Back in January, LG promised that Nvidia’s GeForce Now would be heading to some of its TVs, and now the feature has arrived to a selection of 2021 models in beta.
According to LG (opens in new tab), the beta is available for “select 2021 LG 4K OLED, QNED Mini LED, and NanoCell TV models in 80 markets.” A footnote at the bottom of the page says that the full list of supported models will arrive “at a later date.”
For those unfamiliar, GeForce Now lets users stream games from powerful computers in the cloud. The device you’re connecting with — be it a Chromebook or a TV — is essentially a glorified screen, with the heavy lifting carried out on Nvidia's remote systems.
Unlike the likes of Google Stadia and Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming, Nvidia’s solution plugs into your existing Steam or Epic Games library: you buy the games as if you were planning to play them at home, and then stream them from elsewhere.
In theory, then, the arrival of GeForce Now on LG’s televisions — hardware with a strong presence on our list of the best TVs you can buy — would be good news for owners of high-end panels, but frustrated by the GPU and PS5 stock shortages. However, the devil is in the details, and there are a few things you should be aware of.
For starters, not only does GeForce Now on webOS only support two-channel stereo, but the visuals are capped at 1080p and 60fps, which could less than ideal on the larger 65- and 77-inch 4K panels.
More importantly, while the beta supports “compatible controllers”, that doesn’t seem to include plugging in a keyboard and mouse, which makes it an imperfect solution for traditional PC gamers — even if the idea of balancing a Corsair K70 Mk.2 and Logitech G502 on your lap doesn’t sound ideal either.
If these points sound like a deal breaker, you could buy the 2019 Nvidia Shield which supports 4K GeForce Now streams, 7.1 audio (opens in new tab), mice and keyboards (opens in new tab). Plus, of course, it’s compatible with any TV or monitor with a free HDMI port.
Still, gamers with LG TVs could be spoiled for choice soon. Around the same time as GeForce Now was first promised, LG also revealed plans (opens in new tab) to add Google Stadia cloud gaming support to its TVs in “late 2021”. With just over a month of 2021 left, an announcement on that front could be just around the corner...