Nvidia's recently unveiled some exciting features for its cloud gaming service, GeForce Now at the first GFN Thursday of November, which included a pretty big announcement.
The company announced that its top-tier RTX 3080 membership is now officially out and open to everyone, following the first run of pre-orders, at least in the US.
A European rollout of the RTX 3080 tier is expected to follow in December with a similar style of rollout.
What Is Nvidia GeForce Now?
In short, Nvidia GeForce now is Team Green's own cloud gaming service that allows users to effectively rent a high-end gaming PC for an allotted period of time per day to play games on, be it from Nvidia's library or from the user's own library with services like Steam.
There is a free tier that allows for one hour of playtime, whilst Founder's members get up to six hours.
What Does The RTX 3080 Subscription Get Me?
The new RTX 3080 subscription provides a handy few benefits with subscribers obtaining RTX 3080-equivalent levels of power, allowing games to be played at up to 1440p resolution at 120fps.
For reference, current GFN subscribers can access games at a 1080p resolution at 60fps.
In addition, the new top-tier membership allows users to play for eight hours per session, as opposed to the current six hours available on the Founder's Tier.
How Much Will The RTX 3080 Subscription Cost?
As it stands, for users to get six months of access to the RTX 3080 tier, they'll have to pay $99.99, or £89.89.
Analysis - Is It Worth Renting A Graphics Card?
Much like in our discussion surrounding the Xbox Metaverse, the principle of cloud gaming is one that looks great in theory.
Users can pay a monthly fee to get access to their favourite games on uprated hardware and play them on virtually any device, be it a phone, PC, or tablet.
For some, this effectively cuts the need for them to weigh in to buy one of the best gaming PCs, as a high-spec bench in a server somewhere across the world can do the hard work for them.
On the surface, spending $200 per year on this RTX 3080 subscription when the global chip shortage has halted people getting high-end graphics cards for their own system seems like good value.
However, with GeForce Now's limits on playtimes, a couple of problems arise. Firstly, as people are paying for hardware like an RTX 3080 graphics card at $200 a year, there's arguably an expectation that they can use it for an unlimited time, with no caps.
Secondly, and arguably more pertinently though, this new tier of membership is most likely going to be purchased by those people who are waiting for the chip shortage to end so they can purchase a new card.
Spending $99.99 for six months, and nearly $200 a year whilst waiting for the shortage to end will therefore rack up a bill. Recent reports point to an end of the chip shortage at the end of 2022, according to the ARM CEO, but things may last longer.
For context, the RTX 3080 retails for $699 and £649 respectively which indicates that spending on this tier for three years will pay for a new graphics card if the shortage does go on for longer than anticipated.
By the time people have shelled out the MSRP of what will be a three-year-old card, the RTX 6000 series may exist and there will be even better systems, so this arguable stop-gap system may not account for as much of innovation or clever idea as Nvidia think.
Of course, this new system may well fly, as GeForce Now does have some clever perks such as Steam Library integration and a great selection of over 2000 games, but the on-the-surface limits and costs will maybe stop some people from taking the plunge into cloud gaming.