Nvidia’s GameStream Is Coming to Tablets This Year

You'll no longer need an Nvidia Shield to stream PC games around the house.

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Later this year, PC gamers will be able to pick up a tablet and keep on playing from anywhere in the house, using in-home streaming technology from Nvidia.

During an interview at CES, Nvidia director of product marketing Matt Weubbling said the company will expand its GameStream feature, which debuted on Nvidia’s Shield gaming handheld. He said to expect GameStream support on tablets some time this year.

Technically, GameStream could work on tablets today, but there are a couple of reasons why it’s not available yet. Partly, it’s a matter of Nvidia wanting to fine-tune the feature. When Shield first launched, PC streaming was labeled as beta. Nvidia had a proper launch in October, with improved streaming quality and a “Console Mode” for plugging Shield into a TV and playing with a Bluetooth controller.

Weubbling said Nvidia also wants to convince more Android tablet makers to include 2×2 MIMO Wi-Fi. The cost to include it isn’t huge, but it’s a corner that vendors tend to cut in pursuit of low prices. While it’s not a requirement, Nvidia’s new K1 mobile graphics processor should help improve GameStream as well, because it’s better at handling video compression than Nvidia’s existing Tegra 4 chip.

Nvidia isn’t the only company in pursuit of in-home streaming. Valve plans to have a similar feature as part of its Steam service, though the company hasn’t given many details on how it’ll work.

With GameStream, you need a dual-band wireless router and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 or higher desktop graphics card. Nvidia recently added a list of routers that are guaranteed to work with GameStream, along with approved desktop PC builders, so all we need now are some tablets to go along with them.