Telco stock Pentanet (ASX:55G) has announced that it will go ahead with launching the cloud-based GeForceNOW games in Australia, after seeing strong market interest.

The company has previously announced its tie-in with NVIDIA’s cloud-based game streaming service back on 27 January. Since then, 24,300 gamers have registered, significantly exceeding its expectations of early interest in the service.

Pentanet will now order the initial batch of hardware from NVIDIA – which will include 18 RTX game servers (up from the expected 12 servers), at an approximate cost of $3.2 million. The servers will be split across two locations, Perth and Sydney.

The roll-out of the beta version is planned for later this year, with a commercial launch to follow. The invite-only beta will be for users who have pre-registered, and existing Pentanet customers to receive priority access.

Pricing will be announced at a later date – after the completion of the beta testing that will give further insight into usage patterns and server capacity limits.

Pentanet managing director, Stephen Cornish, said that the pre-registration period was an important initial step to gauge user interest.

“We are encouraged by the very strong interest in GeForce NOW and now have a very clear indication from market demand that Australian gamers appear to understand and support the service, mirroring the strong demand also seen overseas.”

What is GeForce NOW anyway

GeForce NOW is essentially a steaming library of computer games developed by American tech multinational, NVIDIA, that allows people to play games over the internet.

It has recently gained traction among gamers, competing with market leader Google Stadia.

GeForce allows users to play games like Destiny 2, Fortnite, and Path of Exile. But people can also bring their own games to the service. In total, it supports hundreds of major titles, and runs on PC, Mac and Android.

Pentanet’s IPO

The Perth-based company floated on the ASX in January this year. It raised a total of $22.5 million at a price of 25 cents per share.

Pentanet is actually a telecommunications carrier, not a games provider. The prospectus said it is “Perth’s largest fixed-wireless network service and delivers super-fast speeds within the metropolitan area.”

The company has been established since 2017, and already had 10,000 subscribers prior to the IPO.

Its share price is trading today 63.5 cents, up over 150% on its IPO price.


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