No Longer In-house: Using NVIDIA SHIELD’s GameStream Feature While Out and About
Posted on December 12, 2013 3:36 PM by Rob Williams
NVIDIA’s SHIELD boasts a bunch of cool features, but the one that stands out for a lot of people is GameStream, which enables the ability to stream real PC games from a GeForce-powered rig over to the handheld. As we discovered from our in-depth look, GameStream works well.
After publishing our article, I perused some comment sections around the Web that discussed it, and a common complaint I saw was that people wanted GameStream to work outside the house. One person even quipped something to the extent of, “I don’t care what the result looks like, I just want the option“.
The problem here, of course, is that streaming a game requires a lot of bandwidth and fast pingtimes, so NVIDIA isn’t going to want to make such a feature public unless it’s going to work for most people. But that doesn’t stop consumers from crafting up their own solutions, which is just what some users did. The original tip comes from cgutman over at the XDA forums, but a more readable version (with pictures) was created by Gungrave over at the official NVIDIA forums.
The solution is simple overall, requiring proxy software for both Windows and the SHIELD, along with WinPcap and some configuration changes on the router. The biggest requirement of them all might be out of reach for most of us, though: A fast Internet connection. While Gungrave recommends an upload speed of at least 5MB/s, I don’t think that’s too necessary – during testing I found that GameStream utilizes no more than 1MB/s. More important than that, though, is latency. If the round-trip to the server (aka: your GeForce PC) is 40ms or less, the experience should be good.
It’s worth noting that NVIDIA does plan to offer similar functionality eventually. With the recent OTA update for SHIELD, the company quietly slipped in a beta for GRID, which allows the user to stream a handful of PC games from Californian-based servers. Unfortunately, I’m geo-locked out, and if it wasn’t for that, my Internet connection would see to spoiling the fun, but the fact that NVIDIA is testing GRID now shows that an easier solution for personal cloud gaming might become a reality soon as well.
Curious to know what NVIDIA thinks of this GameStream tweak? Well, since it shared the forum thread with its 1,000,000+ fans on Facebook, we’d imagine it considers it a-OK.