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Computers

GeForce Now levels up for Android and RTX servers

But "the sun is starting to set on the free beta period" for its streaming game service, Nvidia warns.

gfn-aug-2019

GeForce Now has been steadily adding games since its original Nvidia Shield launch four years ago.

Screenshot by Lori Grunin/CNET

With Google's Stadia cloud-gaming service launch only months away, it shouldn't surprise me that Nvidia's almost ready to release its big competitor, GeForce Now, into the wild. In one of its many announcements at Gamescom on Monday, the company revealed "the sun is starting to set on the free beta period." It's possible that the company's been waiting for one of the heretofore big missing pieces, Android support, to be put in place, and now the beta app for the beta service is rolling out to beta subscribers. 

The RTX Blade servers Nvidia announced last March are also coming online to (hopefully) bring better scalability, quality, performance and stability to the service, starting with Germany and California.

Nvidia highly recommends using a Bluetooth controller for Android, since "some games will be unplayable on an Android phone without a gamepad."

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Of course, we still don't know how much it will be when people have to start ponying up or if Nvidia will stick to its "for x hours of gaming" model, two of the huge unanswered questions.

GeForce Now, which lets you play games on a relatively low-power local device by rendering them in the cloud and "streaming" the frames to you while sending your input back, is unusual in that you can't buy games through it, nor is it an all-you-can-play vault service. The app is essentially a hub for games you already own (that have GFN support), and when you hit "play" it runs the relevant launcher for a particular game, such as Steam.