NVIDIA GeForce Now exits beta, brings real-time ray tracing for $5 a month

NVIDIA GeForce Now
NVIDIA GeForce Now (Image credit: NVIDIA)

NVIDIA GeForce Now

Source: NVIDIA (Image credit: Source: NVIDIA)

What you need to know

  • NVIDIA's GeForce Now is now available for the general public.
  • There's a free tier that provides standard access to NVIDIA's servers, with gaming sessions limited to one hour at a time.
  • The paid Founders tier costs $4.99 a month, and you get priority access, real-time ray tracing, and six-hour game sessions.
  • The $4.99 plan is an introductory offer that's valid for the first 12 months, but you also get a 90-day free trial.

NVIDIA's cloud game streaming service GeForce Now has been in beta for what feels like an eternity, but that's ending today. The service is finally available to the public, and you can just head over to NVIDIA's website, and sign up. NVIDIA was one of the first players in this category, and over the years it has fine-tuned GeForce Now into the best cloud gaming platform available today.

The free tier limits gaming sessions to one hour at a time.

Access to GeForce Now was free during the beta, but we now have details on what the service costs. NVIDIA is rolling out a free tier that gives users standard access to its servers, but gaming sessions for free users will be limited to one hour per session.

You can access unlimited sessions, but you'll have to wait before you can play another session. NVIDIA says that's to allow everyone a chance to try out its gaming service, and that everyone enrolled in the GeForce Now beta has been automatically switched over to the free tier.

The $4.99 plan gets you priority access, longer gaming sessions, and real-time ray tracing for eligible games.

There's also a paid Founders membership that costs $4.99 a month, and you get priority access to NVIDIA's servers — meaning no wait time before you can play a game. The paid plan includes six-hour gaming sessions, and the best part is that you get real-time ray tracing for eligible games. Both tiers let you play at 1080p resolution and 60fps, with NVIDIA noting that Full HD is still the preferred resolution for a majority of its customers.

NVIDIA says the $4.99 plan is an introductory offer that's valid for 12 months, and at this time there's no mention of how much the service will cost after that period. That said, you do get a generous 90-day free trial, so you're effectively getting 15 months of paid access to GeForce Now by shelling out $60. That's a fantastic deal, and makes GeForce Now a much more enticing option if you're looking to get into cloud gaming.

NVIDIA GeForce Now plans

Source: NVIDIA (Image credit: Source: NVIDIA)

What makes GeForce Now different from other game streaming services is that you're essentially playing games you already own. You can link your Steam or Ubisoft accounts and immediately dive into a game that's present in your library. With GeForce Now, you're effectively renting access to a high-end gaming machine that's in an NVIDIA data center, and in doing so you don't have to worry about whether a particular game will run on your machine or driver updates. Just select a game, link your store account, and you can start playing right away.

You also get a decent amount of free-to-play titles with GeForce Now, and the service works on Windows machines, macOS, Chromebooks, Android phones, and TVs. GeForce Now is available in 30 countries, including the U.S., most parts of Europe, and the service is making its debut in Russia and Korea via NVIDIA's partners. NVIDIA says 70 million hours' worth of games have been streamed on GeForce Now in 2019, and that it will continue to deliver the same level of quality as it did with the beta.

If you've been waiting to see what all the fuss is with cloud gaming, this is the best time to give GeForce Now a try.

Harish Jonnalagadda

The clumsiest man in tech.