We've watched Nvidia's work on cloud gaming for some time now, and now it's official: Nvidia Grid will be a subscription service that promises to stream top-tier titles up to 1080p and 60 frames per second. The service will launch in May alongside the new Nvidia Shield home game console.
Nvidia will offer two tiers for subscription: free and premium (pricing not announced). The library will reportedly have more than 50 games at launch, while you can additionally buy titles à la carte (we spotted Batman: Arkham Knight in the on-screen store for $59.99). Huang says many titles will be on the service the same day as their release.
Nvidia's head Jen-Hsun Huang promises the service — which is backed by Nvidia Grid supercomputers worldwide and Amazon Web Services — can stream at half a blink of an eye: "If you have a fairly good internet connection, I can get a response from a computer based in Oregon in 150 milliseconds. That's half the blink of an eye." (via Nvidia's own live blog)
On stage, Nvidia is showing off a handful of games it's reportedly streaming from miles away, including twitch-racer Grid 2 and new titles like Resident Evil: Revelations 2, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, and The Witcher 3, which so far seem to be very smooth with no noticeable artifacting (the on-screen text has consistently remained crisp and legible, for example). The visual fidelity seemed to be slightly lower than it would if the games were played on a high-end PC or next generation console, but the CD-Projekt representative on stage said that his company's Witcher 3 could be played on a higher detail mode over Grid.
Read next: A closer look at the new Nvidia Shield
Game streaming as a service has had varying degrees of success. One of the early forerunners Gaikai was bought by Sony and turned into PlayStation Now, while OnLive had a rather dramatic fall. Nvidia has already debuted a game-streaming service on its previous Shield handheld console, the aptly named GameStream. Grid is also not a totally new invention: the company has been testing the service since late 2013 and rolled it out in November 2014 for its tablet console. Hands on experiences with Grid have suggested that the 150ms latency isn't an issue, but your internet connection might be — the service reportedly requires a 5 to 10Mbps download speed in order to render games in 720p, and 30Mbps of bandwidth to stream in 1080p.
Rich McCormick contributed to this report.