Since the initial launch of the Nvidia Shield TV, one of the big features expected to separate this set top box from the others was a console-like gameplay experience in the form of cloud gaming. Nvidia's GRID gaming system has been impressive in beta form, and now that the company is ready to unveil the feature as an official service it's only going to get better.
First things first, though. A name change is apparently in order for this unveiling. Say goodbye to Nvidia GRID and hello to Nvidia GeForce Now.
Nvidia GeForce Now plans to offer an expanded version of what we've seen already through the beta service, bringing more games that can all be played without installation or update. Titles range from old school console favorites to nearly brand new PC titles, with plans to eventually release AAA games on GeForce Now the same day they are released on everything else. As impressive as it was to play through Brutal Legend without issue, seeing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt among the list of games available to users in 1080p at 60fps — loading as a new game in under 30 seconds — is fantastic.
This is going to be something many people start to look at as the future of the modern game console.
We knew GeForce Now wasn't going to be free after it left beta, but surprisingly Nvidia is starting this experience off at $7.99/month. That price gets you unlimited access to most of the games you'll see in the GeForce Now part of the Shield TV, which now has many more titles added from the beta, with some AAA titles available for their full purchase price.
Purchasing these games gets you instant access to the game on your Shield TV, but in most cases it also gets you a download code to play the game on your PC as though you had purchased it from GOG or Steam. The only downside to this purchase experience is your saves from the Shield TV don't carry over to the PC download of the game.
This updated games streaming service is coming to all Nvidia Shield TV owners as part of a system update, which also brings Google's Leanback UI to the store as well as voice search inside GeForce Now and updated support for hardware accelerated codecs and passthrough for DTC Master. If you choose to sign up for GeForce Now after the update, Nvidia is giving you three months free to see how you like the service.
Nvidia has been trumpeting this as one of the big reasons to pick up a Shield TV from the beginning, and with good reason. It's a service that has worked well even in beta form, and if it continues to perform well and Nvidia can keep adding games — especially AAA games alongside their official launches — this is going to be something many people start to look at as the future of the modern game console.