Nvidia in recent times may have been placing some focus on different technology like mobile processors and Android Auto, but they have their core set in gaming. These are their roots. The way people game at home has been shifting a little this past year, since the launch of Android game consoles and Android TV which was announced by Google last summer at Google I/O. More and more Android TV and game consoles have been hitting the market since then, and Nvidia tonight at the GDC(game developer conference)2015 conference have announced an Android TV console called the Nvidia SHIELD.
Nvidia states that this is the world’s first 4K Android TV console, which means it’s capable of outputting 4K resolution video. To utilize that though consumers will have to have a 4K compatible TV or monitor. The Nvidia SHIELD has a nice sleek design with a very thin profile as you can see from the image above, and it can sit either flat or up on it’s edge with the use of the included anodized aluminum stand. It also comes with a super slim remote control that incorporates voice control with high data rate by directional Bluetooth, for better performance with voice controlled actions, which the consumer can use to navigate through the Android TV interface on SHIELD for searches and other actions just like on other Android TV devices like the Nexus Player.
Nvidia states that the remote is rechargeable via USB, which will be nice for consumers to ensure that the remote is always ready to go whenever they need to use it. The remote also has directional buttons to navigate through the Nvidia SHIELD system UI, although since this is Android TV so the voice control is really all you need to start movies, music or games. The Nvidia SHIELD supports DX12 and is powered by the Tegra X1 super chip that was announced back at CES, and it’s packed with 3GB of RAM and uses 5-20w of power, and it has a microSD card slot and USB 3.0 for expandable storage. Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang says that SHIELD was designed to be whisper quiet, and it pairs up to the Nvidia SHIELD Controller for gaming so this isn’t just an Android TV box, it’s also an Android TV game console. Nvidia is focusing heavy on gaming here as Huang states he “Wants to do for gaming what Netflix did for video and Spotify did for music.” They’ll be doing this in part by launching the SHIELD with their own game store called the SHIELD store, which will have over 50 games at launch including Android game titles like Dungeon Hunter IV, but it will also feature console and PC platform AAA titles like Doom 3 BFG edition, Borderlands 2 The Pre Sequel, Metal Gear Rising and more, and they’ll be adding in more games as time goes on. Of course, perhaps the best way to display its impressive power is by showing of Crytek’s graphically intense Crysis 3. Nvidia states that the SHIELD will cost $199 and will come bundled with the SHIELD game controller. That’s an incredibly impressive price for the specs that users will get. When can users expect to pick one of these up? According to Nvidia, units will become available starting in May of this year.