Overwatch Leaves nVidia's GeForce Now

According to an article on PCWorld, Activision-Blizard has pulled all of their titles from nVidia's GeForce Now.

In my days as CTO of Haste (a service that improves network connections for gamers), I had occasion to spend a fair amount of time playing Overwatch as part of our test regime. As a Mac user (and the only one on our technical team), I had a much more difficult time than my co-workers getting things to run smoothly and beautifully. While Richard and Taric were playing on their huge honking Razer and SurfaceBooks with high-end nVidia graphics, I had to settle for running games (via Bootcamp) on my then current MacBook Pro. I had the highest-end graphics available in it, but the Radeon Pro at the time was no match for the then-current GeForce, especially given the thermal constraints of the 15" MacBook Pro at the time.

Having done quite a bit of team-based FPS back in the InterCon days (shout out to Bungie's early history as a Mac games company, and the awesome game, Marathon), I needed to see if I could reduce the technical discrepancy between my rig and my fellow players. So, I proceeded to do the only thing a laptop Mac user could do, short of buying a separate PC gaming rig, and I acquired an AKiTiO (now OWC) Node eGPU box, capable of running a modern, beefy GPU connected to my Mac. Since I was not trying to use my internal Retina display and I wasn't trying to use it under MacOS, I didn't have any significant problems getting things set up, and now I was cooking with gas with an external 4K monitor that I could drive at max resolution and 60Hz.

Of course, those of you who know me know this didn't help my gameplay that much, but at least I no longer felt left behind and there wasn't any real doubt that my skill was showing through in the game.

But, in the end, the system was a bit fiddly, not very portable, and required shutting down from MacOS and rebooting into Windows, which I needed to keep up-to-date in order to play the game. Not a great experience.

When I returned to DC and stepped back to being an advisor at Haste, I sold off my GeForce card (they depreciate quickly), mothballed the AKiTiO and stopped playing Overwatch.

Fast forward a couple of years, and nVidia announces that they're finally going live with GeForce now and not only is it reasonably priced, but there would be a free tier. With that, I couldn't put off giving it a try. Honestly, the gameplay blew me away. Considering that I was playing without having to leave macOS or reboot, or add any more hardware to my machine, this was pretty awesome. I signed up, and jumped back in to Overwatch, enjoying myself for the better part of an hour before calling it quits for the day.

Unfortunately, that looks like it has quickly come to an end, because of Blizzard's actions, and now I will have to decide if there's another game that's worth taking up. But, at least I no longer feel like I'll be left out when my friends are discussing some great new game which isn't (yet) available on the Mac.