As part of their Montreal game showcase announcements, NVIDIA has announced that come October 28th the company will be consolidating their various PC game streaming technologies under a single banner. The new brand, to be called NVIDIA GameStream, will see NVIDIA’s various game streaming initiatives such as GeForce PC Streaming (PC-to-shield) and NVIDIA GRID cloud game streaming (GRID-to-PC/Shield) become a single brand under the NVIDIA umbrella.

With GameStream the underlying technology itself won't be changing – it’s still fundamentally about pairing up NVIIDA NVENC equipped GPUs with Tegra and other endpoint devices with a matching H.264 decoder – but with this change NVIDIA is also going to be adding additional functionality to better utilize the tech.

Chief among these is that NVIDIA’s Shield handheld game console will be getting a microconsole-like mode, dubbed “Shield Console Mode”, that will allow the handheld to be converted into a more traditional TV-connected console. In console mode Shield can be controlled with a Bluetooth controller, and in accordance with the higher resolution of TVs will accept 1080p game streaming from a suitably equipped PC, versus 720p in handheld mode. With that said 1080p streaming will require additional bandwidth, and while 720p can be done over WiFi NVIDIA will be requiring a hardline GigE connection for 1080p streaming (note that Shield doesn’t have Ethernet, so this is presumably being done over USB). Streaming aside, in console mode Shield will also support its traditional local gaming/application functionality.

Ultimately Shield Console Mode and other GameStream functionality will be part of a larger effort by the company to try to get game streaming off of the ground sooner, as the company has a significant interest in both the value add side of things (to sell more GeForces) and an interest in securing a large chunk of the projected cloud game streaming market through NVIDIA GRID (to sell more GRID boards). Furthermore, although the company hasn’t announced any details at this time, we’re told that they will be forming a GameStream Ready branding initiative with various WiFi router manufacturers to qualify routers with sufficient Quality of Service capabilities.

Source: NVIDIA

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  • pancakes - Friday, October 18, 2013 - link

    Shield + USB hub + ethernet adapter + Xbox 360 controller = Good times for all?
  • A5 - Friday, October 18, 2013 - link

    Sounds expensive.
  • nathanddrews - Friday, October 18, 2013 - link

    Why settle for a compressed 1080p stream without surround sound? Just run HDMI over ethernet to your TV/AVR and mirror your display (assuming you have a 1080p display) from the PC. Then grab a 360 controller PC adapter and get it as close as possible to the room (360 controller range is about 30ft, get a powered hub if necessary). Pretty easy and cheap, no NVIDIA hardware restriction. A wireless mouse and keyboard can be done the same way...
  • A5 - Friday, October 18, 2013 - link

    Meh. If people were going to do that, they would have by now. For me, my gaming PC is way too far away from my TV to make something like this practical.
  • A5 - Friday, October 18, 2013 - link

    *this being your solution, not the streaming thing.

    That said, I'd rather get a Steambox streamer than a Shield.
  • nathanddrews - Friday, October 18, 2013 - link

    Different strokes for different folks... ;-)
  • SetiroN - Friday, October 18, 2013 - link

    ^ this

    Playing with latency is laughable, if you want to play on your TV or projector, there have been ways for ages.
    If you're only going to do it now that streaming techniques are available, you might as well get a console because you're not really interested in proper gaming.
  • SlyNine - Sunday, October 20, 2013 - link

    Depends on how much latency. We will have to wait and see. If its 10ms that's totally acceptable for the kinds of games you'll be playing on your couch with a controller. Surely you don't think this is meant for hardcore fps and competitive gaming. This is for skyrim and tomb raider.
  • nevertell - Friday, October 18, 2013 - link

    They're going to be doing some uart magick, as regular usb2.0 won't be fast enough for 1080p.
    What was the name of the short-distance, ultra-fast wireless standard ? Because we need that for streaming. WiGig.

    And we'd be far better off having h.264/h.265 decoders in the display devices rather than having them in some sort of middleware of a controller.
  • SlyNine - Sunday, October 20, 2013 - link

    Blu-ray movies are only around 6 MB/s (48Mb/s) at 24fps; 24fps *2.5=60fps so 48mb/s*2.5=120mb/s. USB 2.0 is 60MB/s (480Mb/s) Plenty for 4 1080 streams at 60 fps.

    Assuming consumer grade hardware will be less efficient I'd say there is at least room for one 1080@60 there.

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