Can’t buy an RTX 3080? GeForce Now will let you play with one in the cloud
Still gonna cost you, though
Nvidia’s GeForce Now cloud gaming service is getting a new, ultra-premium subscription tier powered by its GeForce RTX 3080 GPU. While one of the best graphics cards around, especially for higher resolutions, the RTX 3080 has remained frustratingly hard to find in stock since it launched last year – for many, this GeForce Now tier could be the best chance of seeing what it’s like to play with one, even if is simply streaming from a server rather than a dedicated gaming PC.
It’s expensive, mind. At £89.99 / $99.99 for a six-month subscription, the RTX 3080 tier costs twice as much as the next tier down, Priority – and that also delivers RTX features like ray tracing and DLSS. That said, the RTX 3080 tier also represents a significant step up in visual quality, supporting up to 120fps on display resolutions up to 1440p when streaming on a PC or Mac. The Priority tier can only handle, at most, 60fps at 1080p, so the new tier comes much closer to what you’d expect from a high-end PC setup.
It also adds support for 4K HDR streaming via the Nvidia Shield TV, capped at 60fps, and ups the maximum session time from Priority’s six hours to eight hours. Though uh, if you’re going to take Nvidia up on that, maybe get up and stretch every now and then, yeah?
Naturally you’ll need to provide your own display and control input, but otherwise this should let you play GeForce Now’s library of PC games on some very much non-PC devices, including at 120fps on supportive Android smartphones, and with much more cloud-based horsepower than before.
In fact, Nvidia seems to be targeting the RTX 3080 specially at existing users: those with an active Priority or Founders subscription get first dibs on pre-orders, which are available to all as of next week. When the service actually goes live, however, is a mystery – I’ve contacted Nvidia for clarification and will update this post if I can get a release date. Nvidia are also warning that RTX 3080-based streaming servers will only be available in limited quantities.
Still, they can’t be any more limited than the actual RTX 3080. And while the equivalent of £15 per month is a lot, you could keep that going for six or seven years and still spend less than what the average eBay listing asks for the lesser-spotted graphics card.