Nvidia has released its weekly roundup of games coming to its GeForce Now cloud streaming service, and there’s a noticeable first, with Gears 5 becoming the first Xbox exclusive to come to the platform.
As with pretty much all Xbox exclusives, Gears 5, which is the latest game in the Gears of War franchise, also launched on PC, and now the Steam version can be streamed via GeForce Now to any device that supports the service – including PCs, Macs and MacBooks, smartphones and tablets.
Thanks to Nvidia’s background in graphics cards and servers, GeForce Now is one of the best cloud streaming services in a market that’s got a little bit smaller since Google gave up on its rival, Stadia. Unlike with Stadia, you don’t need to rebuy your games if you’ve already bought them on supported PC stores such as Steam and the Epic Games Store.
GeForce Now comes in various tiers, with the maximum tier offering the power of Nvidia’s high-end RTX 4080 GPU, and comes with DLSS 3 and ray tracing effects, and you can play for eight hours straight. It is pricey, however, at $19.99 / £17.99 a month, with the Ultimate tier seemingly not available in Australia.
There are also mid-tier options that are cheaper but with less powerful hardware, and there’s a free version, too, which is a good way to test out the platform.
This means you could potentially play Gears 5 on a cheap Chromebook and, depending on the tier and quality of your internet connection, get better performance than if you played the game on an Xbox Series X console.
Microsoft and Nvidia, sitting in a cloud
While Gears 5 will be the first Xbox game on Nvidia GeForce Now, it won’t be the last, with Deathloop, Grounded and Pentiment coming on Thursday May 25, and more likely to come soon.
According to Nvidia, support for the Microsoft Store will also come in the future, which could open up possibilities for you to stream games from Microsoft’s Game Pass subscription service via GeForce Now.
While Google has dropped out of the game streaming service battle, Microsoft is a keen player itself with its Xbox Cloud Gaming service. So, it might seem odd that the company is bringing its games to a rival service.
While more choice is always welcome, this isn’t an altruistic move on Microsoft’s part. For a start, you’re still paying the company to buy the games, and while you could argue that GeForce Now could make the Xbox Series X and Series S obsolete, Microsoft will still get some money out of you.
Microsoft also has eyes on a bigger prize. This is part of a recent 10-year deal between Microsoft and Nvidia (opens in new tab) to bring Xbox games to Nvidia’s platform, signed by Microsoft in a bid to address criticisms of its acquisition of games giant Activision.
For people worried that this could lead to Microsoft withholding popular Activision games such as Call of Duty from rival consoles like the PS5 and services like Nvidia GeForce Now, this deal was designed to show that Microsoft was willing to work with competitors.
Whether or not that plan will succeed is yet to be seen – while Microsoft’s buyout of Activision has recently been approved by the EU, it’s been blocked by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which could still scupper the whole thing.
Still, for people signed up for Nvidia GeForce Now, you’ll be getting more games to play, even if that means fewer reasons to buy an Xbox. Nvidia is also currently offering 40% off its mid-tier ‘Priority’ subscription (opens in new tab).