Cloud gaming isn’t for everyone, but it’s getting easier to tell if it’s for you because Nvidia and Google are now letting you try their virtual gaming PCs for free. Following Google’s recent announcement that any Stadia developer will be able to offer an instantly accessible free trial of their game without needing to log into a Google account, Nvidia’s GeForce Now is now pushing reduced-friction demos as well — starting with Chorus, Ghostrunner, Inscription, Diplomacy Is Not an Option and The Riftbreaker: Prologue.
Typically, you’d need to log into an Nvidia account, then log in again to a Steam, Epic Games, or Ubisoft account to play one of these demos on GeForce Now, and you’d have to search for them as well. Now, the Nvidia account is all you’ll need. Demos will automatically appear in a new “Instant Play Free Demos” row and won’t require a second login.
That’s still far more friction than cloud gaming should optimally have, and you’ll only be able to launch them from within the app or play.geforcenow.com web app. (There’s no ability to click an ad to instantly be playing a demo just yet.) But it’s interesting to hear that — unlike Google — Nvidia is now welcoming demos from developers that don’t yet have a full game on GeForce Now quite yet.
“We will accept any free demo. We just ask that if a full version of the game becomes available later that our users can play it on GeForce Now,” reads one of the answers I requested from Phil Eisler, VP, and GM of Nvidia’s cloud gaming platform.
The downside is that, unlike Stadia, the demos are just demos. They don’t save your progress in the game and let you pick up where you left off if you choose to buy it afterward. They also don’t prompt you to buy or subscribe to GFN afterward, either, which some might find nice. Eisler says Nvidia is exploring a purchase flow and might consider ways to transition from a demo to a full game in the future, though.