GeForce Now Works at Native Resolution on the MacBook Pro

You can finally use GeForce Now on a MacBook Pro at its native aspect ratio. When Nvidia announced the RTX 3080 tier for its GeForce Now cloud gaming service, the company said streams would run at the native resolution of 1600p. Now, that’s available as part of the latest GeForce Now update.

The M1 Max and M1 Pro MacBook Pros feature beefy GPUs, but they’re not tuned for gaming. The list of the best Mac games isn’t too large, either. That’s where GeForce Now comes in, allowing you to play any supported PC game on your MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac, or iOS device without worrying about performance or compatibility.

In the case of GeForce Now, MacBooks actually have a slight edge over PCs. The RTX 3080 tier tops out at 2,560 x 1,440 at 120 frames per second (fps) on PC. The MacBook Pro uses a 16:10 aspect ratio for a resolution of 2,560 x 1,600, which the RTX 3080 tier can now fully take advantage of.

The RTX 3080 tier is the closest we’ve seen cloud gaming get to native gaming. It’s not perfect, as the “magic of PC gaming” is still washed in a layer of video compression, but it’s much closer than any other cloud gaming service has gotten. It’s the most expensive GeForce Now subscription Nvidia offers, offering 1440p on PC, 1600p on Macs, 120 fps streaming, and eight-hour session lengths.

There should be a big asterisk next to the frame rate. Although the RTX 3080 tier is capable of 120 fps streaming in most titles, Nvidia caps the frame rate on a number of popular games. Cyberpunk 2077, for example, is capped at 45 fps. Valheim, a game that’s not demanding whatsoever, is also capped at 50 fps.

The RTX 3080 tier runs $99.99 for six months, and Nvidia is currently offering it alongside a copy of Crysis Remastered. Below that is the Priority tier, which is $49.99 for six months. It tops out at 1080p at 60 fps with six-hour session lengths, and it also comes with a copy of Crysis Remastered. Nvidia offers a free tier, though free users are limited to hour-long sessions without RTX features.

In addition to native MacBook Pro resolution, the new GeForce Now update includes integration with Ubisoft Connect. Similar to the Epic Games Store, you can now save your sign-in info for your Ubisoft Connect account in the app. That will skip the log in process whenever you boot up a Ubisoft game.

As usual, Nvidia also announced several new games joining GeForce Now as part of its weekly GFN Thursday. Here are the new games for this week:

  • A-Train: All Aboard! Tourism (Steam, December 7)
  • White Shadows (Steam, December 7)
  • Monopoly Madness (Ubisoft Connect, December 9)
  • Anno 1404 History Edition (free on Ubisoft Connect, December 6 to 14)
  • Prison Architect (free on Epic Games Store, December 9 to 16)
  • Super Magbot (Steam)
  • Untitled Goose Game (Epic Games Store)

Editors’ Choice

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Native Voice nabs $14M to convert devices into branded voice assistants

All the sessions from Transform 2021 are available on-demand now. Watch now.

Native Voice, a startup developing an SDK for audio device manufacturers to integrate third-party voice assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant, today announced that it closed a $14 million seed round led by Gutbrain Ventures, PBJ Capital, Signal Peak Ventures with participation from Revel Partners, Ideaship, TechNexus, and others. According to CEO John Goscha, the proceeds will be used to propel the company onto more devices, expand its suite of voice services, and prove and scale its go-to-market model.

According to Statista, by 2024, digital voice assistants will be installed on 8.4 billion smartphones, tablets, computers, appliances, and cars. Native Voice aims to offer a layer between users and brands with voice assistants, working with brands to bring their assistants to its platform and with hardware manufacturers to bring its platform to their devices. 

As Goscha explained, Native Voice connects with multiple assistants and their skills, apps, and actions while acting as the library for brands deploying their own voice-enabled solutions. With Native Voice, users can unlock access to branded voice services like “Hey Spotify” and “Hey Uber,” as well as tap-to-talk functionality and always-listening wake-up capabilities across smartphones, earbuds, smart speakers, and cars.

“I have been interested in voice, frankly obsessed with it, for years. I saw a technology catalyst — voice technology had gotten a lot better and it was no longer only about simple use cases like ‘what’s the weather’ and ‘set a timer’ … I also saw a market catalyst where voice had become the fastest adopted technology in human history,” Goscha told VentureBeat via email. “Brands had also begun to embrace voice as the next interface and build their own voice service similar to how they built their own app with the advent of the smartphone. These two catalysts compelled me to decide it was time to start a company in the space.”

Voice assistants

In a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers survey, 90% of consumers said they’ve used a voice assistant (72%), with adoption being driven primarily by younger users and households with children. The firm concluded that successfully capitalizing on the technology requires organizations to understand the assistant’s strengths and opportunities for growth, in addition to what’s needed for consumers to trust the technology.

Native Voice, which says it’s working with brands in fitness, retail, and smart home markets, is available on Android via an app (with iOS to come) and built into four Bluetooth “hearable” devices. So far, it supports Alexa, Siri, and Spotify, providing access to music, news, podcasts, radio, weather, fitness, meditation, and personal finance services. 

Native Voice somewhat duplicates the efforts of the Open Voice Network (OVN), a Linux Foundation-backed alliance advocating for the adoption of open standards across voice assistant apps in automobiles, smartphones, smart home devices, and more. With founding members Target, Schwarz Gruppe, Wegmans Food Markets, Microsoft, Veritone, Deutsche Telekom, and others, the OVN’s goal — much like Amazon’s Voice Interoperability Initiative — is to standardize the development and use of voice assistant systems and conversational agents that use technologies including automatic speech recognition, natural language processing, advanced dialog management, and machine learning.

Native Voice

But Native Voice’s unique proposition for brands is access to usage data. Goscha says that companies on the platform own the consumer data, so that they can see how users are interacting with their brand as well as ways they could improve the experience.

“I believed the future of voice should look more like the internet and less like AOL, where users are able to interact with whichever voice service best meets their particular need. I thought it was amazing that when brands build their own voice service focused on their area of expertise the user experience could be so much better,” Goscha said. “Brands like Bank of America and Spotify were investing tens of millions of dollars in building their own voice service, but it was hard for them to get onto the more than 400 audio device brands out there. And audio device manufacturers wanted to have all the voice services on their device, but they had a hard time doing deals with each brand one at a time and integrating one at a time. We needed a software layer — infrastructure if you will — connecting these two groups.”

With the funding announced today, which brings Denver, Colorado-based Native Voice’s total raised to $14.4 million, the company plans to add five more people to its team of 30, a mix of full- and part-time employees.


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