When it comes to Android TV, the clue is in the title, TV. Therefore, the platform is primed to bring android users a more convenient and android-like TV engaging experience. For a lot of users, this will mean easy watching of Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube and so on. Of course, the platform could also offer users some slightly more non-TV like uses, thanks to the various utility apps and small selection of games that have been ported over to work with Android TV. Or at least, this was the case with the prototype Android TV player, the Nexus Player. However, things took a turn when NVIDIA recently released their NVIDIA SHIELD player (review coming). This is an Android TV box, therefore it does all the Android TV things you would expect. However, with its emphasis on gaming, the level of gameplay on offer has now been supercharged.
Part of the reason for this is that the SHIELD comes equipped with a Tegra X1 processor, which in short, is designed to bring more high-end PC graphics to other platforms. With the SHIELD, this means Android TV. As such, compared to the other currently available Android TV options, the SHIELD is by far the most powerful gaming option out there and this is already being seen by its compatibility with more advanced games like The Talos Principle or the recently released for Android TV, Half-Life 2, Episode 2. Of course, some of these games are also compatible with the likes of the Nexus 9, although in fairness, this is largely due to the N9 also comes with a Tegra processor, albeit a Tegra K1. Either way though, the outcome is the same. An android TV device with an NVIDIA processor is primed for gaming.
Although, one of the laser obvious benefits for gamers of an Android TV device with a Tegra X1 processor, is that as well as playing the more high-end games, you can also make use of the games of yesteryear. This very point was highlighted this week when Dolphin released a new video detailing their progress with their emulator. For those new to Dolphin, this is an emulator for android which allows you to play some of the older game ROMs you might have encountered on the Wii, GameCube, N64, SNES, NES and even the Gameboy Advance. That said, due to the limitations on the processing capabilities of handsets, the emulator has been anything but smooth during its development. Like everything else though, that seems to be quickly changed thanks to devices like NVIDIA SHIELD. To highlight this, the folks over at Dolphin released a video highlighting the level of gaming the emulator is capable of when played on the Tegra X1 powered SHIELD. The video is about five minutes in length and goes through a number of classic games like Resident Evil 2, Animal Crossing, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Wario Ware and Luigi’s Mansion. You can check out the video for yourself below and see how Android TV is not only bridging the gap with games of the future, but also of the past.