Hardware stub

NVIDIA Ships GRID Game Streaming Service, "What Spotify Did for Music"

Posted on March 4, 2015

Alongside the release of its Shield gaming console, nVidia showcased its GRID game streaming service – thought of as similar to on-demand TV services – in a more final form. The service has been known to exist for a number of years now, but hasn’t advanced beyond internal and partner beta testing phases. Jen-Hsun Huang, CEO of nVidia, demonstrated cloud gaming using the GRID service and Shield console simultaneously.

The GRID service is enabled through an application store that allows digital acquisition of game titles. Once purchased, games can be streamed live to a designated device – in the demo, that’d be the Shield console – without the requirement of installation or local processing. GRID remotely renders the gameplay content on an external server, removing the requirement of a local high-end GPU for graphics processing.

NVidia threwback to the Nintendo Famicom, later shipped as the NES in the US, noting that the console was wildly popular given its off-the-shelf gaming capabilities. This in mind, the company hopes to offer a similar function going forward by using known mobile and PC architecture to build the next generation of internet-driven home consoles.

To this end, Jen-Hsun Huang further noted that the console industry has been centered upon a buy-replace cycle that makes it somewhat challenging for consumers to keep up with. GRID, we were told, will replace this cycle by way of rendering content externally and streaming it to a PC. Internet connectivity would be required, posing an accessibility issue to users who want offline play (or those untrusting of their internet stability).

As we reported earlier, nVidia hopes to “do what Spotify did for music.”

GRID will be available alongside the Shield console in the near-ish future. We haven’t had hands-on yet and can’t speak to the latency of GRID, but can state that – from the demo on-site – The Witcher 3 played at maximum settings with great fluidity (at 1080p60) and looked promising.

We’ll withhold comment on GRID’s efficacy until further information is acquired.

- Steve “Lelldorianx” Burke.