When Nvidia's Shield Android-based handheld console launched back in July, the device's ability to stream games from a Kepler-based PC gaming rig was listed as beta. Now the company reports that "GameStream" has graduated from its beta class and will become a full-fledged feature on October 28. Nvidia GameStream will be available for local PC streaming, but in the longer term, the company will also support Nvidia GRID cloud gaming services.
"GameStream is Nvidia’s advanced streaming technology, combining the high performance of GeForce GTX graphics cards with advanced Wi-Fi technologies to deliver super-smooth, low-latency gaming on the go. It effectively puts the ultimate GeForce gaming experience in the palm of your hands," writes Jason Paul in the latest Nvidia blog. "With support for more than 50 top PC games, including upcoming 2013 blockbuster releases 'Batman: Arkham Origins' and 'Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag,' there is plenty of gaming to be had."
Paul indicated that there will be GameStream Ready routers from leading network partners including Asus, Buffalo, D-Link and Netgear. The company also revealed a brand new capability called "Shield Console Mode," which transforms the device into a full gaming and entertainment console on a big screen TV. Simply connect the Shield to an HDTV via HDMI, and pair it with a Nyko PlayPad Pro Bluetooth controller. That seems to defeat the purpose of having a controller-based console in the first place, but... whatever.
In addition to streaming games, players can also use Console Mode to play Android games, browse the Internet, watch their favorite movies and TV shows, listen to music and more at native 1080p on the big screen. Too bad Shield doesn't sport built-in 3G or 4G LTE connectivity, but tethering from a phone works too when not at home.
"Starting on Oct. 28, to celebrate the release of GameStream, Nvidia will offer up to $100 off Shield plus free copies of 'Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag', 'Splinter Cell Blacklist' and 'Batman: Arkham Origins' with the purchase of select GeForce GTX graphics cards," he writes. "Stay tuned for more details on resellers and system builders that will be offering the bundle."
Nvidia's Shield handheld is available now for $299 on Nvidia's website as well as a number of other retailers including GameStop, Newegg, TigerDirect, Amazon, Micro Center and a few others.