Cloud gaming uses powerful, industrial-strength GPUs inside secure data centers to stream your favorite games over the internet to you. So you can play the latest games on nearly any device, even ones that can’t normally play that game.
But First, What Is Cloud Gaming?
While the technology is complex, the concept is simple.
Cloud gaming takes your favorite game, and instead of using the device in front of you to power it, a server — a powerful, industrial-strength PC — runs the game from a secure data center.
Gameplay is then streamed over the internet back to you, allowing you to play the latest games on nearly any device, even ones that are not capable of running that game.
Video games are interactive, obviously. So, cloud gaming servers need to process information and render frames in real time. Unlike movies or TV shows that can provide a buffer — a few extra seconds of information that gets sent to your device before it’s time to be displayed — games are dependent on the user’s next keystroke or button press.
Introducing GeForce NOW
Nvidia started its journey to cloud gaming over 10 years ago, spending that time to optimize every millisecond of the pipeline that manages, from the graphics cards in the data centers to the software on your local device.
Here’s how it works.
GeForce NOW is a service that takes a GeForce gaming PC’s power and flexibility and makes it accessible through the cloud. This gives you an always-on gaming rig that never needs upgrading, patching or updating — across all of your devices.
One of the things that makes GeForce NOW unique is that it connects to popular PC games stores — Steam, Epic Games Store, Ubisoft Connect and more — so gamers can play the same PC version of games their friends are playing.
It also means, if they already own a bunch of games, they can log in and start playing them. And if they have, or upgrade to, a gaming rig, they have access to download and play those games on that local PC.
Gamers get an immersive PC gaming experience, instant access to the world’s most popular games and gaming communities, and the freedom to play on any device, at any time.
It’s PC gaming for those whose PCs have integrated graphics, for Macs and Chromebooks that don’t have access to the latest games, or for internet-connected mobile devices where PC gaming is only a dream.
Powering PC Gaming from the Cloud
Cloud data centers with NVIDIA GPUs power the world’s most computationally complex tasks, from AI to data analytics and research. Combined with advanced GeForce PC gaming technologies, GeForce NOW delivers high-end PC gaming to passionate gamers.
GeForce NOW data centers include NVIDIA RTX servers that feature RTX GPUs. These GPUs enable the holy grail of modern graphics: real-time ray tracing, and DLSS, NVIDIA’s groundbreaking AI rendering that boosts frame rates for uncompromised image quality. The hardware is supported with NVIDIA Game Ready Driver performance improvements.
Patented capture and encoding technology — along with hardware acceleration in both video encoding and decoding, pioneered by NVIDIA more than a decade ago — allows for gameplay to be streamed at high frame rates, with low enough latency that most games will feel like the game is being played locally. Gameplay rendered in GeForce NOW data centers is converted into high-definition H.265 and H.264 video and streamed back to the gamer instantaneously.
The total time it takes from button press or keystroke to the action appearing on the screen is less than one-tenth of a second, faster than the blink of an eye.