Above: Jen-Hsun Huang unveils the Nvidia Shield Android TV console
Image Credit: Dale North
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SAN FRANCISCO — Nvidia’s new set-top console turns up the juice over other Android boxes.
Graphics chip company Nvidia announced its Shield Android TV Console at a press conference at the 2015 Game Developers Conference this evening. The Tegra X1-powered set-top device runs Android apps and streams high-end games over Nvidia’s Grid cloud system, making for a highly capable gaming solution. Its $200 price point squeezes into a sweet spot between the low-powered $100 set-top boxes such as Ouya and Amazon’s Fire TV and the current generation of game consoles, and if it works as advertised, it could disrupt both ends of the business — a business that researcher Jon Peddie Research says hit $67 billion in 2014. The system is part of a long-term strategy by Nvidia to shift from just supplying graphics chips to providing actual gaming products for enthusiasts.
The star of the show is Shield’s streaming technology, which will let it stream Steam and PC as well as cloud games (via Nvidia’s Grid gaming service) at 1080p at 60 frames per second, setting it apart from existing lower-powered game boxes, which stream at lower resolutions or frame rates.
Of course, the Shield will also support controller-friendly Android titles. For control, the Shield TV is compatible with its predecessor, the Shield handheld, as well as with optional controllers.
Shield TV also does streaming video, with up to 4K support for popular video services, with full 10-bit video processing. It also works with Google’s Chromecast media streaming technology.
“I believe that someday everybody is going to want a smart television experience,” said CEO Jen-Hsun Huang at the press conference. “This is likely a multi-billion dollar market.”
Nvidia has yet to announce a launch date for Shield TV.