Nvidia expands PC game streaming, announces monster GTX 780 Ti card

With in-home streaming technology, Nvidia wants to give PC gamers the freedom to leave their computing caves.

Dubbed GameStream, the technology is an expansion of the in-home streaming that debuted on Nvidia’s Shield handheld. The idea is that users could set up a powerful gaming PC somewhere in the house, and then use Wi-Fi to stream those games to handheld devices and televisions.

Nvidia first launched in-home streaming with its Shield Android gaming handheld in July, but the feature was advertised as a beta, with limited game support. On October 28, Nvidia will launch GameStream and presumably drop the beta tag.

More than 50 top PC games will be supported at launch, and certain Wi-Fi routers will be labeled “GameStream Ready.” Nvidia says it will also improve navigation and controls, and promises low-latency gaming at 60 frames per second.

Nvidia will also add a “Console Mode” for Shield, allowing users to connect a Nyko PlayPad Pro controller via Bluetooth (as shown above). That way, players can sit back on the couch with a wireless controller while the Shield stays connected to the television via HDMI.

Some details murky

In the future, Nvidia hopes to support PC gaming outside of the house using its GRID cloud-based gaming platform, but the company didn’t announce any specific plans.

It’s also unclear whether GameStream will eventually become available for other devices besides Shield. For now, the $300 Shield handheld is the only option if you want to play PC games from anywhere in your house, but you'll need a GTX 650 or higher desktop graphics card to enable GameStream.

To sweeten the deal, Nvidia says it will knock $100 off the price of 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.

On that note, Nvidia also announced the GTX 780 Ti, which is its next high-end graphics card, but the card’s specs, pricing, and other details are unknown. The company also announced a free gameplay capture tool called ShadowPlay and a module for computer monitors called G-Sync, which manufacturers can use to reduce screen tearing.

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