Nvidia GeForce Now cloud gaming 'coming soon' to Australia, with one big caveat

Nvidia's cloud gaming platform, GeForce Now, is officially coming "soon" to Australia (as well as Turkey and Saudi Arabia), according to the gaming company's blog post published today.

The company announced that it's bringing Western-Australian ISP Pentanet into its GeForce Now Alliance fold, which will be the first ISP in Australia to host Nvidia's RTX servers – the systems that power the game streaming service.

The catch? Pentanet only technically services Western Australia, offering fixed-wireless and fibre services to the Perth metro and regional areas of the state. We’ve reached out to Nvidia for clarification, but based on the location of this ISP, we’re assuming Aussies will need to live on the west coast for an optimal streaming experience.

Nvidia's hinted that there may be other Australian ISPs coming on board this year, with its closing statement offering a bit of hope for anyone living in the eastern half of the country: "Stay tuned as we work with additional partners to bring cloud gaming to new regions throughout 2021 and beyond."

A future in the clouds?

Nvidia's GeForce Now is a cloud gaming service that's well-regarded across the territories where it's available. It allows gamers with fast enough internet connections will be able to stream the latest games directly to a mobile device, TV, or laptop without the need for a high-end graphics processor in the device to render the game.

This is because all the powerful hardware (such as the latest Nvidia RTX graphics cards) are housed at dedicated local server locations. The games are run from these server sites, receiving input information from the remote device being used for playback, with the games' visual and audio information streamed and responding in real time.

With the NBN effectively complete and the 5G roll out picking up steam, services like GeForce Now are finally becoming viable in Australia, as they require incredibly low latency for the aforementioned back-and-forth process to work seamlessly.

The big three Aussie telcos (Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone) all have their own 5G networks in various stages of rollout; at present, they're largely centralised around the major cities, with regional coverage comparatively patchy. 

For gamers that don't necessarily want to upgrade their PC with the latest (and often incredibly expensive) gaming hardware, paying a nominal subscription fee to a service like Nvidia's is becoming an increasingly attractive option.

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