Gaming on a Mac has always been notoriously difficult – many games don’t support macOS at all and the ones that do require a decent GPU to run properly. However, the latest cloud-based gaming announcement from Nvidia at CES 2017 could change the Mac gaming landscape forever. Read on to find out more about GeForce Now for Mac, including how to use it and GeForce Now’s UK release date and pricing.
How to use GeForce Now on Mac: What is GeForce Now?
GeForce Now for PC and Mac is the latest cloud-based offering from Nvidia announced during CES 2017 in Las Vegas. If you think that sounds familiar, you’d be right – GeForce Now is a part of Nvidia’s Shield TV, allowing gamers to stream an entire library PC games via a set-top box for a monthly fee. However, the offering for PC and Mac is slightly different. As we understand it, there isn’t an existing library of games for PC and Mac gamers to choose from – instead, users link their game libraries via Steam, GOG and other game marketplaces and play games that they own.
The real charm is that all the processing is done by a Nvidia Pascal-powered PC in the cloud, meaning you can run the latest AAA blockbuster games without having to worry about having a low-powered PC, or a Mac (for which many popular games remain unsupported). Simply download the app onto your Mac, log in to access your library and game on! As it’s cloud-based, it also means that you can switch between Macs and PCs without losing any save data.
While it’s great for budget PC owners, it could really kickstart gaming on Mac for the first time. Macs aren’t the machine of choice for gamers as Apple tends to not include the latest Nvidia or AMD-powered graphics cards in its Mac line-up, meaning they’d struggle to power the latest games available for Windows. However, if the processing is done in the cloud on a Windows PC, it not only gives Mac gamers access to high-end gaming, but also a whole library of games that only support PC.
How to use GeForce Now on Mac: Pricing and release date
So, when can we get our hands on GeForce Now for PC and Mac in the UK? Unfortunately, we’ve still got a little while to wait. While lucky US gamers should be able to access the cloud-based streaming service from March 2017, everybody else has been given a rather generic window of Spring 2017. We’ll update this with more information as soon as we have a solid UK release date.
But what about pricing? It has got to be pricey, right? Unlike the GeForce Now for Shield TV users, GeForce Now for PC and Mac works on a token system which can be good or bad, depending on how often you play. When gamers first sign up to the free service they get 1000 credits for free, with a further 2500 tokens setting back US gamers $25. While we’re sure there will be other options available (and in GBP), these are yet to be announced. But how does the token system work?
It’s fairly simple – instead of paying a fixed monthly subscription, users only pay for the time that they spend gaming. There will be multiple GPU tiers to choose from with the most expensive using more tokens per minute, while the lower-end GPUs offer better value for money. For example, if users opt for a GTX 1080-powered PC it’ll set them back four tokens per minute, or 240 tokens per hour while a GTX 1060-powered PC costs half at two tokens per minute, or 120 tokens per hour.
Sign up for early access
Those interested in testing out the service before general release can do so by heading over to the Nvidia website and clicking “Get Early Access” at the top of the page – the only two requirements are a minimum 25mbps internet connection, and a US resident (unlucky for us in the UK!).
The early access will provide the service to gamers free of charge, allowing Nvidia to road-test the cloud-based game streaming service before it goes live with paying customers in March 2017. No word yet on when the Early Access period will begin, but we’ll update this section with new information as soon as we receive it.
How to get GeForce Now on Mac
While the software is yet to be released, we can explain the basics of how GeForce Now on Mac will work. First off, you’ll have to download the GeForce Now app from the Nvidia website and install it on your Mac. From there, you’ll be prompted to login with your GeForce Now account, which grants access to your personal GTX-powered cloud PC with your library of games, and game saves.
If it’s the first time you’re signing in/signing up, you’ll be prompted to add your game libraries from various online providers including the likes of Steam and GOG (Galaxy of Games). From there, simply install the game on your virtual PC and fire it up. The game will be rendered from your cloud-based PC and delivered to you in real-time, with minimal lag. We’ve been using GeForce Now on our Shield TV for a while now, and it provides an impressive game streaming experience.
Mac gamers will be able to play with keyboard and mouse, although we’re not quite sure about controller support just yet as, unlike with Windows 10, the Xbox One controller doesn’t come with Plug & Play support. The great news is that because the saves are stored on your cloud-based PC, you can easily login from another PC or Mac and continue where you left off.