Right now there is some pretty significant speculation surrounding the NVIDIA SHIELD. This is thanks to some new FCC filings which popped up this week and seemed to highlight that a new SHIELD Controller is in development and nearing its release. While a new SHIELD Controller coming to market is not quite the same as a new SHIELD device coming to market, following the initial reports on the SHIELD Controller, it then came to light that a new SHIELD Remote has now passed through the FCC as well. As such, a new controller and a new remote, when taken together, does somewhat lend to the idea that there very well could be a new SHIELD unit coming through. But is there?
Well, that is the question. Although, a much more relevant question might be whether NVIDIA needs to release a new SHIELD? The issue with the idea of a new SHIELD device coming through is that the current SHIELD is still the absolute dominant Android TV device on the market. Right now, the SHIELD leads the way in both sales and public opinion. Which does mean that there is not really a need for NVIDIA to release a whole new unit and especially a flagship model. The current NVIDIA SHIELD at release was a future-proofed device and one which already came with 4K-support, a whole gaming emphasis and more. This is in addition to the very recent update to the SHIELD which brought with it massive software improvements like the inclusion of HDR, adoptable storage and the SHIELD's ability to act as a standalone Plex Server.
In contrast, the Xiaomi Mi Box is currently en route to market and while this one is a much newer model than the SHIELD, much of the features are the same which only serves to highlight how relevant the SHIELD still remains in this market. The main particular selling point (that many are expecting) with the Mi Box is that it will be more affordable than the SHIELD. Therefore, the only area in which the SHIELD might need to improve on to maintain its market dominance is price. So if anything, one would assume that if a new SHIELD is coming through, maybe it will be a lighter version of the already-existing model, one which comes in at a price point to rival the newer arrivals like the Mi Box.
But even that line of thinking is somewhat flawed as all NVIDIA would have to do in reality is drop the price of the current SHIELD down to a price which is near that of the Mi Box (providing the Mi Box does actually come in at a cheaper price point). What NVIDIA might lose in initial hardware sales (by dropping the price), they will likely make up for in user numbers and other user-relevant revenue streams like the GeForce NOW subscription service. Another alternative is that the current SHIELD drops down in price and the new rumored SHIELD comes through packing even better features at a higher price point. But that does not sound too plausible either really. What new features would it include if the current SHIELD is already not only relevant, but leading the Android TV features race?
The truth of the matter is that it just does not seem logical for an entire new SHIELD unit to be on the way. At least, not for this year. The current SHIELD is in too good of a position and each time it is updated, cements its position more as the market leader. While those in the Android world are used to frequent product cycles for their smartphones, watches and so on, this is not quite the same in the console world. Product cycles are far more spread out and while Android TV devices are 'Android devices', they are not your typical Android devices and do seem to fall much more in line with consoles than anything else. Therefore, it does seem more likely that the SHIELD is not quite ready for a product recycle just yet. Of course, that does not mean that there is not one coming, but it does seem unlikely. What is far more likely though, is that there is a new updated SHIELD Controller and Remote coming through and this will be a very good thing. Many SHIELD owners have experienced some issues with one or the other during the SHIELD's lifespan and making both of these accessories more usable, reliable and functional will further impact on the overall SHIELD experience. So if a new SHIELD is not on the way (yet), then rest assured a new Controller and a new Remote is likely to still be a very big deal.
On a last note, if you do currently own the SHIELD and are looking for a new game to play then it looks like many of the SHIELD-only games are currently available to buy at reduced prices as part of the 'SHIELD Back to School Game Sale'. As such you can now pick up Doom 3 at $4.99 (50% off), Metal Gear Rising Revengeance at $4.99 (66% off) Parallax at $2.49 (50% off), Pix the Cat at $2.49 (50% off), Q.U.B.E.: Director's Cut at $2.99 (50% off), Stealth Inc 2 at $4.99 (50% off), Stikbold! at $4.99 (50% off), Super Meat Boy at $7.49 (50% off) and Ultimate Chicken Horse at $5.99 (50% off). You can download the games through the link below and prices are good until August 29.