Nvidia’s GeForce Now Rolls Out 120FPS Gameplay to All 120Hz Android Phones
Nvidia has been tinkering with cloud gaming longer than just about anyone, but its GeForce Now service is often overlooked in the era of Xbox Cloud Gaming and Stadia. If you’ve already got a library of games, GeForce Now could be the best way to stream them, particularly now that it supports higher frame rates and smoother gameplay on Android phones. Nvidia has announced that all Android phones with 120 Hz screens can now stream at 120 FPS.
GeForce Now is similar to Stadia and the other cloud gaming platforms — the games are rendered on a server, and the video streams to your chosen device. Your controller inputs go back up to the internet, and boom, you’re basically playing a game with a very, very long cable.
The quality of cloud gaming can vary wildly depending on which service you use, your connection type, and where you are geographically. That said, Nvidia’s latest high-performance tier offers the best features among cloud gaming platforms with the power of the RTX 3080. You get 4K resolution, ray tracing, and now 120 FPS. However, it costs a whopping $20 per month.
Last month, Nvidia began testing 120 FPS support with select phones from Samsung, Asus, Google, and others. Now, this feature is rolling out widely to all Android phones and tablets with the necessary hardware support. All you need is a display that can refresh at 120Hz (and a controller, like the Razer Kishi above). Most phones with 120Hz screens use OLED technology, but there are some with 120Hz LCDs that will work equally well for high-frame-rate gaming. According to 9to5Google, this feature is not currently slated for Apple devices because it requires a native app, which you get on Android. Nvidia uses browser streaming on iDevices as it was not allowed to release an app in the App Store.
Unlike the other cloud gaming platforms, Nvidia isn’t trying to sell you games. Instead, it connects to Steam and Epic, but not all titles are supported. Still, it’s probably a big chunk of your library. All Nvidia does is rent you a gaming rig in the cloud. The free tier is a good way to get started, but performance will be middling and you only get to play an hour at a time. The $10 per month plan adds a ray-tracing GPU, 1080p60 streams, and up to six hours per session.
The newly expanded 120 FPS support requires the spendy $20 per month tier, but that’s how you get the aforementioned 4K resolution (and longer sessions). The service isn’t limited to phones — GeForce Now works on computers, select smart TVs, and Nvidia’s own Shield Android TV box.