As of today, Nvidia has enabled 1080p 60 FPS streaming through its Grid cloud gaming service. To use the new mode, you must be part of the Shield Hub public beta group, own a Shield device, and have an internet connection of at least 30 Mbps.
Right now, about 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 wouldn’t say what that hardware refresh entails, but did confirm that its servers would use the same Kepler-based Grid GPUs.
Grid streaming will remain free until June 30, after which time Nvidia will offer a paid premium tier in addition to the free service. While Nvidia still won’t say exactly what the premium tier will get you, or how much it will cost, we can confirm that 1080p streaming doesn’t require a premium subscription.
To help with the increased server load, Nvidia is launching new Grid data centers in the US, Europe and Asia later this year. However, if that doesn’t help with your connection speed, or if your bandwidth drops due to other (totally selfish) members of your household hopping on Netflix, Nvidia promises that the QoS algorithm will dynamically lower the resolution without interrupting the game. Right now that means dropping from 1080p to 720p (which requires about 9 Mbps) and then to 540p.
While 1080p60 streaming is already available over a local network from a PC running 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 offers the internet. While not perfect, Grid currently offers some of the most reliable game streaming on the market, with only PlayStation Now from Sony getting similarly favorable reviews, which bodes well for the 1080p60 service.
Whether Grid streaming will make its way to other Android devices, or even low-powered PCs, don’t hold your breath. Nvidia says it’s looking at other platforms, but remains focused on its own Shield devices for now. While much of the focus is on internet bandwidth and server hardware, the company says client-side hardware is just as important, as decoding hardware, screen latency, and controller latency are easier to control on its own hardware .
If you’re not yet a member of the Shield Hub beta group, but are curious about 1080p streaming, the group is open to the public. To join, go to the Google+ group of the Shield Hub Beta community and join with the same Google account you use on your Shield device. Then go to the Google Play Store to become a tester, after which you can download beta versions of the Shield Hub from the Store.