Enthusiasts in the US have had the chance to get their mitts on NVIDIA's SHIELD hand-held gaming device for about six months now and functionality is slowly but surely being added to it to make it more of a no holds barred gaming platform. Integral to that has been the incorporation of GameStream, a service that allows you to stream gameplay from your PC using the SHIELD as your controller and either its built-in 720p screen or a separate TV as a monitor.
GameStream, along with the GeForce Experience app that's is now the backbone of NVIDIA's PC software, is slowly maturing and exited beta status late last year. It lists support for over fifty games and was recently augmented with a beta implementation of Cloud streaming of selected gaming titles. These cloud servers could be just around the block or half a world away as demonstrated today when NVIDIA streamed gameplay on the SHIELD streamed from servers in France - almost 6000 miles away.
Na matter the source, you still need to bear down on latency in order to keep gameplay as smooth and seamless as if you were playing it on a console under your TV.
Facilitating the war against latency NVIDIA today revealed certified third-party hardware both in regards to the PC hosting the stream and the network device serving it. Unsurprisingly the main US-based system builders such as MAINGEAR, CyberPowerPC and IBUYPOWER are three of the six retailers listed; they will all be selling a range of PCs with Kepler-based GeForce GTX GPUs and GeForce Experience pre-installed.
On the networking side comes GameStream-reader routers from ASUS, Buffallo, D-Link and Netgear. Each of these are popular brands, whilst the routers listed in the main incorporate dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz wireless networking with the 802.11ac standard.
SHIELD is still awaiting release in the UK but was demoed publicly for the first time at Eurogamer 2013. Hopefully we'll hear more from SHIELD in the EU at CeBIT later this year.
A full list of certified system integrators and routers can be found in the announcement or on the Shield microsite.