Nvidia is 10 years ahead of Xbox

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We were able to test for several days Nvidia’s new GeForce Now Ultimate offering powered by the GeForce RTX 4080. Impressive performance and some glitches still present.

With the now registered death of Google Stadia and the absence of Amazon Luna in Europe, Microsoft and Nvidia are now the main rivals in the cloud gaming sector. The two offers have this interest because they are very different. Microsoft is committed to a Netflix video game with a large catalog that is very easy to access on many devices, while GeForce Now is more committed to technical quality and the integration of games that you already have.

At CES 2023, Nvidia wanted to give its service a new boost by introducing GeForce Now Ultimate. This formula replaces the GeForce Now RTX 3080 subscription and represents, in a more sustainable way, the top of the range of Nvidia cloud gaming.

What is GeForce Now Ultimate?

With this new package at 19.99 euros per month (or 99.99 euros for 6 months), Nvidia now wants to offer a platform based on the GeForce RTX 4080. We will precisely access a machine equipped with a 16-core AMD Ryzen processor supported for 28 GB of RAM and with Windows 10.

On its site, Nvidia promises that this will enable 8-hour sessions on the fastest servers with up to 4K definition and a refresh rate of up to 120 frames per second.

The news

Beyond this new computing power, Nvidia is taking the opportunity to integrate some really welcome new features.

We thought in particular of support for ultra-wide screens in 21:9 or 21:10 with a supported resolution of up to 3840 x 1600 pixels at 120Hz. Nvidia makes full use of its PC architecture here that can adapt games to any type of Nvidia displays also integrates its Reflex technology to reduce latency.

What gives?

We were able to test the Nvidia GeForce Ultimate offering by connecting to the servers in Frankfurt. In fact, the rollout of the GeForce RTX 4080 will be gradual and France should only be concerned in a few weeks, according to Nvidia.

Like the launch of the RTX 3080 offering, the experience is simply stunning. Based on the power of the GeForce RTX 4080, we can run all the available games with the best settings and very fluently.

A state of the art open world game like legion of watchdogs thus, it can run at 69 frames per second on average at 3440 x 1440 pixels with all settings maxed out including the ray tracingand without using DLSS.

“A Plague Tale Requiem” on GeForce Now in 4K at max settings // Source: Frandroid

If your Internet connection allows it, the game runs with no visible image compression and no noticeable latency. It feels like playing a local game.

Cloud gaming magic works when you find yourself running next-gen games on machines that shouldn’t be allowed: a MacBook Air, a tablet, or the Nvidia Shield box. Also keep in mind that Nvidia’s service goes beyond your box technologically. The Nvidia Shield’s HDMI port is not capable of delivering 4K at 120Hz.

We have renewed the experience with other games like Fortnite either cyberpunk 2077 and the same warning is repeated: the graphic settings are at maximum and the latency is imperceptible. Pretty impressive since for this test, we are not connecting to French servers, but to Frankfurt servers.

Among the service’s flaws is the fact that it still offers a limited catalog, but it is growing every week and has great titles, with several publishers such as Activision Blizzard absent. In this catalog it will be necessary to own the games, the subscription does not cover an all-inclusive catalog like Game Pass. Finally, while Nvidia has greatly improved their system, we still encountered cases where a game launch was interrupted due to the need to re-login to Steam.

Ten years ahead of the competition

A quick math shows that this offering is merely ten years ahead of Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming. Indeed, the Redmond firm has chosen to base its offer in the cloud on its Xbox consoles. The latest revision includes games based on Series X.

Released in 2020, the Xbox Series X generation should logically find its successor around 2027, if Microsoft and Sony keep up. Given the power delivered by the GeForce RTX 4080, it’s still doubtful that the possible next Xbox will offer anything comparable, for a machine that should remain very affordable and compact for your living room. You also have to count the time it will take Microsoft to update its cloud gaming offer with these new machines.

In short, except for a surprise or change in strategy on the part of Microsoft, we are not close to seeing an Xbox Cloud Gaming offer capable of running games in the same conditions as GeForce Now. Technically, Nvidia no longer had a rival. The firm is now taking generations ahead. To wonder if the possible next renewal towards a possible GeForce RTX 5080 would make sense in the future.

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