Nvidia, the company most well known for developing the GeForce line of graphics cards, has been wanting to expand for awhile now. No longer content with making new chipsets and licensing them off to different companies, the company is now starting to expand into gaming in general, with an emphasis in streaming it appears. The new handheld (known as the Shield) that they’re releasing will be capable of streaming games from your PC. If I had to guess, though, I’d say that the Shield will also be capable of streaming games from Nvidia’s other big venture, the Grid.
The Grid is a GPU tower that combines the power of 700 Xbox 360′s into one unit. Each rack of the Grid will contain 240 Nvidia GPU’s that will be able to stream titles to your smart TV and other systems. Because the processing is happening all in the Grid, for the consumer the only limiting factor will be his internet connection and speed, which will be unfortunate for those of you who live in less-than-ideal locations, such as out in the country away from large cities.
Nvidia themselves won’t be running the service, but rather they’ll be licensing the units out to a handful of companies in the US and around the world. That means that it’s possible you’ll be able to stream games directly from Ubisoft or Valve, for example, and you won’t even have to download and install the games yourselves. Only time will tell, however, if the Grid can outperform OnLive, which has been in service for about 2 and a half years now.