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Nvidia ends support for its GameStream feature on Shield devices

Nvidia ends support for its GameStream feature on Shield devices


Nvidia isn’t just ending support for GameStream, it’s planning to fully remove the feature from existing Shield hardware in February.

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Nvidia’s Shield TV, the best streaming player for home theater experts and gamers, pictured on a table.
Photo by Chris Welch / The Verge

Nvidia is planning to remove GameStream, a feature for streaming PC games, from its Shield TVs and tablets. GameStream has been a feature of Nvidia Shield devices ever since they were portable, allowing Shield owners to stream games to their TV from a PC at up to 60fps in 4K resolution.

Shield owners will be disappointed to hear that Nvidia isn’t just discontinuing its GameStream feature, but it’s actually going to remove it from devices. An update due in mid-February will totally remove the GameStream feature, in a bizarre move after nearly 10 years.

Nvidia recommends Steam Link instead

Nvidia is recommending that Shield users switch to Steam Link, which is a similar way of streaming PC games to a Shield device. You’ll need the Steam Link app on your Shield TV to get access to streaming games from your gaming PC. Nvidia also lists GeForce Now as an alternative, but you won’t get 4K streaming and high frame rates without subscribing to the cloud gaming service.

You can refuse the Nvidia Games app update and GameStream will continue working for some time, but Nvidia warns it “will no longer be supported and eventually will stop working.” You’ll also need the latest Nvidia Games app to access services like GeForce Now.

An alternative could be using Moonlight, an open source implementation of Nvidia’s GameStream protocol. Moonlight uses a third-party set of clients and Nvidia’s protocol to play PC games on almost any device. It should be possible to continue using alternatives like Sunshine as a GameStream host for Moonlight.

Nvidia hasn’t explained why it’s removing GameStream, but we’ve reached out to the company for comment on the removal and we’ll update you accordingly.