You Can't Use The New GeForce Experience Without Logging In

About a year ago, NVIDIA quietly put everyone on notice. If you wanted the latest drivers and the latest updates to their GeForce Experience middleware program, you'd have to register an account. Simply forking out for a NVIDIA GPU wasn't enough; you had to hand over some of your details.

GeForce Experience has quietly motored on since then, but could be about to change. NVIDIA has rolled out an update to the beta branch of the software that completely overhauls the user interface and the way the ShadowPlay/Share software is packaged. And if you want any of it, you'll have to login.

Image: Supplied

Credit where credit's due: the new GeForce Experience menu looks really nice. Instead of the tabs at the top for Games, Drivers, My Rig, Preferences and the NVIDIA SHIELD, everything's been crimped into two tabs for Games and drivers.

The ShadowPlay recording has been rolled into a single service called "Share", which is accessible through the not-entirely-recognisable icon in the top right that's a little reminiscent of the Unity logo. It's a triangle instead of the Unity cube, but you get the idea.

When you open up the Share tab, you get a fullscreen overlay rather than a separate window. (For those wondering, my desktop background is from the excellent galleries on Dead End Thrills.)

It's a little more convoluted from the way ShadowPlay is currently organised. And while it's nice to have all the features rolled into one, I can imagine some gamers would prefer having it all pop up in a separate window rather than a Steam or Windows 10 DVR-style overlay.

But being forced to create an account before you can optimise, stream or record your games will grate some gamers the wrong way. I tried using the software without logging in, but to no avail. NVIDIA does try to simplify the registration process by letting users link their Google account, but if you're antsy about having to hand over your personal information after already handing over hundreds of dollars, that's not going to placate you.

It's a bit of a shame. The update is the first real overhaul of GeForce Experience's UI and visuals, and it looks real good. The layout of the Share menu will take a little getting used to, but people will undoubtedly learn fairly quick. After all, it's a lot easier to register for an NVIDIA account than recording through Open Broadcaster Software.


Comments

    ...so does that mean you can't change your settings if you're offline?

      For the game-ready software, yeah. As far as I am aware there is no way past the login screen. Bear in mind it's still in beta, so subject to change... An offline mode would be helpful. But in order to optimise your games or stream/record them etc, you will have to register an account and log in.

      I'm not too fussed by it, really. Gone are the days where I'm gaming and I'm offline... I keep an email address handy for these sorts of compulsory logins anyhow.

        My gaming machine was built for VR and portability (ie taking to places where my internet connection does not extend to), so for the most part I don't really play online unless I'm in Elite. It would make sense if the whole broadcasting deal (which I have no need for) required an online account, but the recording part is pretty handy to have and isn't intrinsically linked to any online functionality. So yeah, to me it's a dumb move.

    Eh, doesn't seem like that big of a deal. I'm guessing there's going to be a lot of cross platform etc stuff in the future. I guess given the fact that I have and use a SHIELD means I was cool to make an account a fair while ago, I'm not really the one who is going to have problem anyway lol.

    Also, the unity like symbol I think you are talking about is top left, the x is top right. Took this idiot WAY to long to realise I was looking in the wrong spot haha.

    Who actually uses GeForce Experience? I just install my drivers outside of it.

    Last edited 05/07/16 5:57 pm

      I do! The optimize feature is pretty great.

        Not for laptops (mobility series chips). (I use a 960m and occasionally a 970m).

        Every time I use the 'optimize' feature it makes my game look like it was developed in 2007.
        Whereas manual tinkering can often bring up a solid 55-60 fps with nice graphics.

        I have often wondered whether it was different for the desktop series.

          Wow, that really sucks! I use it on my desktop and it's been great at maximising the graphics while keeping settings that aren't worth it turned off. ie I agonised over Witcher 3 settings for a good few hours, but optimise got me where I needed it almost instantly.

    It's a pretty good update. LED controls are missing currently but the panels load a lot faster than in the previous version.

    Login requirement is because it ties in with streaming and broadcasting features. You can log in with Google via OAuth if you like (no identifiable information is sent, just a unique identifier), or it takes 30 seconds to make a throwaway email address if you're concerned about privacy. If you have an Nvidia developer account it can also be used in GFE.

      I have no idea why people dont just make/use gimp/goat/throwaway accounts. It's so easy and quick. People make such a bit deal them, I cant see why.

      Last edited 05/07/16 7:26 pm

        perhaps it is the machines that we run that are not internet connected.

