NVIDIA bypasses Apple’s App Store, launches GeForce NOW on iOS via Safari
Cloud gaming, or game streaming as some others call it, is promising to be the future of gaming, freeing up users from the constraints of physical hardware and letting them game anywhere thanks to the omnipresence of the cloud. Most big names have pitched in their own game streaming service, and while the ecosystem slowly matures, there’s still one problem towards this omnipresence: the Apple App Store. Apple has blocked both Microsoft xCloud and Google Stadia cloud gaming services from the App Store previously. And now, NVIDIA seems to have bypassed this block by choosing to launch GeForce NOW on iOS through the Safari browser.
Apple’s primary contention against allowing these cloud gaming services on its mobile platform is that they need to submit each game within the service individually for review. Such rules for review are applicable for all developers already on the App Store, and to appear on the App Store, these rules and guidelines need to be followed. As an alternate, Apple did suggest in its own statement that game streaming services could use the Safari browser or other browsers to reach all iPhone ad iPad users.
NVIDIA appears to have done just that. GeForce NOW is streaming on iOS Safari in beta from today onwards. This opens the door for existing members subscribed to this game streaming service to play their favorite games on iPhones and iPad as well, in addition to all the other hardware options such as Windows, macOS, Android, and Chromebooks.
There are a few small caveats though. For one, GeForce NOW on iOS Safari requires a gamepad. NVIDIA says that keyboard and mouse-only games aren’t available due to hardware limitations. And if you are looking to use the service to play Fortnite on your iOS device (considering how Fortnite is still banned from the App Store), a touch-friendly version of the game is being worked on and will be coming soon. But right at launch, Fortnite will be missing for practical gameplay on iOS devices.
NVIDIA also has more to share on games that are coming in the future. GeForce NOW will soon connect with GOG.com, letting users enjoy games like CD Projekt Red’s Cyberpunk 2077 and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Cyberpunk 2077 is an upcoming title that has generated massive hype leading up to its launch, while Witcher 3 needs no introduction to serious gamers. It’s an exciting time to be a gamer indeed.