Graphics giant Nvidia today launched Safari integration in its GeForce NOW game-streaming service, allowing iPhone and iPad customers to play titles like upcoming Fortnite and other resource-intensive PC games on the iOS platform without requiring an entire game install.
Currently available in beta, GeForce NOW for iOS requires a compatible gamepad. Nvidia maintains a list of recommended routers and gamepads on its website.
The iOS service supports 750+ PC games. Titles that require a keyboard and mouse are not available on iOS. Games are streamed in 1080p resolution at up to sixty frames per second, depending on network conditions, server load, your own computer and other factors.
Access GeForce NOW on iOS by visiting play.geforcenow.com in Safari on your iPhone or iPad.
GeForce NOW for iOS runs as a web app within the confines of the mobile Safari browser. Games are not installed locally at all, saving storage space. Nvidia basically takes advantage of its remote computer servers to process the players’ commands and to generate graphics.
However, streaming the relevant data back and forth does introduce a very short delay, which can be the deciding factor in fast-paced games such as Fortnite. I’m definitely eager to see for myself how performant a web-based version of Fortnite running in the Safari browser will be.
If it runs more or less smoothly, that could be an encouraging sign that might give us web-based versions of Google’s Stadia and Microsoft’s xCloud game-streaming services. And when Fortnite does release on GeForce NOW, you’ll be able to play the game via the service’s free tier, but gameplay will be limited to one-hour sessions. All limitations are dropped if the player is using a paid GeForce NOW tier (a 6-month subscription costs $25).
GeForce NOW for iOS also allows developers like Epic Games to bypass Apple’s payment infrastructure and App Store fees. According to BBC, “Apple will not get a cut of virtual items sold within the battle royale fighting title when played this way.”
Nvidia brought its cloud gaming service GeForce NOW to the Mac back in February, but it couldn’t initially implement support for the iOS platform due to Apple’s rules prohibiting any gaming services that rely on streaming from the cloud. This is in stark contrast to local game streaming from a Windows PC, which is supported by the current App Store rules.
In November, however, Nvidia promised to release a web-based version of GeForce for iOS before year-end, with Fortnite as one of the launch titles, and now they’ve delivered.
GeForce NOW is available on the iOS, Mac, Windows, Android and Chromebook systems.