Apparently, the graphics virtuoso wasn’t kidding when it teased a “very special event” and a device meant to “redefine the future of gaming.”
Many believed Nvidia basically acknowledged the failure of its first-gen Shield by following it up with a radically different design. But what if that was the plan all along? We’re starting to catch on to Santa Clara’s unusual strategy, which once again reimagined the previous Shield iteration to come up with a vastly superior product.
The tip of the iceberg… so far, the third series entry isn’t an oddball little handheld console, or a powerful albeit nichey tablet. It’s a full-fledged Android TV-based console/set-top box with 4K video support for games and movies.
That’s right, movies too, as the innovative new gadget, confusingly named just Shield, aims to take over your living room and replace both that aging Xbox 360 and whatever you may be currently using as a media player.
Now, granted, this thing is unlikely to rival the raw speed of the Xbox One or PlayStation 4. But thanks to an Nvidia-home-cooked Tegra X1 processor which we’ve already seen acing preliminary benchmarks, as well as a 256-core (!) Maxwell GPU and 3 GB pre-installed RAM, the best Shield yet promises to deliver roughly twice the performance of an Xbox 360.
At a competing price, namely $199 with a sleek bundled controller. And 16 GB internal storage, and microSD expansion capabilities, and HDMI 2.0, Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, USB 2.0 and 3.0, and Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity.
Concerned about the notoriously poor Android gaming content support? Say hello to GRID, a subscription-based streaming service that you can think of as the Netflix of games. This will allow you to crank up the stunning visuals of uber-popular titles like Batman: Arkham Origins, Half-Life 2, Saints Row 4, Borderlands 2 or Metal Gear Solid via the low-cost Shield and… the cloud.
It’s that simple, revolutionary, and 4K smooth, and it’s coming in two short months. This writer’s living room is ready to play. How about yours?