We have tested NVIDIA GeForce Now and Google Stadia: these are your assets to conquer the game in streaming
It has been done to pray, but NVIDIA GeForce Now, which has been in beta since 2013, has grown and is finally available to everyone. NVIDIA’s new video game streaming service comes with a slightly different approach than what we might consider its most direct rival, Google Stadia, so to see how each of them performs and what it offers gamers, we have tested both.
We are going to divide this article into two parts. In the first, we will address the differences and similarities at a technical level and the focus on what to play. In the second, we compare the graphic quality of the same game (‘Destiny 2’, which is available on both services) to see if there are notable differences in performance.
The differences between GeForce Now and Google Stadia
As we said, the differences are considerable. Let’s start with Google Stadia. Google’s video game streaming service is really an online video game store . The game has to be purchased within Google Stadia and played from the same platform, so at the time these lines are written, and in the absence of Stadia Base, we incur two expenses: the game per se and the subscription to Stadia Pro (9.99 euros per month).
Once the game is purchased, just press a button and play it. There is no waiting of any kind , you just play. What devices? On a computer, on a TV (if you have a Chromecast Ultra and the Google Stadia controller) or on a smartphone if you have a Google Pixel. The options are limited, at least for the moment, and some games are capped. This is the case of ‘Destiny 2’, which only runs in FullHD (and not in 4K as Stadia Pro promises) and at 60 frames per second, although it depends on the game.
One of the strengths of NVIDIA GeForce Now is that you can play the games you have purchased on Steam or the Epic Games Store
NVIDIA GeForce Now, meanwhile, is like installing your own games on a very powerful computer in the cloud. The NVIDIA service is not compatible with all the games on the market, but with a catalog of about 300 that, predictably, should be increasing, and saving free to play such as ‘Fortnite’ or ‘Warframe’, the user must buy the game. Well, like Google Stadia, right?
Not quite. You can buy the game on Steam and have it installed on your computer to run it as you normally would, but if you want to play it from another computer or, directly, your computer is not powerful enough to run the game in maximum quality, you can import it to NVIDIA GeForce Now and play in the highest possible quality . Currently, this is FullHD at 60 frames per second, although GeForce Now is ready to broadcast in 4K, HDR and with Ray Tracing (if you pay the Founders subscription, of 5.49 euros per month during the first year).
In Google Stadia you do not have to do installations of any kind, but you open Chrome, select the game and launch it. In NVIDIA GeForce Now it is different. You have to install a client on your PC, select the game from the list, log into the corresponding launcher and wait for the title to download . Google Stadia’s interface is much, much simpler, while NVIDIA GeForce Now has room for improvement in terms of usability.
When you select the game, in this case ‘Destiny 2’, Steam opens and tells us to install it. And you have to install it, ergo wait, at least at first. But it is confusing. We downloaded ‘Destiny’ and halfway through the download, it stopped and allowed us to play without problems.
We left the game to check that the screen recording was fine and, when we started the service again, we clicked on the icon of the game that had appeared, we were returned to Steam, where we had to wait again for the game to install (the 88 GB). We cut at 15 minutes, when it was about a third, we repeated the same process and, this time, we were able to start it without problem. The service, as you will now see, works spectacularly well, but has a lot of room for improvement in usability.
This was at the beginning. After the second game, when pressing the ‘Destiny 2’ icon and logging into the Steam account (the “Remember password” box didn’t work, so you have to enter it every time) the game started without waiting, but that, at first, it is difficult to get into the system. Regarding connection, the requirements are similar . NVIDIA GeForce Now calls for a minimum of 15 Mbps for 720p resolution at 60 FPS and 25 Mbps for FullHD resolution at 60 FPS. Google Stadia wants a minimum of 10 Mbps to play in 720p at 60 FPS, 20 Mbps for FullHD HDR at 60 FPS, and 35 Mbps for 4K HDR at 60 FPS. If your connection can with Google Stadia, it can also with GeForce Now, and vice versa.