PC gaming is about to hit the road in a big way. Nvidia has announced that its portable Shield console now supports GameStream over the Web. That means you’ll be able to stream games from any GeForce GTX 650 GPU-equipped laptop or desktop PC directly to your Shield from anywhere you can get a 5 Mbps wireless connection.
Though still in beta, this is a big step for the handheld, as it lets gamers play such resource-intensive games as “Bioshock Infinite” anywhere without having to lug around a massive gaming rig. Shield had already offered GameStream, but it only worked over in-home networks.
While being able to ruin people in “Battlefield 4″ or “Elder Scrolls Online” from your bathroom or the sofa is great, doing so during your morning commute or while traveling on the other side of the country gives you a lot more freedom.
Available for $199, Shield gives you the ability to play games through Valve’s Steam Platform, as well as Android games via Nvidia’s own Tegra Zone. And since it runs Google’s Android OS, Shield supports all available Android apps. With its 5-inch display and integrated console-quality controller, Shield offers a quality gaming experience, though you’re limited to 720p resolution on the handheld.
During our initial review of the Shield, our biggest complaint–other than the somewhat hefty weight–was that GameStream could only be used over local networks. With the expansion of GameStream to wireless networks, Nvidia has just made the $199 Shield a far more compelling value.