frame rate going so for example i could adjust this down to maybe the halfway mark here the quality will

decline but i’ll consume less data so when i’m at the high point here let’s go back up to the 50 you’ll see that i’m consuming 15 gigabytes per hour to play this game which will certainly blow through any data caps that you might have so you can really adjust the quality settings here to get the best possible balance of quality and data consumption but you will of course lose quality when you drop this down a bit but you could maybe go from 60 to 30 frames per second to maybe improve image quality with a lower bit rate so you can kind of tweak this around a little bit and try to find what works best for your particular situation they also have some defaults set up so i found here competitive we’ll drop it down to 720p and we’ll attempt to reduce the overall latency i didn’t see much of a difference in latency with this there was a marginal one but you could give up some resolution here for a little better performance this one consumes only six gigabytes per hour there’s a data saver option which will bring you down to four gigs but it won’t look very nice so you can see here it goes 720p 12 megabits at 60 frames per second and then there’s a balance setting here which will try to adjust things based on networking conditions now my advice for you is to make sure if you can to plug in your devices via ethernet because that will give you a much more reliable connection versus what you might

experience on wi-fi wi-fi can be very temperamental it could be working great but then if you got somebody else on the wi-fi access point that starts uploading something or maybe downloading a lot of data or streaming a movie or something that might impact your performance so my advice again if you can plug in via ethernet because you will get the most consistent experience here but i think for most folks the balanced option will probably be the best way to go and this is what it enables by default but you can jump in there and do some crazier stuff now you can record game footage through the nvidia app on the mac and pc but you’re going to be recording what it is sending to you so what you do is hit ctrl g here and i can hit record you can also set up some keyboard shortcuts for that but again if you are streaming at a low bit rate all that muddied image quality will be what gets recorded so just be aware of that it’s not going to give you what the server is rendering another cool thing though is that it does support rtx effects if you are using the founders edition so right now i’m playing the quake 2 rtx enhanced version which has the improved lighting features and it doesn’t seem to be taking much of a frame rate hit versus my max-q enabled rtx laptop and it’s a great way if you don’t yet own a fancy rtx enabled gpu to start experiencing some of those new

lighting effects and this quake 2 game by the way is free on steam so you can get started on it and play around with it without having to pay for anything but you won’t get the rtx features on the free tier of service and this is a good opportunity perhaps to jump over and see what the service tiers are so the founders edition they’re going to charge 4.99 a month for the next 12 months you don’t have to lock in for a year here though they charge you monthly but the first 90 days are free the big difference between the free tier which costs nothing and the founders edition is that you can have an extended session length so they’ll let you play for up to six hours before they kick you off and then you can just log back in again you can jump the line also so if there’s 100 people lined up waiting for a server on the free tier you’ll jump that line as a founder’s edition member and then the rtx features here are enabled on the founders tier but not on the free tier the free tier will give you the same 1080p quality but you’re going to be limited to one hour session lengths and you’re going to have to jump out and then wait online again to get back in i haven’t played around too much with the free tier yet i would imagine right now because it just got released out to the world a lot of people are in there trying it but you might want to just go for the 90 day introductory period to give it a shot and see if it’s something that you might want to use but overall the price so far isn’t bad although i would imagine they’ll be increasing the price a little bit later

down the road all right a few odds and ends here before we move on if you want to do voice chat in your multiplayer games you can do that on the pc mac and android with your microphone headset thing but at the moment and i’m sure this will change in the near future the nvidia shield does not support voice chat for multiplayer games also of note at the moment you can’t stream out to twitch from your nvidia shield server if you want to do some streaming to your viewers you’ve got to do it locally with your local hardware and your local internet connection and of course if you’re saturating your connection with the game stream session that might impact your streaming ability so keep that in mind i would hope that if they’re charging for server access that they would let you stream remotely so i’ll have to keep an eye on that and see if they add that in the future now my big frustration though is how to find out if your game will work with the service because nvidia used to have this great web page with a big list of games but after they went live with the non-beta service they just replaced

it with a search and i guess maybe because the game list is getting longer and longer it was easier to have a search but for me who’s got probably 100 or more steam games that i’ve never played i don’t have a very quick way of knowing what i have that’s going to work with the service you’ve got to go game by game and search for it to see if it might work so let’s jump back over to the geforce now app here and if i type in ghostbusters for example which is one of the games i’ve been playing recently i can’t play it here because it’s not compatible but you don’t get anything in the app at the moment that tells you that it isn’t it just doesn’t show up likewise though if i type in a game that does work like doom which we were playing before those will appear in the search as you’re looking for things and then you’ll have the option to add the game to your library and that will put it into this section here so you can very quickly access those games later and what’s nice about this is that once you get everything set up if you click on doom it will automatically connect to the server it will boot up your steam account and get you going right into the game likewise shenmue 3 here which i have on the epic game store if i hit play here it’ll load up my epic account and get me into the game so once you find the game and put it in here it’s

pretty easy to get going with but it’s really going to be a chore to go through every game you own to figure out what works and what doesn’t i would really like them to figure out some way to connect to the api on steam and just do a match to speed up that process a bit just given that it is really cumbersome at the moment the other thing that surprised me is that they still allow you to connect up to your steam account on their server so right now this is me and my steam account on the steam server and you can see how many games i have i don’t play any of these things i just buy them when they’re cheap and if i go over to a game that i know doesn’t work i can’t get it to work by trying to install it either so let’s look for road redemption and the reason why i’m looking at this game is that this is one that isn’t supported but during the beta we were able to install it on the server and play it now you’ll get to the installation point but you’ll get the warning message here and then it will tell you that it can’t install the game because it doesn’t have permissions to do so before what they let you do was install the game and play it if it worked great and if it didn’t it just didn’t work and then maybe when you popped back into a future session you might have to go back in and reinstall the game again now it looks like they’re only allowing you to play things that they are officially supporting on that list so again go through your list check the website see what’s on there before you jump into this grand theft auto 5 for example still doesn’t work on the service so there are some popular games that you might want to play through this that you won’t be able to so do your searching ahead of time

