As one of the prime players in the burgeoning cloud gaming scene, GeForce NOW boasts a hefty catalogue already. Recently they announced the addition of eight new games, including titles such as A Plague Tale: Requiem, and Faith: Unholy Trinity. But most interesting in the release is the note that a dozen other existing titles will be getting touch-screen support for mobile devices. With a dedicated row on the GeForce NOW app to direct users to those games with adapted controls.
If you’re familiar with the growing cloud gaming scene, you’ll know that one of the most popular peripherals for phones has become the console style controller. The hotly-anticipated Razer Edge 5G comes packaged with the Kishi Pro V2 as standard, and Turtle Beach has delved into bringing their Recon series to mobile with the Recon Cloud peripheral. For gamers used to console or plugging a controller into their PC, these peripherals are practically a necessity to get something close to the home experience.
However, as the release provided to us says “The new touch-enabled controls mean GeForce NOW members can play with just their mobile devices while on the go, whether phone or tablet.” Control schemes are another major stumbling block for cloud gaming services, as a variety of devices such as phones and tablets solely utilise touch controls. For certain games this can be worked around but for others unless you use a peripheral the experience is drastically worse.
The titles added include natural ports or those with existing touch-screen support on other platforms such as Into the Breach and Magic The Gathering: Arena. Whilst others such Papers, Please and Tabletop Simulator will be interesting to see adapted to the native touch-screen controls of tablet and mobile devices. GeForce even has dedicated tags to ensure compatibility with either of the aforementioned devices, directing users to games that are suitable for on the go gaming.
All this points to an awareness from companies in the cloud gaming space that accommodating a variety of users and devices is important. If games played on different devices require the same peripherals as console and PC after all, it removes the main appeal of cloud gaming, being able to play anywhere. The focus on compatibility for many game services with mobile devices mirrors Valve's recent efforts to revive their Steam app with new functionality like remote downloads and a QR code authentication system.