Nvidia has announced a new Android TV-based box called Nvidia Shield. Like the Razer box, it is designed as a gaming system, but you can also use all of the other Android TV features, including apps. The big news here is that Shield has full support for 4K video and has powerful gaming hardware.
4K support and Android TV
The first TVs with Android TV will launch very soon, but you can also upgrade your old-school TV by connecting an Android TV-based media box. Nvidia Shield is the latest to be announced and it will offer the full Android TV experience with apps, music, video streaming, and gaming.
As always, gaming is the big focus for Nvidia. You can play all the games that are also available on other Android TV devices, but because of its powerful Tegra X1 chip it will support high-end games, too. At the launch event, Crisis 3, Doom 3: BFG, Resident Evil 5 and The Witcher: Battle Arena were announced. The hardware inside is said to be “twice as powerful” as Xbox 360 and can move 1 teraflops.
Yes, it can run Crysis 3
- "SHIELD will change the way we enjoy digital entertainment at home. It's an incredibly powerful, efficient and advanced living room entertainment device. It's the best Android TV experience. And it can transform into a serious gaming machine. It's made to game." said Jen-Hsun Huang, president and CEO of NVIDIA.
The Shield box will also fully support 4K video. This means that you will be able to stream 4K from Netflix and even YouTube. This is possible because it supports HEVC and VP9 decoding, which is required to stream 4K from YouTube on a TV. It also supports 7.1 surround.
The bad news? It only has 16GB of built-in storage, which is a ridiculously low number for a gaming device. However, you will be able to insert MicroSD cards up to 128GB.
Nvidia Shield will be available in May for $199 with a controller. This is double the price of the Nexus Player, but Shield is also much more powerful and supports 4K. It certainly looks very promising.
More specifications below
Processor - NVIDIA Tegra X1 processor with 256-core Maxwell GPU with 3GB RAM
Video Features - 4K Ultra-HD Ready with 4K playback and capture up to 60 fps (VP9, H265, H264)
Audio Features - 7.1 and 5.1 surround sound pass through over HDMI. High-resolution audio playback up to 24-bit/192kHz over HDMI and USB. High-resolution audio upsample to 24-bit/192hHz over USB
Storage - 16GB
Wireless - 802.11ac 2x2 MIMO 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi - Bluetooth 4.1/BLE
Interfaces - Gigabit Ethernet. HDMI 2.0. Two USB 3.0 (Type A). Micro-USB 2.0. MicroSD slot (supports 128GB cards). IR Receiver (compatible with Logitech Harmony)
Gaming Features - NVIDIA GRID streaming service. NVIDIA GameStream
Nvivia Grid game streaming
Nvidia has also announced GRID; a game streaming service that lets you stream AAA titles from a supercomputer in the cloud directly to your Nvidia Shield box. GRID will allow you to enjoy amazing console-quality games on your TV.
Nvidia says that latency is about 150 milliseconds – “half the time it takes to blink”. That should ensure a great gaming experience even though the game server is hundreds of miles away.
GRID will offer 50 games with more added weekly as part of a subscription. You can also buy games separately from the store and all games come with a digital download for a PC version, too. Titles include Batman: Arkham Origins and Arkham Knight, GRID 2, Lego Marvel Super Heroes, Resident Evil: Revelations 2, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
Nvidia Grid will launch in May. The standard package will stream games at 720p at 30fps. GRID Plus will stream in 1080p at 60fps. No prices were announced.