During the Game Awards that aired on YouTube (and tons of other streaming platforms) on December 7th, there was an ad that ran towards the latter half of the program that was pretty eye-opening and featured Chromebook Plus and GeForce NOW in a very interesting setting.
With no prior knowledge, actual gamers were brought into a room to try and guess what sort of GPU was powering the CyberPunk 2077 session that they were shown playing. Those involved guessed what you would figure: something in the RTX 4090 range. With comments about the quality of the textures and the ray tracing effects, you can easily tell these folks are impressed.
And then it is revealed that they are actually playing on a Chromebook Plus (the Acer Chromebook 516 GE) utilizing GeForce NOW. And though I know this is an ad spot, I don’t think you can fake the reactions all these players had to the news that they were thoroughly enjoying a gaming session on a Chromebook.
I know many serious gamers wouldn’t be caught dead using a Chromebook, but this little experiment reminds me of a similar setup from last year at CES 2023 where I was sat in front of a desktop setup with two other people and made to guess which device was which. We all got it wrong, and everyone in the room identified the Chromebook as the best-looking version of the same game being played on local hardware.
I guess the takeaway here is not to jump to conclusions too quickly. If you’ve never tried cloud gaming, it’s highly likely that you’ll be shocked how good it is. By NVIDIA’s reckoning, in good conditions, the latency rivals local consoles with wireless controllers and even beats it in some cases. With graphics way better than most people get to see on a regular basis, GeForce NOW is a legitimate way to experience a ton of fantastic games on something as affordable and simple to use as a Chromebook. They just need people to actually give it a chance.