Do you regularly stream games from your PC to the Shield TV? You might want to sit down for a moment because mid-February 2023 it’s game over for GameStream. Enjoy it while it lasts because, in a few months, you won’t be able to use the service again.
What is happening with GameStream?
NVIDIA plans to release an update to its Games app on its Shield devices in mid-February that will remove the GameStream feature as if it never existed. Currently, we do not know the exact date of the release. It’s unclear if NVIDIA will announce a firm date for the update before it’s released.
The company made the announcement on December 16, 2022, noting that users can continue to use the service until it is removed.
Why is NVIDIA discontinuing GameStream?
It is not clear “why” GameStream is ending. The only details we have about the final days of GameStream come from NVIDIA GameStream End of Service Notification Page, which explains what’s going on with GameStream and alternatives to the service. Beyond that, no one knows why NVIDIA decided to pull the plug on GameStream.
GameStream users are unhappy, to say the least
If you’ve used GameStream during its nine-year lifespan, you’ve probably been impressed with how easy it was to stream PC games in 4K at 60 FPS with minimal latency issues. It is understandable that players express their frustrations in a thread on /r/NVIDIA.
If you want to continue using GameStream beyond the inevitable update that will arrive in mid-February, your only option is not to update your Shield TV device after January 31. According to the NVIDIA end of service notification mentioned above:
“GameStream may continue to work for a while, but it will no longer be supported and will eventually stop working. All other services supported by NVIDIA Games, including GeForce NOW, will require an application update to continue working.”
In other words, while GameStream may still work after the mid-February update, if you want to use the NVIDIA Games app, you’ll need to update it regularly to keep it working properly. GameStream will be removed once updated. So it’s a good idea to consider GameStream alternatives before mid-February.
What are the alternatives to GameStream?
If you enjoyed the buttery smoothness of streaming PC games to your TV, the end of GameStream is a significant blow. But there are alternatives. NVIDIA recommends steam link, and it is worth considering. But there are other options that are possibly more like the classic GameStream experience you know and love.
Get into Moonlight: An open source version of GameStream. It’s so closely tied to GameStream that the software uses the same protocol that Shield devices use. And that could turn out to be a real problem.
Because Moonlight uses NVIDIA’s GameStream protocol, it’s unclear if it will still work after the mid-February update. If Moonlight stops working, you can use an open source self-hosted GameStream host called Sunshinewhich will allow you to use Moonlight again.
It may be worth considering jumping into Sunshine, especially if you don’t mind a DIY approach to streaming games to your Shield TV. One advantage that Sunshine has over NVIDIA’s GameStream is that it also supports AMD and Intel GPUs, not just NVIDIA brands. You can also stream PC games to mobile devices and platforms like the Raspberry Pi.
GameStream is disappearing, but there is hope
The death knell for NVIDIA’s GameStream may be coming, but with options like Steam Link, Moonlight, and Sunshine on the menu, it’ll still be possible to stream PC games to your Shield TV (and other platforms) after mid-February 2023. to update.