Nvidia turns on 1080p 60 FPS streaming for its Grid cloud gaming service

NVIDIA logoNvidia has enabled 1080p 60 FPS streaming from its Grid cloud gaming service. To use the new mode, you need to be part of the public Shield Hub beta group, have a Shield device, and at least a 30Mbps connection to the Internet.

For the moment, around 35 Grid games support 1080p60 streaming, with Nvidia promising that rest (another 14 at the moment) will get a resolution bump after a server-side hardware refresh. Nvidia won't say what that hardware refresh entails, but did confirm that its servers would be using the same Kepler-based Grid GPUs.

Grid streaming remains free until June 30, after which Nvidia will offer a paid-for premium tier in addition to the free service. While Nvidia still won't spill the beans on exactly what the premium tier gets you, or how much it'll cost, we can confirm that 1080p streaming will not require a premium subscription.

To help with the increased server load, Nvidia is launching new Grid data centres in the US, Europe, and Asia later this year. If, however, that doesn't help with your connection speed, or if your bandwidth drops due to other (totally selfish) members of your household jumping on Netflix, Nvidia promises that its QoS algorithm will drop the resolution down dynamically without interrupting gameplay. For the moment, that means dropping down from 1080p to 720p (which requires around 9Mbps), and then down to 540p from there.

While 1080p60 streaming is already available over a local network from a PC with GeForce Experience, Valve's Steam platform, and will be part of Microsoft's upcoming Xbox One streaming service, Nvidia's Grid is the first to offer 1080p at 60 FPS over the Internet. While not perfect, Grid currently offers some of the most reliable game streaming on the market, with only Sony's PlayStation Now garnering similarly favourable reviews, which bodes well for the 1080p60 service.

Nvidia turns on 1080p 60 FPS streaming for its Grid cloud gaming service

As for whether Grid streaming will make its way onto other Android devices, or even just low-power PCs, don't hold your breath. Nvidia says it's looking at other platforms, but it remains focused on its own Shield devices for now. While much of the focus is on Internet bandwidth and server hardware, the company says that the client side hardware is just as important, with the decoding hardware, display latency, and controller latency easier to control on its own hardware.

If you're not already a member of the Shield Hub beta group, but are curious to check out 1080p streaming, the group is open to the public. To join, head over to Shield Hub Beta community Google+ group, and join using the same Google account you use on your Shield device. Then head over to Google Play store to become a tester, after which you'll be able to download beta versions of the Shield Hub from the store.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: game consoles, NVIDIA

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