Just yesterday, NVIDIA made GeForce NOW support for Chromebooks an official thing and we’re still testing things out to get our heads around all the awesomeness that is playing AAA titles we already own seamlessly on a Chromebook with crowds of other players you expect to see online. Was that a subtle dig at Stadia? Sure, but it is fair. Stadia still struggles mightily with having the games many users want and the user base online games demand. I love the service, but those missing pieces are a tough hurdle to maneuver.
In sharp contrast, GeForce NOW has over 650 titles that many users already own and the fact that they are streaming from a standard PC means the audience is already there and ready for you to log in and challenge. None of that has mattered for Chromebook users up until now, however, since there’s been no official way to use the service on Chrome OS. That all changed yesterday as NVIDIA made browser-based support for GeForce NOW available on Chromebooks. Again, all the players and titles in the world would be worthless if the gameplay experience was garbage, but that thankfully isn’t the case. Not even a little bit.
While there’s still much we have to test and learn about GeForce NOW on Chrome OS, I can already tell you that it is pretty amazing. Playing games like Fortnite, APEX Legends, Hyper Scape, or Warface right in the Chrome browser on high-end and low end Chromebooks has been an absolute treat. Framerates are solid, graphics look great, and there were so few moments where the connection had issue that the immersion in games even for a few hours on end with my daughter last night made me forget that Fortnite wasn’t actually running locally on my laptop. Oh, I should also mention that a quick pairing of my XBOX controller to my Chromebook had me up and running with full controller support almost immediately with not need for further setup. It just all works!
I probably need to give it a bit more time before I crown this a victory over Stadia’s browser-based equivalent, but for now, it feels very clear that NVIDIA’s Chrome OS-focused iteration of streaming gameplay is better than what Stadia can muster. Since Destiny 2 exists on both platforms, we’ll be doing some side-by-side testing, but from what I experienced just yesterday, it feels like NVIDIA’s Chromebook-only approach to web-based streaming is paying dividends in the performance department.
We’ll be doing a full-blown review and a comparison video between GeForce NOW and Stadia in the coming weeks, but you can at least know that GeForce NOW is legit, fun, and well worth $5/month (or $25 for 6 months thanks to a sign-up special) that the service costs. For Chromebook users, this entire thing is an absolute win across the board and, honestly, what I’ve wished Stadia would be all along.