Good News if you are a gamer who owns an iOS device: Apple is now allowing streaming services to run on its devices without relying on iOS apps or the App Store to access the content. It is doing this through the Safari web browser and allowing web apps that use the power of the cloud to stream console and PC games to mobile devices like the iPad.
This will allow you to overcome barriers to AAA console developer focus and hardware limitations of your favorite iOS devices when compared to dedicated gaming consoles or PCs that cost up to $2k per machine. Of course, this is as long as you have a decent Internet speed and bandwidth to spare.
According to TouchArcade, a site I wrote game reviews for not too long ago, and one of the biggest in the mobile gaming scene, Nvidia’s GeForce now just got released with Google Stadia soon to also make an appearance.
Nvidia has a streaming service that has been around for a while and has been catching steam with much newer console and PC games being available on it. The graphic card market leader even offers dedicated hardware, such as the Shield tablet that supports this ecosystem.
Google Stadia is newer and is still trying to make a mark. It has been hammered by bad press when originally debuted due to its price and a small catalogue of supported games as well as bandwidth limitations for recommended play. However, it continues to evolve and is seeking new markets with this move. We cannot count Google out of the picture as it knows the cloud and streaming first hand.
This is how the Nvidia Geforce Now service on the iOS App Store works, according to TouchArcade:
The base service is free for anyone and lets you stream games that you already own though other 3rd party digital storefronts, like Steam or the Epic Games Store. The restrictions for being a free user are you don’t get any of Nvidia’s fancy visual effects like Ray Tracing or DLSS while you play, and you’re also limited to just one hour sessions at a time. For $4.99 per month or $25 for a 6 month chunk, you’ll get support for those fancy visual effects when you’re playing, no more one hour session limit, and you’ll also get priority access when queueing up your game.
Although we can already play many console games on our iOS devices, most are from two or more generations behind the current tech. There have been multiple barriers to entry that have been keeping many current console games from being released on iOS.
One of them is hardware limitations, which this overcomes through the power of the cloud. Another has been touchscreen controls, but this is less of an issue with PS4 controllers officially being supported for users who have the latest versions of iOS amongst other dedicated controllers.
Additionally, App Store prices and the Premium model have prevented many AAA developers for wanting to release games on the App Store. It is also worth noting that the 30% cut Apple takes on all software sold has played an issue as well for some developers like Epic, but Apple also recently announced that it will work with developers in allowing them to only have to pay a 15% cut as long as they are making under a $1,000,000 annually in profits.
It seems that Apple is listening to both its gaming fans and developers alike in continuing to become an ever increasingly gaming-friendly ecosystem. At one time gaming and Apple were really opposite sides of the spectrum and Windows stole the market from the Mac in this regard while Apple focused on the publishing market and software for creatives like graphic designers.
Apple even released a console at one point in time that unfortunately ended up completely failing with consumers and it was called the Pippin. Steve Jobs was said to be against games and simply the market. This may have contributed to Apple shunning gamers for so many years.
”The truth is Steve Jobs doesn’t care about games. This is going to be one of those things that I say something in an interview and it gets fed back to him and I’m on his s***head list for a while on that, until he needs me to do something else there. But I think that that’s my general opinion. He’s not a gamer,” Carmack explained in an interview with Eurogamer.
Today, gamers get controller support on iOS devices which was never possible in Steve Jobs lifetime, at least officially and a focus that can be said on par with Apple’s focus in capturing the music and book industries. Keep in mind that Apple was looking to go under at one point and it was iPod, of all devices, that saved the day for the company with its ability to capture the music users and lucrative industry as a whole.
It is no surprise why Apple is starting to finally embrace gaming and even to the point of changing its subscription models to attract the biggest developers. Gaming is a huge market right now and although Apple may never release another dedicated gaming system again, it doesn’t have to. The gaming industry is moving further into the cloud and digital subscriptions alongside shared ecosystems that are based on subscription models rather than relying on physical media and hardware exclusivity.
Although dedicated systems still have a place in the hearts and minds of gamers, at least for this recent generation now hitting store shelves, we will see for how long this is the case. Gamers want to be able to take their titles they purchased on the go as well as have a chance to sit down in front of their big-screen TVs. They also want cloud saves and integration of purchased content no matter the device they use.