Sad news for the owners of NVIDIA’s gaming tablet devices, the company has decided not to update software further than OS based on Android Nougat. That means both SHIELD Tablet and SHIELD Tablet K1 won’t be getting support for Android 8.0 Oreo, meaning that major support for these devices is dying out three years after the release of the original SHIELD Tablet, and two years after its younger brother K1 arrived to the stores. The news arrives from Manuel Guzman, Software QA at NVIDIA, who was replying to a fan on Twitter. Mister Guzman later explained that, even though there won’t be any more OS updates for SHIELD tablets, his company will continue to provide security patches for as long as possible.
Released in late 2015, SHIELD Tablet K1 was a device NVIDIA advertised as “the ultimate tablet for gamers” and was an upgraded version of the company’s previous SHIELD Tablet. Powered by Tegra K1 processor, the 8-inch tablet was more than capable of smoothly running all popular Android games, but there was also a selection of games specifically designed for the device - mostly ports from PC and consoles. The tablet also came with something NVIDIA called “console mode”, basically support for dedicated controllers and hooking up the tablet to your TV set via an HDMI port and using it as you would any other console. Almost everything was going in favor of this device, especially a rather affordable price point of $199, but it struggled to find a big enough audience to be a sustainable product for NVIDIA. Moreso, last year the company revealed that the successor device had been cancelled, while some consider Nintendo Switch console to be the true legacy of SHIELD Tablet brand considering Nintendo is using Tegra chipsets for its portables.
While tablets aimed at gamers might become a thing of the past for NVIDIA, the company is still pursuing its space next to the TV sets of gamers around the world with SHIELD Android TV boxes. Instead of tablets, SHIELD devices are now looking more like tiny consoles and are catering to both gamers and more mainstream audience with bigger focus on multimedia (hence the remote control is included in the package). The latest version in this line of devices is launching this month and is priced at $179.