This is a $200 laptop. The, to be exact. And take our word for it — this computer’s lowly Intel Celeron processor couldn’t possibly play most modern video games. There’s no discrete graphics chip, and barely enough storage (generally 32GB) to install a single title.
But watch this:
What you just witnessed was the magic of playing a game through the internet.
Today at CES 2018 in Las Vegas, Nvidia launched its GeForce Now game streaming service in beta for Windows PCs in North America and Europe, following a beta for Macs last year. (It’ll become a paid service eventually, but for now it’s free on an invite-only basis.)
Windows is kind of a bigger deal. While it’s awesome that Macs without access to Windows games could play them, your typical Mac costs north of $1,000. It bears repeating: This is a $200 laptop.
To be fair, the game didn’t look gorgeous — mostly because the laptop’s low-res 1,366×768-pixel screen isn’t great — but it was definitely very playable. And Nvidia’s also launching a new feature that makes things even smoother: In games that support it, like Fortnite, you’ll be able to stream at up to 120 frames per second. (It isn’t locked at 120fps; I saw a game drop to 60 or 90fps on occasion.)
The most important feature of GeForce Now, though, is probably still: You can install your own games from Steam, Blizzard’s Battle.net or (new for 2018) Ubisoft’s UPlay, and carry over your savegames.
Here’s a list of supported games. You might be happy to know is among them — and here at CES, it played better than it does on my gaming PC at home, and . Admittedly, Nvidia probably has a pretty killer internet connection at the show.
Speaking of that, you’ll need a 25Mbps internet connection or better (Nvidia recommends 50Mbps if possible) to take full advantage of the service. We’ll give it a try when we get home from Las Vegas. Here’s the company’s FAQ.