Although traditional consoles don’t appear to be going away anytime soon, quite the opposite, more affordable micro-consoles have become increasingly popular over the past year or two. NVIDIA is hoping to use its considerable influence in the gaming world to help capitalize on this growth and release its own Android-powered micro-console known simply as Shield. The device will deliver console-level visuals for the ridiculous price of just $200 and will come with NVIDIA’s own game streaming service.
Nvidia just announced an Android gaming console. The latest Shield (previous entries include a gaming tablet and before that an all-in-one game controller plus screen) is the “world’s first 4K Android TV console.” The device itself is thin and sports the familiar sharp design aesthetic (with green glow). It supports decoded 4K video at 60Hz. The Shield will launch in May for $199, game controller included, alongside the company’s new Grid game-streaming service. The non-gaming bluetooth remote (“Shield remote”) looks fairly minimal and features a “one click, one touch voice search” (à la Amazon’s Fire TV remote) and a headset jack for listening quietly (à la Roku remotes). It appears that it won’t be bundled with the box itself. Nvidia’s home console is powered by its Tegra X1, its new mobile “superchip” announced in January. CEO Jen-Hsun Huang is touting just how much more powerful this Shield is compared to current set-top boxes like Roku and Apple TV — but it’s also about twice the performance of the Xbox 360 at half the power output.