Nvidia have announced a string of price changes to their cloud gaming service GeForce Now. The monthly subscription service is now in its second year after leaving its beta phase in February 2020, and early subscribers were able to use the premium version of GeForce Now for as little as £4.99 per month in the UK. However, this Founders membership has now been replaced by a new Priority membership, which costs £8.99 / €9.99 / $9.99, doubling the original monthly cost.
Nvidia have also introduced a new annual Priority membership plan that will set you back £90 / €100 a year, which works out a fraction cheaper than a rolling monthly subscription. The free membership hasn't been taken away, luckily, but you're still limited to one-hour play sessions and 'standard' access to GeForce Now's servers.
Priority membership, meanwhile, lets you play for an 'extended session', get priority access to the servers, and get the benefit of Nvidia's RTX effects, including ray tracing and DLSS in supported games.
Of course, it's never nice when a service you like using massively ups their original pricing, but there is some good news to be found in all this if you're an existing Founders member. If you started a paid Founders membership on or before March 17th, then you'll be able to keep your original £4.99 per month (or £24.95 for six months) price for life as part of Nvidia's 'Founders For Life' benefit.
Naturally, there are some caveats to keeping this introductory price, including keeping your membership going without interruption, for example, and continuing to make timely payments. For full details, see Nvidia's website.
Nvidia also outlined their plans to improve the quality of GeForce Now, which is no doubt part of the reason why we're seeing these big price increases. This includes adding extra capacity to some of their busiest data centres, as well as opening up new server locations in Phoenix, Arizona, and Montreal in Canada, which should hopefully cut waiting times for nearby Priority and Founders members.
Nvidia have also just launched the service in Turkey, and are hoping to bring it to Saudi Arabia and Australia next through their new GeForce Now Alliance program. These Alliance partners operate regional data centres to offer GeForce Now in local currencies and language support, and will once again reduce latency, improve ping times and cut down the time spent waiting to get on a server.
Nvidia are looking to improve the number of games released onto the service every week, too. Last year, Nvidia said they onboarded and released an average of ten games a week. In 2021, they're looking to increase that number by around 50% by the end of the year thanks to a more streamlined onboarding pipeline.
Despite a somewhat rocky start, GeForce Now has come on leaps and bounds since I reviewed all the major cloud gaming services at the beginning of last year, adding a proper list of supported games, as well as better library syncing across Steam and improved GOG support. It's also one of the only major cloud gaming services left standing, too, as the rival company behind Shadow recently filed for bankruptcy and Google Stadia has since shut down its internal game studios and is no longer developing any exclusive content for it. Is GeForce Now worth paying £9 a month, though? Looks like it might be time to reassess the state of cloud gaming in 2021.