Finally, the laptop that might see the biggest improvement in 2017 is yours, even if it’s a piece of junk. That’s thanks to the sudden arrival of a pair of services that will stream all of your PC games, from any game platform, straight from the cloud to any PC or Mac (if your network’s up to snuff).
Nvidia’s GeForce Now stole the spotlight at the company’s CES 2017 keynote, and it held up wonderfully in my brief hands-on with the service. GeForce Now even opened up positively sacrilegious scenarios like playing Witcher 3 on a MacBook Air or Rise of the Tomb Raider on a 5K iMac—gaming experiences you could never, ever achieve on Apple hardware otherwise.
GeForce Now’s expensive pricing tiers—$25 for 20 hours at GTX 1060-quality graphics, or 10 hours at GTX 1080 levels—drew immediate fire, however. Interestingly, startup LiquidSky held an event of its own just two days later and announced a PC game-streaming service that essentially works the same as Nvidia’s service. The big difference? LiquidSky’s pricing plans are much cheaper than GeForce Now’s, and the service even includes an ad-supported tier that lets you earn up to three hours of no-cost gaming per day.
These game-streaming services will likely wind up being fairly niche in their current forms, but as a guy who often travels with a ho-hum decidedly non-gaming ThinkPad, the idea of bringing my game collection on the road with me sounds mighty exciting indeed.