GeForce Now Is Live In Australia, If You Can’t Afford To Upgrade That PC

GeForce Now Is Live In Australia, If You Can’t Afford To Upgrade That PC
Image: Nvidia

It’s funny how the times change. When GeForce Now first launched, it was a service that fundamentally wasn’t designed to work in a territory like Australia. Today in 2021, when GPU prices have skyrocketed through the roof and users are legitimately waiting a full year for orders to be fulfilled, cloud streaming is making a lot more sense.

Nvidia announced before the pandemic that they were working with local ISPs to make GeForce Now, their cloud gaming platform, accessible in Australia. Earlier this year, the ISP wasn’t one of the major telcos but Perth company Pentanet.

The service went into a beta form in September, and as of this week the service is now live for all Australians. Pentanet recommends users play over a wired Ethernet connection for best results, with a 25mbps minimum connection for 1080/60fps gaming, and “at least” 15mbps for 720p/60fps gaming. Two servers are currently available in Australia: AU West 1 and AU East 1, according to the official settings.

GeForce Now: Australian Pricing

geforce now australia
Some of the games playable for Australians through GeForce Now at the time of writing. Image: Kotaku Australia / Nvidia

You can access the platform in one of two ways: via a free tier which limits you to one-hour long sessions, with potential queue times during peak hours. (The free tier will time out after an hour, but there are no limits on how many 1-hour sessions you can have, or limits on how long you have to wait between one session ending and another starting.)

If you want to access ray-traced cloud gaming, or you want access to longer play sessions without having to reconnect, or simply to nick off the queues, there’s a subscription offering called Priority that’s payable either monthly or yearly.

  • Monthly access: $19.99/month ($239.88/year)
  • Yearly access: $17.99/month ($215.88/year)

Here’s the full list of features you’ll get with your subscription:

Priority Access

Skip the queue and game in the fast lane with Priority Access to Game Servers.

Increased Session Times

Game uninterrupted with unlimited 4-hour Play Sessions—increased from the 1-hour Play Sessions available to Basic accounts.

NVIDIA RTX Technologies Enabled

NVIDIA’s RTX platform includes dedicated RT Cores for ray tracing and Tensor Cores for AI that enable groundbreaking graphical technologies at breakthrough speeds. Experience today’s biggest blockbusters like never before with RTX turned On.

An official release from Pentanet says the $17.99/$19.99 pricing is a limited time offer — but it doesn’t say how long the deal will be available, or what the price will rise to afterwards.

GeForce Now: How to connect

GeForce Now australia
Image: GeForce Now

The GeForce Now page and official release sends users to the cloud.gg portal, which is a gamified hub setup by Pentanet. You’ll need to register an account there to access GeForce Now in Australia.

Once that’s done, you can download GeForce Now directly via this link. You have a range of options on how to access the service:

From there, you’ll be prompted to login to your Cloud.gg account. If you’re doing this through a browser, it’ll redirect you to the Pentanet/cloud.gg portal. You’ll also be prompted to connect your Epic Games and/or Steam accounts so you can access the various games on offer.

GeForce Now: Bandwidth usage

geforce now
Image: GeForce Now / Pentanet

How much bandwidth you use will depend on the exact resolution, bit rate and your desired frame rate. By default, with a variable bit rate and targeting 1080p/60fps, GeForce Now will use approximately 8GB/hour. 

You can customise that further, however. By changing the streaming quality from Balanced to Custom, you can choose to either run the game at a higher bit rate, or a different resolution/frame rate combination. Running the service at 1080p/60fps with a maximum bit rate of 50 Mbps will use approximately 15GB/hour, whereas the same settings with a maximum bit rate of 10 Mbps would use approximately 3GB/hour.

The maximum bit rate for the balanced settings appears to be around the 25 Mbps-27 Mbps mark at the time of writing.

What games are playable on GeForce Now in Australia?

geforce now
Image: Cloud.gg / Pentanet

GeForce Now works by giving players access to their existing accounts. You don’t have to pay to play League of Legends or Fortnite, for instance, but you will still have to login to your respective accounts for those services when streaming through the cloud.

Not all games on Steam are available on GeForce Now, due to some publishers pulling their games from the service. Nvidia says more than 1,000 games are available at the time of writing, and the front page currently displays Control, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Hitman 3, Satisfactory, Metro Exodus, Elite: Dangerous, Dauntless, Crysis Remastered, Ghostrunner, League of Legends, Apex Legends, Unravel 2, Battlefield 1: Revolution, Dragon Age Inquisition, Steins;Gate 0, Cuphead, Cyberpunk 2077, Watch Dogs: Legion, Mortal Shell and many more.

To see if your specific game is playable, you can search for that game when logged into the GeForce Now app or website. There’s also a text list of games available on the Cloud.gg portal here.

Who’s GeForce Now for?

While GeForce Now might not make a lot of sense if you already have a gaming PC, it becomes a lot more practical if you think about the things you can’t play on your current device. Games, for instance, don’t commonly support Macs (older or newer M1-based versions), but GeForce Now makes a lot more games playable on the Apple ecosystem. Similarly, cloud gaming gives people access to a higher tier technology that the chip shortage has made increasingly unaffordable.

There are still the natural caveats with any kind of streaming technology: it chews up a ton of data and it’s greatly affected by latency or any instability in your internet connection. Other people, or devices, hogging your bandwidth can also lead to a degraded experience either through poor image quality (due to a low bit rate) or poor response times (because of other downloads on the network). But if those things aren’t a problem, or your network is managed correctly to prioritise games and gaming services, cloud gaming can be a way of accessing titles that don’t run on your existing devices at all, or well.

Comments

  • Little disappointed that it launched this week without the 3080 4k/120 pod upgrades available. Don’t mind the idea of streaming, but as is right now, Xbox Cloud just makes more sense in that Gamepass Ultimate gives you a catalogue of games + streaming for the same price (and if you grab the console as well, you have a higher resolution/fps experience than Geforce Now in your living room).

    The pod upgrades also are supposed to be reducing latency too, which would be welcome since my own testing with Geforce Now only saw it useful for action adventure games, racing games and shooters were unplayable sadly.

  • I just tried it out, the basic free service was very good. No real complaints for playing single player games. I was very impressed with the performance, especially with our shitty internet.

  • As someone with Game Pass Ultimate, this very much falls into the “I don’t need this right now” category for me.

    It’s a nice idea, and I like that it uses 3080s instead of Series, but… I just have no need for it.

  • Oddly, the timing of this worked out perfectly for me. Gotta gaming laptop that should be upgradeable but isn’t, which makes me pissy about replacing it. Now I’m playing Cyberpunk at ultra settings without forking out $2500.

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