Nvidia's Game Streaming App To Turn Your Mac Into A Gaming PC Is Now Available In the UK

By James O Malley on at

If you're a Mac owner then you're probably pretty smug. I mean, I use a Mac and I certainly I am. There's just something about having a computer which just works, in which every design decision is driven by elegance, which makes you feel like you're somehow better than other people.

And all power to you - you're right.

But let's be honest - it is also a little awkward when we see our PC owning friends firing up Steam to play some of the biggest games around. We all known that Player Unknown Battleground is the hottest game around. People in the know call it "PUBG". But you're not in the know, so you can't call it that. You, like me, have your nose pressed up against the window, and are looking over at Windows users and experiencing a weird feeling. It's like your smug superiority has completely disappeared. Scary.

So good news today, then, as Nvidia has announced that today is launching a beta of its game streaming service "GeForce Now for Mac" in Europe - including the UK.

The service lets you play high-end PC games on your Mac, because it runs the game on a computer in the cloud - and then streams the results to your computer, sending your inputs back in the other direction. So as long as your Mac can play, say, a YouTube video, it is pretty much powerful enough to run GeForce Now. This means that you can get Pascal quality graphics with none of the expense of buying a gaming PC. Better still, because all you're effectively doing is watching a video, you should be able to game longer while running on just your battery, without your laptop getting hot.

What's even smarter is that this isn't some bespoke service with just a handful of games. Over in the cloud, you're given a virtualised PC running Steam, meaning that you can install and run any game that you can buy on Steam. If you already have a Steam account, simply login, and all of the games in your library will be available to play. Brilliant.

Nvidia has optimised around 100 games especially for the service (with the aim of reaching 200 by the end of the year), so that if you fire 'em up, they'll automatically be configured with the best settings, but this doesn't restrict the games you can play. If you want to play something else, you can simply fire it up and configure it yourself. If you crash the virtual machine, you can simply restart the app and log back in, and try again with different settings.

The company was kind enough to let Giz UK have a go with the new service, ahead of its official launch, and we can confirm that... yes, it appears to work rather well. After a mostly straightforward setup, I fired up virtual Steam, logged in and launched a game - and I was playing as though it was really running on the computer in front of me. The only tricky part is that you need a sufficiently fast connection: Nvidia says it should work on anything above 25Mb, but it recommends 50Mb so the connection to its datacentres in London and Frankfurt remains strong. I was trying this on a gigabit connection (ooh, get me), but via wifi, and the app still warned me that it might not be fast enough (though it turned out it was). So I suspect that if you want to guarantee good connectivity, you will want to be connected by ethernet.

GeForce Now For Mac is available for download in beta now - and get this - Nvidia won't be charging a subscription fee (and won't even tell us what it is) until next year.