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Nvidia introduces Shield Android TV console

Chip maker aims for living room dominance with new machine pushing Grid streaming service - it launches in May for $199

At the Nob Hill Masonic Center during GDC, graphics chip giant Nvidia unveiled a project that it says has been in the works for the last five years: the Shield console. Sharing the same name as the Shield tablet and portable, Nvidia's new console will be an Android TV console that brings entertainment of all kinds to people's living rooms. The device runs on the Nvidia X1 processor and has a 256-core Maxwell architecture GPU and 64-bit CPU. It can play movies in 4K resolution, and games can be streamed in 1080p (if you have a 30 Mbps connection - 10 Mbps gets you 720p).

With Shield, Nvidia is pushing games streaming hard thanks to its Grid subscription service, which it's labeled the "Netflix for Games." PlayStation Now, Sony's cloud service, has received that label in the past as well, but it's clearly a method of games distribution that is gaining some momentum.

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"Tegra X1's enormous processing capabilities running on Android TV gives us access to a much broader audience, and we're delighted to partner with Nvidia to explore a variety of exciting possibilities for Shield, including the remastering of the survival horror classic, Resident Evil 5," said Jun Takeuchi, managing corporate officer at Capcom.

"Shield is definitely made to game and thanks to Tegra X1 we have The Witcher: Battle Arena playing natively on Shield. With Grid, we'll be able to bring new hit games to fans immediately," added Benjamin Lee, The Witcher: Battle Arena lead producer at CD Projekt.

Shield will become available this May, starting at $199 (including a controller). Nvidia will also sell optional accessories like additional controllers, a remote control and a stand to allow the machine to be positioned vertically.

Nvidia said that Shield will launch with over 50 Android titles optimized for the device available for download, including AAA games like Crysis 3, Doom 3: BFG Edition and Borderlands: TPS.

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Latest comments (8)

I'm confused. Does this run Android games (i.e. like a phone) AND stream non-Android games from GRID? That list of games has nothing to do with Android??

Ok (looking at specs). It has 16GB of storage and no drive. 3GB of RAM.

I don't really see the market for this (WiiU is about the same price) - but then I'm not in a position to play streaming-only games on my net connection.
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Adam Campbell Game Production Manager, Azoomee2 years ago
@Michael

Studios have literally ported titles like Crysis 3 and Doom 3 BFG to run natively on the console at 1080p. It also supports Google Play and Grid, along with any Nvidia digital store. Asides from that, it supports 4K multi-media, which is something still absent from current generation platforms.

Comparitively speaking, its actually a more powerful console than the WiiU by quite a margin and has superiority on the multi-media side, so there's a lot of potential here.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Adam Campbell on 5th March 2015 10:26am

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Marty Howe Director, Figurehead Studios2 years ago
Comparitively speaking, its actually a more powerful console than the WiiU by quite a margin

lol. But the people who designed the WiiU were smart enough to develop exclusives games that can only be played on the WiiU.

Honestly, do you really care that Resident Evil 5 has been remastered? Don't bullshit, be honest. Who here, is going to buy on of these Nvidia consoles? Hands up.

The games industry is just not giving consumers anything new. Its the same old stuff, rehashed, repackaged and we have to buy an old game 2 times. When we finally do get a new game (The Order) its so boring I want to jump off a cliff. Has the video games industry lost the plot?

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Marty Howe on 5th March 2015 1:24pm

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Adam Campbell Game Production Manager, Azoomee2 years ago
Don't bullshit, be honest.
I'm not Nvidia's marketing team, just stating a few facts in the confusion of what it actually is.

- Supports high-end games natively on Android.
- Supports Grid streaming
- Supports 4K
- Advanced Multimedia platform.

Really, the platform isn't comparable to the WiiU at all whether we're talking price, power or exclusives. But this is what the new shield is. I think consumers are clever enough to decide whether or not its useful for them.
The games industry is just not giving consumers anything new. Its the same old stuff, rehashed, repackaged and we have to buy an old game 2 times.
Always appreciate an 'opinion' ;)

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Adam Campbell on 5th March 2015 1:50pm

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@Adam: "Studios have literally ported titles like Crysis 3 and Doom 3 BFG to run natively on the console at 1080p." - that's fine, but they are hardly "Android" titles - which is what the article described them as.

I hope this has support for expandable storage. 16GB isn't even big enough for some of the bigger WiiU titles.

I don't have any issues with the power of the thing (nor do I with the power of the WiiU) - just saying I have no interest in a "streaming-only" console. If it doesn't play games locally (preferably games that I can't play now with my S5 and Chromecast) then I don't see the point of this.
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Adam Campbell Game Production Manager, Azoomee2 years ago
I hope this has support for expandable storage. 16GB isn't even big enough for some of the bigger WiiU titles.
The console has MicroSD and USB hard drive support.
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Andrew Ihegbu Studying Bsc Commercial Music, University of Westminster2 years ago
Considering it's a streaming device, with the right agreements in place, this system could potentially give you access to both PC exclusives and OnLive Playstation titles. Hell with the right agreements in place this thing could probably give you access to everyone's titles bar Nintendo's (unless the WiiU goes on to do REALLY badly).

Without those agreements, it will still get access to the entire of the SteamBox experience at 1/4 the price of an equivalently performing PC. And all the Android games, probably in 4K. And all the PC games that aren't on Steam. And play 4K video. Not bad at all.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Andrew Ihegbu on 10th March 2015 7:39pm

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Andrew Ihegbu Studying Bsc Commercial Music, University of Westminster2 years ago
@Marty

We can say they were smart enough to develop exclusives, and in a way what you said might be a word of encouragement to Nvidia to hire some game development companies and make some exclusives for the console, but in this new IP starved world, I can't continue to celebrate Nintendo's complete lack of ability to support third parties, and despite the fact that the console may sell at it's much lower price point, it's clear to see that the market already agrees with me seeing as the WiiU is doing half of everyone else's numbers,

Who bought the WiiU? Oh, that's right, the guys who payed $400 for 5 Mario titles, 3 Zelda titles and Bayonetta. Can you say milktastic? I can completely appreciate Nintendo's business sense keeping all the money in house for so many generations, but the gamer in me hates them for making such an antisocial business model.
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