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Nvidia announces GeForce Now gaming service for Mac, $25 for 20 hours of play time

Computer graphics giant Nvidia on Wednesday announced the upcoming Mac and PC launch of GeForce Now, a cloud-based game streaming platform previously limited to the company's Shield tablet and TV devices.

Unveiled onstage at CES by Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang, GeForce Now is a content hosting service capable of streaming graphically intensive games down to vanilla end-user hardware.

"It's basically a GeForce gaming PC on demand," Huang said.

The product could be a boon for Mac, which still lags behind Windows PCs in terms of gaming. Huang even demonstrated the service live by playing a bit of Rise of the Tomb Raider on an iMac, a demanding PC-only game that would otherwise be too much for Apple's standard configuration hardware to handle.

While exact specifications and system requirements have yet to be announced, users will need to run a GeForce Now desktop client to access the service. Users gain access to a virtual desktop hosted from a data center using Nvidia's Pascal-powered GPUs, where they can sign in to online game stores including Steam, Origin, and

Gamers will be able to install games they already own from each store to the cloud-based platform, without buying the games a second time, which are then kept up to date by Nvidia's service. Standard features of each store platform, including achievements, and friends lists, will also be available.

Nvidia is selling GeForce Now as a tier based subscription service, with lower level game packages starting at $25 for 20 hours of play. Higher tiers with games like Rise of the Tomb Raider will command a higher price tag when the platform launches in March.