Seven years after its first launch, Nvidia’s Shield TV is still becoming one of the best set-tops on the market. The GameStream is mainly because it is streaming video. That’s the problem of game-playing, but there’s also the GameStream system, which lets gamers stream games from a local computer or desktop. Nvidia will shut down the streaming service in February as it used to advertise the technology heavily since the original Shield Portable.
The Shield TVs GameStream feature runs on the local network and needs a powerful PC that suits the same type of requirements. This isn’t easy to confuse with Nvidia GeForce Now, the cloud-based gaming service that streams games from an Nvidia data center (which charges for its most premium features). This is the focus of Nvidias streaming strategy going ahead, but at the time of the writing, it seems unlikely it will disappear.
GameStream began to turn around with the original Shield, the chunky, Android-powered portable that debuted in 2013. The best choice was available in the market to play low-latency streaming games from desktops to portable computers, even if its not technically possible. The Shield Portable never got a second-generation device, which could be used as a distortion of the Shield Tablet, but GameStream remained a banner feature as Nvidia turned the brand into a powerful gaming-focused set-top box.
The market today is changing. GameStream will disappear with a device update in February 2023. The short email doesn’t explain the reason for the interruption, but it’s safe to imagine that the company is turning resources from a product feature that rarely is used into GeForce Now, and the potential subscription revenue it can generate. That’s understandable, but GeForce Now is not a single-to-one solution for GameStream: its library is limited (and some publishers like Activision don’t support you) and users can’t adjust most graphical settings.
In their announcement email, Nvidia suggests gamers replace GameStream with Steamlink, which works well on a mobile TV. Other services like Moonlight offer similar services to that particular niche.