A new app brings the PC game streaming functionality of the Nvidia Shield to any Android smartphone or tablet, without the $300 price tag.

The app, called Limelight, is currently in alpha, and mirrors much of the functionality of the Shield by letting PC gamers stream their Steam games directly to their Android device of choice. The only caveats are that your PC has to have a recent Nvidia graphics card with GeForce Experience installed, you need to have Steam enrolled in beta updates, and you need a decent router with 802.11n Wi-Fi, as Android Police explains it. Oh, and you’ll need a device running Android 4.1 or higher, but that shouldn’t be much of a problem.

While Limelight will work with just a touchscreen, it’s better to experience most PC games with a controller. Limelight supports a few Bluetooth controllers, including the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, MOGA Pro (check out our review), and OnLive controllers. It even, funnily enough, supports the Shield as a controller for those who just want to be silly. Oh, the irony.

Setting up the app is said to be rather simple, though we haven’t had a chance to try it for ourselves just yet. Limelight gives the option to stream games in 720p or 1080p at 30 or 60 frames per second.

The app is currently in alpha, so there may be a few bugs and some lag issues, but by all accounts the app works pretty well. The developer is continually improving Limelight, so it should only get better over time.

If there’s any downside to Limelight it’s that its only limited to Steam games on the PC. So it’ll work with Bioshock Infinite and Saints Row IV, but won’t work with Need For Speed Rivals as it uses EA’s Origin service instead, and definitely won’t work with games like The Last of Us. On that note, Sony’s upcoming PlayStation Now service will bring PlayStation games to Android devices soon.

Will you try to stream PC games to your phone? Or would you prefer to use a Shield instead? Let us know!

  • Jayfeather787

    Cool idea. I don’t like that it is limited to only NVidia GPUs though. I have one, but I don’t know how recent it is. I have the GT 430, not too powerful, but does everything I throw at it.

    • Fuji

      Maybe streaming requires specific hardware support ?
      Software streamer (like splashtop) in some case require screen set to specific resolution and screen must kept on all the time. I suppose hardware streamer can eliminate that mess.

      • Rainabba

        Yes, a GTX 650 or higher because of the built-in, live video encoding chip that makes all this possible. The video buffer on the card is send to an onboard encoder and ads ZERO load or lag to any part of the system prior to being streamed out onto the network where it can be captured and decoded.

        http://shield.nvidia.com/user-guide/shield-to-pc-connection/ (this is for Shield but really the underlying systems are what matter)

        • Fuji

          Cool, I didn’t know that. Thanks a bunch..

    • renz

      well since everything is based on nvidia GameStream for nvidia shield (hence the article above mention it will not work with games like the last of us since it was a ps3 games, not a pc games played using nvidia kepler gpu). from the looks of it the software (limelight) were “tricking” nvidia drivers/GFE thinking your android device as nvidia shield.

    • Nathan Borup

      you definitely need something in the gtx 600 series or above

  • BrainOfSweden

    “Limelight supports a few Bluetooth controllers, including the Xbox 360”. It’s worth pointing out, if someone has missed it, that the X360 uses a proprietary protocol and needs it own receiver and thus also requires and OTG adapter.

  • Nathan Borup

    link to limelight?

  • Sharfaraz Ahmed

    Games from other companies such as Need For Speed Rivals will work. You just have to add it to steam using “add non-steam game” option. Then t will show up and run just fine. Check the original xda developer’s post for proof.