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Nvidia Announces Netflix-like Gaming Service

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Battle stations: Nvidia just started a new war for your living room.

Best known for its high performance graphics cards and shiny black PC hardware, the Californian-based tech company has announced that it's entering the console market with an intriguing new offering.

The Shield (not to be confused with its gaming tablet) is a svelte, angular slab, more set-top box PC than true console. Running an Android operating system, it's able to trawl the web with Google's new TV service, streaming 4K content from services like Netflix or YouTube straight to your telly box.

What sets the Shield apart from the likes of the Apple TV is its gaming service: Nvidia Grid is aiming to do for video games what Netflix did for TV, streaming new video game titles (at 1080p, 60 frames per second) to those who sign up to one of two subscription packages - a "basic" service and a premium version, with no details currently available as to the difference between the two.

With 50 titles expected to be on the Grid (alongside everything in the Google Play store) when it launches in May alongside the Shield, gamers will be able to access titles and start playing online so long as they have a "fairly good" internet connection. Rather than buying individual titles, you'll be able to grab a subscription and start playing anything in the library, just like the Netflix subscription model. However, when new major titles are released, gamers will be able to buy and play them from the Grid without having to wait for them to download (like existing consoles). 

While Nvidia and Sony has trialled similar services in the past, Nvidia is confident that the new Netflix-a-like Grid system launched in conjunction with the $199 Shield console will tempt enough numbers to make the system a long term, viable service. We'll have to wait until May to see if it catches on. For more details, you can watch the full announcement video below.

Game on.

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