There’s no SHIELD Controller included with either the all-new NVIDIA SHIELD TV or the SHIELD TV Pro.
In fact, while NVIDIA announced two new SHIELD TVs and a new remote, there was no updated controller announced.
One of the reasons is likely to be because you don’t need one anymore.
The gaming player without a gamepad
Ever since the SHIELD TV first launched, it has been positioned as a gaming device. Arguably, this has remained one of the fundamental differences between SHIELD TV and other Android TV players.
As part of that gaming emphasis, SHIELD TV players have always come with a controller. Well, they’ve always launched with one at least.
When the 2015 SHIELD TV arrived on the scene one was included in the box. When the follow up 2017 SHIELDs were launched, so was a new and improved SHIELD Controller. Although this time around consumers had the option of paying for one in the box or not.
With the 2019 SHIELD TV players now here, there’s no new SHIELD Controller, let alone one included in the box.
This change is not simply due to NVIDIA placing less emphasis on gaming as that’s not the case. The new SHIELDs are as much about gaming as ever. There’s just less emphasis on using a SHIELD Controller now.
New SHIELD TVs play nice with third-party controllers
NVIDIA still argues its controller is an ideal controller for the SHIELD. Anyone upgrading from the current models to the newer ones will be able to use their existing SHIELD Controller just the same.
Likewise, it seems NVIDIA is going to continue selling the 2017 SHIELD Controller and therefore consumers new to the SHIELD can opt to buy one to use with the new SHIELD. The SHIELD Controller is still available to buy from Amazon priced at $59.
However, if you have a controller lying around the home then there’s a good chance that will work just fine.
Officially, NVIDIA says you can use either its SHIELD Controller, a PlayStation 4 DualShock controller, an Xbox One controller, or an Android games controller. Basically, any Bluetooth controller will likely do.
Serious gamers should choose their SHIELD wisely
While both new SHIELD TV players are once again positioned as gaming devices, it does seem this time around there’s more emphasis on one for gaming than the other.
The all-new cylinder SHIELD TV is positioned as more of an everyday streaming device with the option to game, served on the side. In contrast, the new SHIELD TV Pro is being marketed as the better solution for advanced gaming.
Both models do come with the same Tegra X1+ processor, however, the Pro also gets a boost in the RAM and storage departments.
Therefore, those considering the new SHIELD TV players for video and gaming equally, may want to opt for the Pro model to maximize the gaming experience. Even if that means missing out on the new design.
For reference, the SHIELD TV Pro is priced at $199.99 while the all-new SHIELD TV is priced at $149.99.