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GeForce Now, Nvidia's cloud gaming service, begins beta testing on PC

GeForce Now, Nvidia's cloud gaming service that promises to enable PC gaming on low-end hardware, is now in open beta testing on the PC. The free software is currently capable of running more than 160 games at maximum visual settings, at up to 120 fps. 

The GeForce Now hardware requirements are really simple: If you've got an Intel Core i3 CPU at 3.1GHz, 4GB RAM, and a DX9 GPU, you're set. (It also supports Mac hardware running MacOS 10.10 or higher.) The internet connection requirements are somewhat steeper, and by "somewhat" I mean "a whole lot." The minimum connection requirement is 25Mbps, and the recommendation is 50Mbps or higher. You'll also need a hardwired ethernet connection or a 5GHz wireless router.   

"All patching, game configuring and driver updating is handled automatically by the GeForce Now infrastructure, and games take just 30 seconds to install," Nvidia said. "And in addition, save games, achievements and other settings are automatically synchronized with digital game platforms, enabling you to instantly pick up from where you left off." 

The service supports games from Steam and Uplay, including Call of Duty: WWII, Hearthstone, Middle-earth: Shadow of War, PUBG, Rainbow Six Siege, Stardew Valley, and Wolfenstein 2—the full list is available here. Keyboards, mice, and controllers should work as they normally do.   

GeForce Now follows in the footsteps of services like OnLive and Gaikai, and if you've forgotten what they are (or have never heard of them) then you've got an idea of the challenges that Nvidia faces. But Nvidia does know a thing or two about high-end tech, and not waffling about the steep internet speeds required to make this work is probably smart, even if it precludes a significant number of its potential audience. Being free is a big plus too.

Access to the beta is limited to North America and Europe, and there's a waiting list of indeterminate length to get in. Get the details and put your name in the hat at Nvidia.com

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.