Nvidia (NVDA) stock rose 6.7% to $199 after the company rolled out its cloud gaming service, GeForce NOW, to Android devices. Then, yet another upgrade by Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst Vivek Arya boosted the stock into the $200 zone after almost one year. The last time Nvidia stock traded above $200 was on November 15, 2018. The stock fell 18.8% to $164 on November 16, 2018, after its four-quarter revenue guidance forecast the first decline in over three years.
Nvidia stock is up 46.5% year-to-date. The company has worked its way through the crypto bubble burst, weak data center demand, and slow uptake of its ray-tracing-supported Turing GPU (graphics processing unit). Nvidia is firing on all cylinders to broaden its gaming audience, this time focusing on Android cloud gaming.
Nvidia forays into game streaming
Next month is set to be revolutionary for streaming services. While Apple and Disney are launching video streaming services, Google (GOOG) is releasing its game streaming service, Stadia. Apple has launched its own game streaming service, Arcade, for $4.99 per month. And Nvidia is taking a piece of the cloud gaming market with its GeForce NOW service.
Whereas Nvidia GeForce Now and Google’s Stadia have a lot in common, they are also different. XDA Developers compared the two services. They both use GPU-powered cloud servers, but GeForce Now uses Nvidia RTX GPUs and Stadia uses AMD GPUs. While GeForce Now links to game providers such as Steam, Epic Games, and Battle.net, Stadia is a marketplace for games. Both are subscription-based services. However, GeForce Now will charge on an hourly basis depending on the type of GPU, whereas Stadia will charge monthly.
Nvidia GeForce NOW live in Russia
This year, Nvidia formed GeForce Now Alliance with LG Uplus in Korea and SoftBank in Japan to reach out to broadband, cable, and mobile customers. On October 3, Forbes reported that Nvidia’s GeForce NOW service went live in Russia. The SAFMAR Group launched the paid service starting at $15 per month under the GFN.ru brand. Nvidia had been offering a free beta version of GeForce Now in North America and Western Europe on Nvidia SHIELD devices, Windows, and Mac systems, according to Forbes.
Forbes also noted that Nvidia has given its Alliance partners the freedom to design their plans, pricing, promotions, and game libraries depending on the local market. Variables such as bandwidth costs and carrier models make localization necessary, according to Forbes. Therefore, the SAFMAR Group’s $15 monthly charge may not be offered in other regions. However, gamers around the world will all enjoy Nvidia’s GeForce cloud gaming experience and wide range of game titles. As Nvidia and AMD are GPU leaders, almost all game developers develop or optimize their games for the companies’ GPUs.
Nvidia brings GeForce NOW to Android
Nvidia is expanding its GeForce NOW service beyond Mac, Windows, and SHIELD devices to Android devices. This move will significantly increase Nvidia’s audience. According to NewZoo, 45% of global gaming revenue will come from mobile games this year. Smartphones are more available and affordable than PCs and consoles, making mobile gaming more popular.
As reported by The Inquirer, OnLive has tried game streaming. However, it failed because of weak Internet and devices. Now, the ecosystem is set, as shown by various tech companies’ growing interest in game streaming. The world’s largest handset maker, Samsung, has partnered with AMD to develop custom mobile GPUs.
Nvidia has launched the trial version of GeForce NOW on Android devices in South Korea, where the 5G (fifth-generation) infrastructure is in place. XDA Developers contributor Max Weinbach gave a sneak peek at the Android service. He noted that GeForce NOW beta users can log into their account on any Android device and get access to their games library if those games support mobile platforms. He also noted that games play well even on LTE (long-term evolution), with some minor packet loss.
However, Critical Hit recommends people use a game controller, as most games aren’t meant for touchscreen controls. The site added that it’s not clear if game developers will offer mobile-specific games for the GeForce NOW Android service.
Analysts upgrade Nvidia
Some analysts expect data center growth to return. TheStreet noted RBC Capital analysts expect Nvidia to announce data center product refresh. And according to StreetInsider, Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst Vivek Arya thinks Nvidia is at the cusp of another major natural language processing trend, conversational AI.