You might have heard the name Nvidia Shield thrown around in the wild in recent past. It referred to an all-in-one hand-held game controller, then a high-end Android gaming tablet, and from this Tuesday onwards, a TV set-top-box (STB) has also been added to the mix. The device was announced at the Game Developers Conference 2015 currently underway at Moscone Center, San Francisco, by Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang.
Nvidia Shield, as introduced by its creators, is the world’s first Android TV Console. With plenty of ports and a powerful CPU, Nvidia Shield is capable of running and streaming high-quality 4K content when hooked-up to your TV, both locally and from cloud. Powered by a Tegra X1 chip, 256-core Maxwell GPU, and 3 GB of RAM, Nvidia Shield has enough firepower to best Xbox 360 – at least on paper.
Complete specification set of the Shield run like as follows:
- Processor: NVIDIA Tegra X1 with octa-core 64-bit CPU
- GPU: 256-core Maxwell
- RAM: 3 GB
- Memory: 16 GB (expandable via microSD)
- Operating system: Android TV
- Interfaces: 2 x USB 3.0; Gigabit Ethernet; HDMI 2.0; microUSB 2.0; IR
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.1/BLE; 802.11ac 2×2 MIMO 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi
- Video: 4K Ultra-HD ready with 4K playback and capture up to 60 fps (VP9, H265, H264)
Like most consoles and STBs, Shield relies on the content range that it can offer. Here Nvidia relies upon its GRID gaming service that basically streams PC games onto a Shield device. The device itself is being launched with 50 game titles from Android to boot, which include Crysis 3, Doom 3: BFG Edition, Contrast, Half-Life 2: Episode 1, Limbo, and Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, among others. Famous titles already available on GRID include Batman: Arkham Origins, Saints Row 4, Borderlands 2, Grid 2, F1 2010, and others.
Nvidia also announced subscription-based streaming plans with the Shield. These are Free, and Premium plans, the pricing for which will be announced with the console’s launch.
Nvidia Shield will be made available later this year, starting May onwards. It will cost $199 (Rs. 20,300) from the Nvidia Store, and interested buyers can register for further updates here. The standard package will include a Shield console device, a Shield controller, adapter, and standard cables (HDMI, USB). Shield Remote is one of the optional accessories, it can be used for voice search (via a built-in mic), audio, and standard volume and navigation controls.