Nvidia is once more dipping its toes in the murky waters of its Shield devices, announcing a third pillar for the Linux-based gaming machines. The new Nvidia Shield is an Android-powered TV console, joining the already launched Shield Tablet and Shield Handheld.
Nvidia’s $200 Shield Console will come packing a Tegra X1 processor, 3GB RAM, 16GB internal storage and the usual bevy of ports and connectivity options, including ethernet, wi-fi, USB 3.0, and HDMI output. The benefits of the Nvidia Shield Console are twofold, Nvidia claims, with support for console quality Android-powered games alongside access to its GRID streaming service.
In terms of performance, the high-end Tegra X1 chip inside the Shield is roughly twice the power of an Xbox 360, delivering 512 GFLOPS in comparison to 240 GFLOPS, all with an incredibly low 5-20W TDP.
At launch more than 50+ Shield optimised Android titles will be available to play, including Crysis 3, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, and Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. This will be joined by GRID, which streams a catalogue of 50 titles straight from a high-end PC. This is available as an all-you-can-eat subscription service or games can be bought outright, with additional titles added each week. Nvidia claim huge titles like Batman: Arkham Knight and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will be available to stream later this year.
In addition to its gaming capabilities the Nvidia Shield Console is the world’s first 4K Android TV device, capable of both streaming and pushing local content to a 4K TV.
“We’ve been working on the technologies we’re talking about today for more than five years," said Nvidia head honcho Jen-Hsun Huang. “Now, with SHIELD, you can bring it all together in a device that lives near the best screen in your house.”
That's Nvidia's big hardware reveal then, five years in the making. I have to say it looks rather swish, I can see that sleek design fitting into a number of home entertainment setups.
The Nvidia Shield system will be available in May for $200, and will include the Shield Controller. Do you think Nvidia is onto a winner here? Can you see a use for such a device? Let us know!