Just over a year ago, NVIDIA finally brought GeForce NOW, its PC game streaming service, out of beta. The commercial launch of the service saw the introduction of two tiers: a feature and time-limited free tier, and a paid Founders tier that offered a full set of features (including RTX) and priority access. Now as the company is in its second year of operating the commercial service, today NVIDIA is raising the price for GeForce NOW paid subscriptions, essentially doubling them to $10/month (or $100/year) for new members.

Officially, what NVIDIA is doing today with its subscription plans is two-fold. First, the Founders plans, which were advertised as a limited-time offer from the very beginning, are finally being retired and will no longer be offered to new customers. In their place the company is launching a new set of “Priority” memberships, which are otherwise identical to the old Founders plans, offering the same features and priority access.

The only meaningful change, other than the name on the plan, will be the price. Whereas the Founders plans were $5 a month or $25 for a six-month subscription, GeForce NOW Priority subscriptions will be sold on a monthly or yearly basis. Monthly plans are now $10 per month (or more specifically, $9.99), while yearly plans are $100 ($99.99).

With that said, as a thank you to their Founders members – and no doubt mindful of the negative public reaction to price hikes – NVIDIA is also grandfathering in the old Founders rate for existing customers under what they are calling their “Founders for Life” benefit. This means that while new customers will have to pay the new, higher prices, existing customers will have their old prices locked in so long as they remain in what NVIDIA calls “good standing.” Which for all practical purposes works out to a 50% discount on the service for existing members.

Past that, NVIDIA’s blog post announcing the price increase doesn’t go in to any detail on explaining the reason for the increase. But it’s not terribly surprising to see NVIDIA raising prices; even without the explicit limited-time nature of the founders packages, $5/month was probably not covering all of NVIDIA’s costs, especially as evidenced by the price of comparable high-end instances from the major cloud service providers. If nothing else, this is a sign that NVIDIA is finally looking to make a real profit from the service, rather than just trying to cover costs.

Overall, NVIDIA seems rather bullish on the future of their unique cloud gaming service, even with the licensing-related teething issues over the past year and the hit to demand that will no doubt come from a price hike. According to the company they’re continuing to add capacity to the service, including spinning up a data center in Montreal later this year. Similarly, the company is continuing to expand its GeForce NOW Alliance partnerships for other countries, further increasing the number of countries that have local GeForce NOW servers.

Finally, while today’s news is largely focused on the business-side of the service, NVIDIA does mention that an upcoming update to the service is going to address refresh rate synchronization. With the 2.0.28 update, the server-side refresh rate will be set to match the client-side refresh rate in order to account for the existence of both 60Hz displays and 59.94Hz displays. This small variance in refresh rates is not an issue with games locally, but similar to streaming video, it can be a problem with cloud gaming as a mis-match would lead to judder and the occasional dropped frame.

Source: NVIDIA

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  • Yojimbo - Thursday, March 18, 2021 - link

    yes and free hamburgers for life. Reply
  • reuthermonkey1 - Thursday, March 18, 2021 - link

    Will GeForce Now Priority still have a queue? Also, does this support 4k? And last, how can I play this on my TV?

    I'm mostly trying to compare this at $10/mo to Stadia...
    Reply
  • jordanclock - Thursday, March 18, 2021 - link

    GeForce Now Priority is the same thing as Founders, so yes, it includes 4K, RTX, 8 hour sessions, priority in queues, etc.

    I personally play on my TV using an Nvidia Shield TV. I think you can load the app on any Android TV device, though.
    Reply
  • Tomatotech - Saturday, March 20, 2021 - link

    4K is only available on Nvidia's Shield. Use anything else eg PC and it's just over 1080p max resolution. Reply
  • Tomatotech - Saturday, March 20, 2021 - link

    Very happy with my 6month membership for £25, looks like I can keep this going and not pay the price rise - thanks! Never had to queue in my 3 months paid membership so far.

    Stadia you pay for each game, and there are indications Stadia may close down in a few months (check Ars Technica) which means you're out of the money you paid and you've lost the games too.

    GeForce Now uses the games you already own in Steam / Origin / Epic. If GeForce closes down, you still own the games. It doesn't cover every game on Steam, but there's a reasonably good selection. You can use an online checker tool to check which of the games you own can run on GFN.

    To play on your TV, plug anything you have into the TV. Most PCs and gadgets (iOS or Android) have HDMI output. I'm not that keen on playing on TV as most Steam games have interfaces more suitable for a monitor close to your face, not a TV on the other side of the room.

    Biggest negative for me is that GFN a) doesn't have Skyrim and a few other games I want to play, b) maxes out at 1080p, when I have a nice large 1440p monitor. Hopefully the bump in membership charges will let them offer higher resolutions / better GPUs.
    Reply
  • IBM760XL - Thursday, March 18, 2021 - link

    Not surprising; $50/year always seemed too good to last. At that price, it probably would have saved money to just get an Intel iGPU and use GeForce Now for games, rather than buying a dedicated GPU - even before the recent shortages and price hikes.

    What I'm curious about is how many people are using GeForce Now. Opening a new Canadian data center for it indicates there is demand, but I haven't heard much about it lately and my IRL friends and colleagues are still looking for (and occasionally even buying) dGPUs, so I wonder what its adoption has been.
    Reply
  • webdoctors - Thursday, March 18, 2021 - link

    I always thought that, $50/yr is stupid cheap. A video card is what, 5 years and $300+? This would be like leasing a car and getting a new car every month. At $10/month could always just get it for the games your PC can't handle and discontinue after you pass it. Reply
  • abufrejoval - Thursday, March 18, 2021 - link

    Darn, I was just ramping up my mining on GeForce Now after Shadow had gone down... Reply
  • abufrejoval - Thursday, March 18, 2021 - link

    While Stadia has more spare capacity, it's a little more work to integrate the mining into the game... Reply
  • Yojimbo - Thursday, March 18, 2021 - link

    why not just mine on cucumbers like everyone else? Reply

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