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What’s Happening With NVIDIA GameStream?
December 20, 2022

What’s Happening With NVIDIA GameStream?

Reading Time: 2 minutes

NVIDIA GameStream is on its way out.

Do you regularly stream games from your PC to Shield TV? You may want to sit down for a moment because mid-February 2023 is ‘game over’ for GameStream. Enjoy it while it lasts because, in a few months, you’ll never be able to use the service again.

What’s Happening to GameStream?

NVIDIA plans to roll out 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 don’t know the exact date of the rollout. It’s unclear if NVIDIA will even announce a firm date for the update before it goes live.

The company made the announcement on 16 December 2022, noting that users can keep using the service until its removal.

Why Is NVIDIA Discontinuing GameStream?

It’s unclear ‘why’ GameStream is ending. The only details we have about GameStream’s last days come from NVIDIA’s GameStream End of Service Notification page, which explains what is happening to GameStream and alternatives to the service. Beyond that, it’s anyone’s guess why NVIDIA decided to pull the plug on GameStream.

GameStream Users Are Unhappy, to Say the Least

If you have used GameStream during its nine-year lifespan, you were probably impressed by how easy it was to stream PC games in 4K at 60FPS with minimal latency woes. Gamers are understandably voicing their frustrations in a thread on /r/NVIDIA.

If you want to continue using GameStream beyond the inevitable update coming in mid-February, the only option is to not update your Shield TV device after January 31. Per NVIDIA’s End of Service Notification that we mentioned earlier:

‘GameStream may continue to work for a time, but will no longer be supported and eventually will stop working. All other services supported by NVIDIA Games, including GeForce NOW, will require an app 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, it will still need to be regularly updated to function appropriately. 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 television, the end of GameStream is a significant blow. But there are alternatives. NVIDIA recommends Steam Link, and it’s worth considering. But there are other options that, arguably, feel more like the classic GameStream experience you know and love.

Enter Moonlight: an open-source version of GameStream. It’s so closely tied to GameStream that the software uses the same protocol used by Shield devices. And that could prove 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 functioning, you can use an open-source, self-hosted GameStream host called Sunshine, which will allow you to use Moonlight again.

It may be worth considering jumping over to 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 Raspberry Pi.

GameStream Is Disappearing–But There’s Hope

The death knell may be coming for NVIDIA’s GameStream, 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 the mid-February 2023 update.


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