and hopefully they’ll streamline this process in the future so let’s take a look and see how it runs on an android device now in full disclosure the phone we’re running it on is a pixel 3a from google that they sent to us free of charge a little while back and i’ll be controlling the phone and the game with this 8bitdo sn30 pro plus controller that they sent to us free of charge a little while back as well what’s nice is that they do keep your library synced up between devices so when you go through and add all the games on your pc they’ll be accessible to you on your phone now right now i am connected via wi-fi so this will give you a good idea as to how the wi-fi works i’ve got an ac wireless network i’m connecting to that’s probably your best bet on wi-fi the minimum requirement is 10 megabits per second for the lowest possible settings so you definitely again want to have some available bandwidth not only from your internet provider but also internally in your home what it does initially is analyze the network to figure out what it can do i found on android that there doesn’t appear to be settings at the moment for manually setting the bit rate so it’s going to try to find what works best here and now what it’s doing is spinning up that server on the nvidia side and once we get the game running let’s take a look and see how it plays on the phone all right so here we go it seems to be working just fine now normally i would have my phone clipped to the controller here but i

seem to have lost my clip but this will work with xbox one controllers along with sony playstation controllers and then things that are compatible uh with those controllers like the 8bitdo one here the 8bitdo right now is in x input mode connected via bluetooth latency doesn’t feel too bad on this although latency on android tends to be a little bit higher than it is on a pc so just keep that in mind but overall if you’re looking to play a game on your phone while you’re around the house this is a great way to do it it looks great i haven’t seen any real issues on wi-fi i think it’s been doing a pretty good job of figuring out the best bandwidth to have everything run at and as you can see here we’re getting a nice 60 frames per second frame rate too so all together a very nice android phone experience all right before we round out here let’s take a look at how it works on the shield on the nvidia shield you want to go to the nvidia games app and what it does is it kind of mixes together the stuff you might be streaming inside your home from your gaming pc for example like i do with the things that you might get through geforce now so it’s going to be a little muddled here but they do have a my library section here where you can pull up just the geforce now games so what i’ll do now is maybe go over to no man’s sky here and boot this up

again what it’s going to do is go out to that nvidia server and then spin things up i have set this to the ethernet settings that i had on the pc so we’re doing the 50 megabits per second here and let’s let this load up real quick it does take a little bit of time to get these servers going initially and then when it’s ready we’ll take a look and see how it plays so here is no man’s sky running on the shield and of course this is the pc version running on my shield it usually runs pretty nicely at a good frame rate with high quality settings but this is the one game that gives me a bit of lag on the service irrespective of what i run it on i could have this running on my super high end gaming pc and i’ll occasionally get some of that sluggishness going on with that too it’s just something related to geforce now in this particular game but most of the games that i run run fine and i really like the fact that when i’m done here it’ll sync my save file back and if i pop this

open on my desktop later it will be right where i last left off so really cool stuff and it seems to be working well here on the shield just like it does on other platforms so all together a very good experience here and i think nvidia is really onto something with this service overall now the settings for the shield are a bit buried what you need to do is leave your library here and then scroll all the way down to the bottom and if you go over to settings and then geforce now you can set your stream quality in here and they have separate settings for wi-fi versus ethernet so if you’re moving your shield around you can have it retain different settings depending on how it’s connected but as you can see here i manually set it for 1080p 60 at 50 megabits per second if you don’t do this it will automatically try to figure out what works best this will work on all of the shields even the original in fact this one here on the table is an original shield from 2015 no problems with this one uh the tube will also work the new tube that they came up

with with the streaming service too so all together i think it is a pretty good service here it’s pretty much the same as what it was in the beta from an experience standpoint i do think they’ve got to get the game library stuff figured out and a little bit easier because i think there’s a lot of games that we have in our libraries that are compatible that we’re not playing because we don’t know they’ll work unless we actually type it in i just would like to get a list of what i’ve got that works and i think that’s something they could probably achieve but overall it is much better than stadia from the standpoint that you own the games and you can play them on your own hardware or theirs your choice that is a great thing for consumers and right now i think the price is pretty reasonable at five bucks a month especially if you don’t have a capped connection and you have the desire to play some of these games with higher settings than what your current hardware can allow you to do and then if you buy that hardware one day you can just leave the service and all your games will follow you there so good stuff all

around we’ll keep an eye on g-force now moving forward i did not test it on a cellular network just because i have a very limited data cap there and i don’t think the experience will be all that great given you’ve got to maintain 10 megabits per second minimum to make it work so i think this is going to be largely a wi-fi thing it also doesn’t work with iphones or ipads yet either so hopefully that comes around at some point in the future so we do have a lot more to look at as new features come online so stay tuned we’ll look at chromebooks when those are ready to go and of course anything else that’s made compatible with the service down the road until next time this is lon simon thanks for watching this channel is brought to you by the london tv supporters including gold level supporters the four guys with quarters podcast tom albrecht rajesh logic gr and kalyan kumar if you want to help the channel you can by contributing as little as a dollar a month [Music] head over to lawn dot tv support to learn more and don’t forget to subscribe visit lawn dot tv s

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