Microsoft has announced that it will bring PC games from its Game Pass library to Nvidia's GeForce Now service later this year. As a result, owners of a Game Pass subscription will be able to play their games on (presumably) superior hardware in the cloud without having to purchase titles on Steam or Epic Games' Store services.
"Game Pass members will soon be able to stream select PC games from the library through Nvidia GeForce Now," wrote Joe Skrebels, Xbox Wire Editor-in-Chief, in a blog post. "This will enable the PC Game Pass catalog to be played on any device that GeForce Now streams to, like low-spec PCs, Macs, Chromebooks, mobile devices, TVs, and more, and we will be rolling this out in the months ahead."
Nvidia's GeForce Now is a gaming service that offers the most advanced gaming hardware — such as the GeForce RTX 4080, one of the best graphics cards available today — in the cloud and therefore promises to provide the best experience. Of course, cloud game streaming has its peculiarities, like increased latencies and longer loading times. It does not provide the same experience as a local high-end gaming PC. Meanwhile, The Verge discovered that the GeForce RTX 4080 tier of GeForce Now significantly outperformed Microsoft's Xbox Cloud Gaming service in terms of performance and latency.
It should also be noted that for now, Microsoft only promises that select Game Pass PC titles will be playable on GeForce Now and it is unclear whether EA Play titles will be supported. Therefore, it remains to be seen how many games from Microsoft's subscription will actually and eventually be supported by the GeForce Now service.
Bringing Game Pass games to Nvidia's GeForce Now service certainly makes both services more attractive to gamers. Because if enough games are supported, it will be possible to enjoy high-end titles on high-end hardware for about $30 per month without making any additional purchases.
This move could also more cynically be seen as a part of a wider initiative to placate regulators regarding Microsoft's proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard, to show that the company is open to offering its services and titles on platforms other than Windows and Xbox.