Nvidia’s new Shield console is half multimedia TV box and half gaming console, but it’s definitely interesting to look at. It’s hard not to compare the Nvidia Shield to Apple TV when it comes to the TV aspect of the device, but it’s Apple TV for Android with gaming in mind.
A Good Mish Mash
Nvidia wants you to use the Shield to do things like listen to music, watch Netflix, and flip through the various movies and TV shows that you’ll find (much like Apple TV). All you need is an Internet connection for Shield to work. But Shield was also built and meant to be a kind of gaming console as well.
Inside the Shield is a Nvidia Tegra X1 chip this is the same technology that was so popular in 2014 with Nvidia’s Maxwell architecture. Only, this time the chip is embedded inside of a TV and gaming console combined. How does the Shield stack up when it comes to games? Here’s a closer look at that aspect of Nvidia’s latest toy.
The Gaming Side of Things
Because of the X1 chip that’s inside the Shield, this device can play better games than most other consoles in its class. You can also stream games through Nvidia’s Grid service, and through GameStream. Shield was built and meant to play high-end games, so if you’re looking for a set top box and gaming console combined, this might be a good option. But, there are certainly other competitors out there.
The Android Aspect
Shield uses the Google Play store, so you’ll get Netflix, Hulu, Vivo, CinemaPlex, YouTube, and the usual suspects. Google claims that more is coming to the Play lineup as well, so soon you’ll see HBO Now, CBS, Fox, Twitch, and some others.
As far as the games that you can find through Google Play, this is one area where Google excels. The company has been working on building up its gaming library, and you can already find some excellent options through the Google Play store (and now through Shield).
Pricing and Other Details
The Shield base model will retail for $200, and with that you’ll get a $30 Google Play credit in addition to a free 90-day Google Play Music subscription. The remotes that you see in the Nvidia commercials will retail for $60, and you can also buy a vertical stand for the Shield device for $30. If you don’t want a remote with voice activation capabilities, you can purchase a regular remote for $50.
The Shield is available for purchase right now through the Nvidia site, and it’s worth looking at the video on the site to see what this new device can do. If you don’t really like Google Play and aren’t much into gaming, this might not be the set top box that you’ll want to grab.
On the other hand, Shield is a fair competitor in the set top box arena, so buying one might be a better alternative to Apple TV and other boxes - you’ll have to do the comparison shopping. One note, though, is that Google Play doesn’t have quite as many options as Apple TV - yet. However, Google is working on building up the Google Play library.