Rain has officially launched Nvidia’s GeForce Now service in South Africa, marking the end of a successful beta testing phase. Available from R200 per month, the Priority Plan is the most economical option, limiting gaming sessions to 3 hours while providing access to Nvidia’s RTX ray tracing technology for applicable titles. GeForce Now is the first cloud gaming service officially accessible in South Africa, offering users without a high-end gaming PC the ability to play the latest titles. With compatibility on Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS smartphones, smart TVs, and certified Android TV boxes, the service is versatile and widely accessible.
The Priority Plan, priced at R200 per month, allows subscribers to play games at a maximum 1080p resolution at 60 frames per second via a dedicated gaming server with an RTX 3060 graphics card. While this plan limits gaming sessions, it opens up the world of cloud gaming to a broader audience. Once the session time concludes, users may need to restart their games and might be placed in a queue if gaming servers are unavailable.
Rain also offers the higher-end Ultra tier, priced at R400 per month, which supports 8-hour gaming sessions and provides users access to GeForce RTX 3080 servers. The Ultra plan enables gameplay at up to 4K resolution at 60 frames per second or 1440p resolution at 120 frames per second, catering to users seeking a more immersive gaming experience.
Rain and non-Rain customers can sign up for the service, with Rain subscribers enjoying a 20% discount on the monthly subscription fees. Rain subscribers will pay R160 for the Priority plan and R320 for Ultra. However, Rain has advised that sign-ups are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Users signing up for the service can stream games they already own from various digital gaming stores, including Steam, the Microsoft Store, the Epic Games Store, and Ubisoft’s store. Additionally, Microsoft’s “Netflix for games” subscription service, Game Pass, is supported, providing a wide selection of games for subscribers.
The invitation-only beta testing phase, which ran from late September to December 4, 2023, showcased the potential of the service. Testing included popular titles like Apex Legends, Atomic Heart, Counter-Strike 2, and Starfield on the Priority plan. While experiences varied, playing Apex Legends and Counter-Strike 2 on the highest graphics settings provided an impressive experience, with frame rates between 100 and 120 frames per second and a typical latency of 4ms during gameplay.
In contrast, Starfield, a newer and more graphically intense title, exhibited lower frame rates when settings were maxed out in 1080p resolution during the beta testing phase. However, it’s important to note that only the Priority plan was available during beta testing, and Starfield’s performance is expected to improve with the dedicated RTX 3080 server offered in the Ultra plan. The official launch of GeForce Now in South Africa provides gaming enthusiasts with a cloud gaming solution, expanding access to high-quality gaming experiences.