Performance gaming and workstation graphics card giant Nvidia is releasing a third installation to their Shield line of Android devices. This new entry into the series is titled the Nvidia Shield Android TV console; a powerful gaming box running the new Android TV set-top box firmware from Google, modified by Nvidia to fit their console of course. Usually you wouldn’t expect much from an Android console, but it’s so powerful it can literally play Crysis. The box is expected to release on May 28th*.
The box’s base model will ship for $199, and feature 16GB of internal memory. Recently, Amazon leaked a product page for a $299 model with 500GB of internal memory.
The technical specifications of this device are quite amazing for what it is in my opinion. According to Nvidia’s website, the system will feature an Nvidia Tegra X1 processor, sporting a 256-core Maxwell GPU with 3GB of VRAM. It’s 4K Ultra HD ready, able to play 4K content at 60FPS in the VP9, H264, and H265 formats. It can do 4K capture at 30FPS in H264 or H265 formats. It supports up to 7.1 or 5.1 surround sound through HDMI. It can play back at 24-bit/192kHz through HDMI and USB, and upsample to that through USB. The $199 model will feature 16GB of internal memory, and the $299 model will feature 500GB of internal memory. It supports 802.11ac 2×2 MIMO 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.1/BLE. As far as ports, it features gigabit ethernet, HDMI 2.0, two type-A USB 3.0 ports, a micro-USB 2.0 port, a MicroSD slot, and an IR Receiver compatible with the Logitech Harmony. It will weigh 23 OZ / 654 g, will be 5.1 inches / 130mm tall, 8.3 inches / 210mm wide, and 1 inch / 25mm thick. The operating system is the new Google Cast ready Android TV. It uses a 40w power adapter, which typically uses 5-10w of power.
Out of the box, it will have the Google Play Store, Google Play Movies & TV, Google Play Music, YouTube, PLEX, and Photos and Videos installed undoubtedly among other proprietary Nvidia software. Apart from playing all of your favorite Android games and using your favorite Android apps on the big screen, it will stream Nvidia GRID games at 1080p 60FPS* from the cloud (basically HD, gaming-grade remote desktop of high-end games from their server PCs to your console like OnLive), stream games from your personal Nvidia-powered gaming PC using Nvidia GameStream, and use Nvidia Share, which allows you to record, take screenshots, and livestream to Twitch.tv while playing. It’s basically Nvidia Shadowplay for the Shield devices. Also, some major AAA game developers will be porting games like Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, Crysis 3, War Thunder, Half Life 2, Portal, Metal Gear Rising, Doom 3, Resident Evil 5, and more exclusively to the Shield console, not to mention the great high-quality games that exist already on the Android store being playable on the Shield, such as the Grand Theft Auto games like Chinatown Wars, III, Vice City, San Andreas, Max Payne 1 and 2 (which are all AAA titles ported to Android), and high-quality Android games like Real Racing 3, Modern Combat 5, N.O.V.A. 3, Shadowgun: Deadzone, and more being playable on the console just because it runs Android. Some games that already exist will also be optimized in both performance and control schemes for the Shield, although I assume as with previous Shield devices you can map your controller controls to user-defined areas on the touchscreen for certain applications and games.
I personally will be purchasing the $299 500GB model as downloadable games are quite big nowadays on Android and I feel 16GB just won’t cut it. Even with expandable SD card space you can’t get a 500GB SD card for $100 or under. Stay tuned for more information on the Nvidia Shield Android TV console over the coming days, and more content (unboxing, setup, etc.) once it’s released.
– by Gavin (Gaveroid)
* Some information was taken from ShackNews. I’ve been unable to find this information anywhere else through light searching so its’ credibility is questionable. My apologies to ShackNews for this.
The prototype versions of the Steam Box, codenamed Piston, Valve’s answer to console gaming should be ready for testing in about a month. From what i understand some minor issues are trying to be addressed before hand. Typical noise and overheating problems along with a finalization for the controller layout. It is understood that Valve will send the prototypes out to gamers of their choosing, so i guess begging to get your hands on one will not work.
The demo unit of Piston featured at CES has the following features: ethernet port, 4 USB 3.0 ports, 4 USB 2.0 ports, 4 eSATAp ports, 2 Mini Display Ports and 1 DisplayPort/HDMI port and much more.
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