THE NEXT BIG BATTLE in the gaming platform world looks set to be fought in the cloud, especially as Nvidia's GeForce Now streaming service is coming to Android phones.
While we don't yet know when the service will arrive on Google's OS, the move will see the GeForce Now, which is still in public beta, be in a position to butt heads with Microsoft's xCloud and Google's Stadia game streaming services which both work on Android devices.
Much like the other two services, GeForce Now requires you to connect a controller to your phone and have a pretty robust wireless connection to get the most out of the service. But at least Nvidia will offer Android support for free while the service gets pushed out in beta form.
Given Nvidia has the Shield streaming-hub-come-gaming-console, which uses Android at its heart, Team Green should have no bother making GeForce Now play nice with Google's mobile operating system. Nvidia says it will "continue improving and optimising the experience" after the Android element of GeForce Now gets released.
So with such support, it looks like Microsoft, Google, and Nvidia are all presenting game streaming services that are fairly similar in capabilities but with some subtle differences. Google Stadia has tight YouTube integration, Microsoft's xCloud supports Xbox games, and GeForce Now already has a decent games library and can tap into the capabilities of Nvidia's ray-tracing enabled GeForce RTX 20-series graphics cards.
With all three services at different stages, it's not clear who's going to come out on top of such a game streaming scrum. Though given each has different features, they're arguably not properly comparable like-for-like, unlike the next-gen Sony PlayStation 5 and Xbox Project Scarlett which both look set to have very similar hardware and offering roughly the same capabilities.
Nevertheless, 2019 looks like an interesting year for game streaming, and if the services advance to the stage that bulky PCs and console setups are no longer needed for triple-A gaming, then that'll be something to shake up gaming as we know it. µ
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