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.
More than 50 Android games at launch — and yes, it can run Crysis 3
And of course, it plays games. Nvidia Shield will have its own store, and at the time of launch there'll be over 50 games curated, according to Huang. From the on-stage demo, we see Portal, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, and Half-Life 2: Episode 1. Multiple developers have taken the stage to show support and live demos, including Gearbox Software's Randy Pitchfork (for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, running at 30fps), id's Tim Willits (Doom 3 BFG edition), and Crytek's Cevat Yerli (Crysis 3 at 30fps — "yes, it can run Crysis," Huang keeps reminding us).
Rich McCormick contributed to this report.
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