Nvidia’s Decision to End Gamestream: Nvidia Gamestream is a service that enables you to stream 4K video games from a powerful personal computer to your television set when combined with the proper hardware. A good, hassle-free, and stable implementation of local streaming, it launched in 2013 alongside the Nvidia Shield TV device (which I no longer use but have fond memories of) and was preferred by many over the more prevalent alternatives offered by platforms like Steam.
Its goodness and purity made it unfit for this world. According to Nvidia’s recent announcement, GameStream is no longer supported. “Nvidia Shield users can expect an update to the Nvidia Games app around the middle of February. This update removes the ability to use GameStream within the mobile app.”
Nvidia further elaborates that Shield owners will soon be able to use Steam Link to stream games to their TVs and that the GeForce Now service enables cloud streaming to the Shield TV (which is not like-for-like).
Since GameStream is a vital feature of the Shield hardware (and one that I relied on frequently), this has been received very well by Shield TV users. I can imagine that this feature was a significant selling point for many people who purchased the Shield, and it stands in stark contrast to the practice of announcing the end of support for a live service.
“WTF, Nvidia?” A Shield user posted on the NVIDIA forum that they experienced. “The Shield and the 3080 are my go-to setup for this kind of gaming. To say I’m dissatisfied is an understatement, as this is essentially the sole reason I have a Shield and an Nvidia card.”
Another typical response is, “Why would anyone buy a Shield TV if not for the function they are removing?” The only reason I bought the damn thing is because of this, so it’s annoying. I feel they can’t disable the feature, but they will discontinue providing updates and support for it in the future because that’s part of the selling point.
— The Verge (@verge) December 19, 2022
Regrettably, it does not appear to be the case. Nvidia’s announcement appears to attempt to preempt this by suggesting potential alternatives. Nonetheless, it cannot be denied that GameStream was a selling point for the Shield, and some customers will have purchased the device with the not-unreasonable hope that it would “work” for as long as they required it to.
Can’t we avoid updating in February? Nice try, but, to quote Nvidia once more: “Although Gamestream may still function for some time, it is no longer being maintained and will soon stop functioning. GeForce NOW and the other Nvidia Games-supported services will require an app update to continue functioning.”
So there you have it; GameStream is being discontinued. If you try to keep using your Shield in its current state, other features will be impaired or cease functioning unless you update to the future without GameStream.
The NVIDIA Shield is going to lose some pretty core functionality. https://t.co/L5bUP4hQcW
— PC Gamer (@pcgamer) December 19, 2022
Customers’ reactions to this are understandable, and one can hardly blame them. It’s not just about the Shield hardware; to take advantage of these features, you’ll also need to invest in other parts of the Nvidia ecosystem.
This would have far-reaching consequences for not only GameStream itself but also for other, similarly popular services like Moonlight which relies on GameStream to function.
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