Macs aren't really made as hardcore gaming machines, and that's not what Apple intends them to be used for, and most people know that. Sure, you can play lighter titles like Stardew Valley and Civilization V just fine, but often times AAA titles either don't run well or lack a Mac-specific port.
That's where GeForce now comes in and shakes things up. Now released for beta testing in the US, you can now stream any titles you own on platforms such as Steam or Battle.net to your Mac for free (while in beta). If you're a Mac gamer this is great news since you no longer have to wait for macOS ports or worry about bootcamping your system. GeForce Now doesn't actually rely on your hardware, as it is a cloud streaming service, so you can play games on anything from a MacBook Air to a Mac Pro. Essentially Nvidia sends a video feed to your computer while sending your inputs to their servers.
You may assume that there's a ton of lag involved, but surprisingly it's pretty lag free and very playable. It's not without its problems though; after all, it is a beta. I only tried it for about 20 minutes (if that), but I was able to play a match of Overwatch with little to no latency. However, there were times when some noticeable lag was apparent, or audio would stutter. FPS games and eSports titles might not be the best choice with a service like this if low latency is a priority but the service is good for casual matches. Overall, it has a bit of room for improvement but works pretty well for casual gaming.
Upon launching the app for the first time, it runs a network check to see if you have a steady connection to Nvidia's servers. They recommend a 25 Mbps download connection minimum, and 50mbps recommended to allow room for other things to run on the network. I have a 65mbps network connection and even then there were slight glitches and some slight audio distortion. The principle stands that the faster internet connection the better. If you have an ethernet adapter, it will most likely run better.
In terms of the playing experience, it is nearly indistinguishable from playing on a PC. The games launch the exact way they would on PC, relying on Steam or other launchers to start the game, and then it shows up; and you can get to playing.
Unfortunately, the service doesn't have guaranteed compatibility for all games. You can see the list of compatible titles here. However, it does support most popular titles like PUBG, World of Warcraft, League of Legends, Overwatch, Fallout 4, The Witcher 3, and more. If you're unsure if your game is supported, check above.
GeForce Now for Mac will be in beta until the end of the year and is free to use until then. It is planned to launch next year with pricing being announced later.
What do you think of this news? Let us know in the comments below.
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