Nvidia believes game streaming is an increasingly compelling way to play. Its GeForce Now service is a from-the-ground-up reimagining of the Grid streaming service, and it's meant to provide a Netflix-like gaming experience for Shield devices. Like Netflix, GeForce Now is a subscription service that'll cost $7.99 a month.
The vision of GeForce Now, as the name implies, is that gamers can plop down on the couch and fire up a title in less than 30 seconds—even big, complex triple-A releases. Nvidia believes that, for some consumers, that prospect is more appealing than waiting hours for a huge PC game to download or shuffling those huge programs on and off an SSD.
Those titles have to look good, as well. GeForce Now's back-end hardware is claimed to be faster than "next-generation consoles," and Nvidia has pledged to continue upgrading the service's back end over time. The service will deliver games at up to 1080p resolution at 60 FPS for those with adequate network connections.
From the start, GeForce Now members will have access to 50 different games that they can play at any time. Nvidia has a team of content curators sniffing out new games for the service, and the fruits of their labor are supposed to be added to the service every Tuesday.
What's more, Nvidia is working on a storefront for marquee releases from major publishers, where gamers will be able to purchase streaming rights for those major releases and begin playing them right away. The company understands many Shield owners are PC gamers, as well, and it's working with publishers to include game keys with these purchases so that buyers will be able to enjoy the same games on their PCs. This storefront will launch with 10 titles, and Nvidia will work to secure day-one releases from publishers for future games.
GeForce Now itself won't be coming to PCs, however—Nvidia says it built the Shield hardware and GeForce Now service to minimize end-to-end latency, and the PC wasn't part of that end-to-end optimization.
Nvidia is offering a free three-month trial of the GeForce Now service to Shield owners when the service goes live tomorrow. Access to the Grid beta on Shield devices will end at the same time. Shield owners will need to download a Shield Hub update in order to use GeForce Now.