In the event you’ve not been in the loop with NVIDIA’s GeForce NOW, it is a competitor to Google’s Stadia and provides a platform for cloud-based game streaming. GeForce NOW’s big selling point is the library already available as games like Fortnite and Apex Legends are supported on the service. Additionally, players may find that titles they’ve purchased in their Steam accounts are available for streaming as well with NVIDIA’s service.
When this all came out of beta a few months ago, NVIDIA made the app available on Android, Windows and MacOS with no support for iOS or iPad OS planned and a web-based player in the works. We’ve seen no sign of the web player at this point, but some hope emerged early-on for Chromebook users in the form of the Android app running when side–loaded on a Chromebook. While we can’t really recommend side-loading and all the security risks involved, it was cool to see that the app would install.
Unfortunately, the app would only run for a few minutes before freezing up and crashing completely. This caused us to continue to be excited for the web player, eagerly anticipating a more-solid way of trying out the service on our Chromebooks. Not long after that, however, it became apparent that the Android app ran just fine on ARM-based Chromebooks like the Lenovo Chromebook Duet and was even available right in the Play Store.
With this, we made the assumption that perhaps NVIDIA had changed course and decided that the GeForce NOW app would be the right route for Chromebooks after all. As of earlier this week, however, it seems this was a misstep on behalf of NVIDIA as the GeForce NOW Android app has been fully pulled down from the Play Store for all Chromebooks. In fact, seraching for the app only returns the following message in the Play Store: “NVIDIA GeForce NOW by NVIDIA isn’t available on Google Play on this device.” Regardless of device, it looks like the GeForce NOW app is back to side-load-only status for now.
While I’m a tad bit bummed by this news, I’m also hopeful that this means a web player is still in the works. This would by all means be the easiest and most straightforward method for playing games on a Chromebook via GeForce NOW. When we thought the Android app might take off, it also meant that the web-based version could possibly be benched. Unless we hear new news that NVIDIA isn’t concerned with Chromebook gamers, we have to assume that they are still moving forward on a web-based player and, as a fan of all things web-based, I’m excited for this. Here’s hoping that it happens sooner than later.