The cloud gaming competition is starting to take off with the official launch of GeForce Now, the service that Nvidia wants to use to steal the limelight from Google Stadia and be the king of cloud gaming services. GeForce Now vs Google Stadia, let’s analyze which is currently the best cloud gaming platform.
Graphics and Performance
Both GeForce Now and Google Stadia offer high-end specifications, however, they differ in the way they approach the task. While Stadia uses proprietary Linux-based technology to enhance game streaming, GeForce Now simply provides access to a powerful computer in the cloud.
This means you can run any game supported with the highest graphics configuration. If you’re willing to pay for a premium membership, you can also access the latest RTX graphics, with ray tracing technology.
Also, GeForce Now allows you to change the frame rate to 720p 120fps, which is perfect for competitive games like Overwatch. However, the resolution is limited to 1080p. If you plan to play on a 4K TV, the low resolution will be evident. Stadia’s premium membership, on the other hand, supports 4K at 60fps.
In general, Stadia games work in graphic configurations closer to the average PC standard-setting, which brings them closer to the consoles. GeForce Now is ideal for playing games on a smaller PC screen, but Stadia offers more when playing games on a much larger 4K screen.
Price – GeForce Now Wins
For the price, GeForce Now is the clear winner. Not only is it the only one that offers a free mode, but the premium price is half the monthly price of Stadia Pro.
There are a few caveats with the free GeForce Now service, the first is the waiting times. When you click to play a game in your library, you have to wait in the queue to log in. This wait can be a few seconds or a few minutes depending on the time of day.
Also, sessions are limited to one hour, which means you could be dismissed in the middle of an Overwatch or League of Legends game. For now, the value proposition of GeForce Now is unbeatable. The barrier to entry into cloud games has never been lower.
The GeForce Now premium subscription eliminates these issues. You get priority access to the queue, and your game session time is extended to six hours. It is also the only way to access Nvidia RTX graphics on supported games. For now, it is available at an introductory price of $4.99 per month, but prices are expected to increase in 2021.
Stadia Pro, on the other hand, costs $9.99 per month and unlocks 4K games and 5.1 surround sound for supported games. It also adds one or two games to your library each month, although you can only play them as long as you have an active subscription.
Game Network Requirement
Both services require a strong connection for good results, with wired or 5GHz Wi-Fi connections preferred.
Stadia consumes over 25GB per hour in the highest configuration of 4K 60fps. GeForce Now has many more options for adjusting quality and bandwidth settings. At the lowest bit rate, 1080p 60fps streams at 5mbps use only 2GB per hour on GeForce Now.
That said, only GeForce Now currently supports streaming over mobile connections, which means you can play on the bus or in the park.
Game Library and Availability
Stadia currently offers less than 30 games, each of which must be purchased separately. Free games also fail miserably in Google’s service. Even the free version of Destiny 2 is only available to paid members of Stadia Pro.
GeForce Now gives you access to thousands of games you’ve already purchased on Steam and other popular PC platforms. That list includes some of the most popular free games such as Fortnite, League of Legends, and Apex Legends.
Nvidia still needs publishers to sign up for the games to be available for broadcast, which means that many Steam games are not available on the platform.
For older Steam games, you’ll also want to make sure that they are compatible with cloud storage. If not, you’ll lose your progress with each new game session.
GeForce Now is compatible with a wider range of Android devices but is not yet compatible with Chromebooks. GeForce Now is also compatible with the Nvidia Shield console.
To play with Google Stadia, you need a Chromecast Ultra and a Stadia driver, which for now you can get along with three months of Stadia Pro in the Founders Edition package.
Usability – Stadia takes the Lead
For the experience of opening the service and starting a game, Google Stadia is way ahead of GeForce Now. Using the Stadia mobile application or the Chrome browser, you can open the platform and start playing in seconds.
GeForce Now requires you to open the application on your phone or PC, find the game you want to play, wait in the queue, log into Steam, wait for it to load, and then you can play.
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Google Stadia vs. GeForce Now: Final Words
As we have pointed out above, the most suitable platform for each user depends on their specific case of use. Do you want to play your purchased Steam games? Go for GeForce Now.
If you’re primarily a console gamer or don’t have much of a PC game collection, then Stadia is probably best for you. It had a rough release, but as more features and games are added, it will become a solid platform.
That’s all in our Google Stadia vs. GeForce Now comparison. How has your experience been with the two cloud gaming platforms? We want to hear about your experience.