          The main target demographic for game recording/streaming and optimisation is gamers... And most gamers are online at this point. 10-15 years ago you might've had a PC in the house that was online, now everything's hooked up to the router and beating away... Offline mode is fine for programs like Steam where you would want access to your games in case the net's down, but access to graphics card drivers and streaming software isn't high on my priority list even if I am not connected somehow.

            There's uses for recording other than streaming though. And it'd be great if Internet were some kind of constantly available thing, but even just over the past couple of weeks mine's been chugging down to seemingly dialup grade or worse, or on some days just constantly dropping out for 15-30mins at a time after reconnecting for a few seconds. It'd suck to be unable to use your machine the way you used to for no good reason other than "because".

          Which is fair enough, but what feature of GFE do you want to use while offline? Game setting optimisation is probably about it, but ultimately it's more a convenience than anything else.

            All of the ones that wouldn't require me to go online. It's that simple. Convenience is fine, but they shouldn't be asking consumers to do something that's unnecessary.

              I think you missed the point of the question. To be more explicit, what features do you think are in GFE that don't require an internet connection? About 90% of its functionality requires some kind of connectivity. If you don't plan to use that, this probably isn't the right software for your needs.

              They're not asking for anything other than a unique identifier, you don't even need to give them an email address if you have Google OAuth. Realistically, even an email address means nothing unless you're silly enough to include your full name in it.

                Ok then I'll rephrase myself as I'm not too familiar with the program. Of all the things that don't require to be online in this program then they still don't need to be online or need a login. Of all the things that require to be online but so far don't need an account, they still don't (I can't think of any reason).

                I'm not against convenience, if you want to have an account because it lets you do X, where X is something that literally cannot function without a login and you would otherwise have to do so using some other less-convenient process, then by all means enjoy the provided options. But to require such a thing when it's not necessary?

        What about the whole principle of the thing?

          Still not really a big deal. I have been forced to create accounts for much, much worse. If Nvidia had popped out of the blue, released a bunch of cards and told you if you want to push them to their limits all you'd have to do is make an Nvidia account and have access to a plethora of optimisations and upgrades designed specifically for your card, you'd probably do it. The new client is actually quite good, and the services offered look promising. I would trade the dozens of logins created for access to borked government sites for an Nvidia login to get my money's worth and more out of a graphics card.

            I have been forced to create accounts for much, much worse

            But just because you've dealt with a bad thing before isn't an excuse to tolerate it next time. The principle here isn't about hating on services/products that require to go online, but against services/products that require it when it's not necessary. In this case the only extra value you'd be getting out of your purchase is what the company says you are.

              Its not really asking much to be honest. I don't see it as a bad thing. The services you get are pretty specific, if you really don't want to log in then I suppose you could go AMD or manually update drivers through the site. The recording and streaming is pretty cool and I wouldnt mind an offline mode for recording but elsewhere you would have to pay for software and a key or login. I just don't see that big an issue here, but then again I usually have internet access when gaming.

                That's why I put focus on the principle. It's not really a BIG deal but it shouldn't be considered no problem, as negative change can happen over time with many little things just as much as big ones. I consider the dearth of shitty online DRM systems and ubiquitous microtransactions, and other poor trends in modern gaming to all be results of a whole lot of people saying, "it's not a big deal" each time.

          I guess the "pricipled" would just buy AMD then, if it was that important.

          Last edited 06/07/16 8:25 am

            I did. Not because of this though, I switched because in last generation Nvidia decided their 'ti' refresh was just going to be another super-expensive super-card instead of a super-cheap super-card as before.

    D-D-DEAL BREAKER!!!!

    I have just recently being doing costings on a new machine, watching performance reviews of this gens graphics cards and this is a big minus for me in the nvidia card prospectus. Even if the new 480x has some fermi-grade PCI-E heat issues it is still better then being monitored when you use your GPU software (always) by a company.

      There is no monitoring in GFE at all. It's trivially easy to monitor internet connections to confirm this. Maybe ease up on the tinfoil.

        But it keeps me warm at night! : )
        Conversely, it's like Lazer has said below, it is starting to feel like mission creep, with the future potential for charging casheish for "optional" or "Premium" software to enhance the already paid for hardware's performance, it would be akin to i dunno, paying to unlock a CPU's performance clock or something... . . . .*looks not so nonchalantly at intel*

    Its nvidia, soon there will be a subscription cost

    man this whole login crap to change a few settings, i have just created an account so i can do the same stuff i used to be able to do, got the verification email, and can't verify cos it keeps giving me a stupid error, facebook login i can't do because i don't have facebook, and google account login i can't do because i don't have one of them.

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