Nvidia has announced GeForce Now, its new cloud gaming service, has come out of limited beta.
As all 300,000 beta users transition across to a free membership tier, the company has also announced plans to introduce $5/£4 premium membership – a special introductory price guaranteed for the remainder of 2020 – that offers the first three months for free.
GeForce Now says it is “the only cloud gaming service with access to a wide range of free-to-play games, more than 30 and growing” and “there are hundreds of games from more than 50 publishers that, once you own, are available for instant play. All these games are patched automatically in the cloud, so your library is always game ready”.
Players can also keep playing the games they already own and continue building libraries from the same stores you already use every day due to GeForce Now’s open platform.
“Today we’re making GeForce Now — and PC gaming — accessible to more gamers,” the company said in a new blog on the official website. “More than 1.2 billion players have made the PC the world’s largest gaming platform, yet only a fraction have a modern PC with the power to play their favourite games.
“GeForce Now lets you use the cloud to join in. It’s the power to play PC games anywhere, on any device — even the billion devices that aren’t game ready. You’re upgrading to a state-of-the-art gaming rig by virtually adding a GeForce graphics card to your PC, Mac, SHIELD or Android phone.”
“I expect the premium subscription pricing to increase, potentially to something like $9.99 a month, at the beginning of 2021, but at the current price point and 3 months free, conversion rate from free to paid is predicted to be high,” said Piers Harding-Rolls, director, head of games research & lead AR/VR analyst at IHS Markit.
“GeForce Now effectively straddles the use cases of existing gaming PC users that want access to their games on screens away from their PCs and also those gamers that don’t have access to a gaming PC. Nvidia’s stated ambition is to grow the GeForce Now membership across free and paid accounts to 1 million as rapidly as possible, and I expect that to be achieved during 2021.”
Harding-Rolls also speculates that Nvidia is unlikely to expect GeForce Now to deliver a profit any time soon, but will probably “introduce other forms of monetisation” in the future.
“A cloud gaming service with free membership and no supporting monetisation model such as advertising, no revenue share from content sales, and a low-cost premium subscription too low to cover the cost of usage means that GeForce Now will not be delivering a profit for Nvidia any time soon,” he said. “Indeed, the cost of ongoing service delivery, investment and maintenance of infrastructure will mean significant ongoing cost to Nvidia. As such, this is not a sustainable commercial business model and is primarily about moving rapidly and consolidating a significant presence in the GPU-based cloud opportunity.
“In time, Nvidia will be prompted to introduce other forms of monetisation and increase subscription costs if it wants to generate any sort of margin.”