NVIDIA, the leaders in graphic chips and visual computing design wowed the crowds at the 2015 Game Developers Conference at San Francisco with their latest offering in the Shield series, an Android gaming console they are calling the “world’s first 4K Android TV console.”
While announcing the device, CEO Jen-Hsun Huang said “First, it’s based on the most popular OS in the world. Second, the richness of the Google Play store, with its huge range of applications. Third, it syncs with all my other devices. Finally, it has an incredible voice search capability.”
A sleek device with NVIDIA’s signature green glow incorporated as a part of the design, the console supports decoded 4K videos at a rate of 60Hz. It can be plugged into the TV for an out-of-the-world gaming experience. The device runs on Android and incorporates the latest NVIDIA Tegra X1 ‘superchip.’
The console can run local and streamed games (up to 1080p at 60fps); in a demo at the event, NVIDIA demonstrated the console’s abilities by adapting and directly downloading of popular high-end video games, including Id Software’s ‘Doom 3′ and Crytek’s ‘Crysis,’ made for other gaming devices or by streaming them remotely via NVIDIA’s servers. Other features include:
- Tegra X1 Processor with 256-bit Maxwell GPU
- 3GB of memory.
- MicroSD slot,
- a Micro USB 2.0 port,
- two USB Type-A 3.0 ports, gigabit Ethernet port,
- HDMI port.
A non-gaming Bluetooth remote (it supports Android Bluetooth 4.1 and dual-band 801.11ac Wi-Fi connections) controls the device and can be activated with a “one click, one touch voice search.” A headset jack on the controller can be used for controlling privacy when the user wants to listen quietly, otherwise, the console outputs 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound.
In Huang’s words, “This is really a discontinuity in the gaming industry.” He emphasized its power compared to other set-top boxes from Roku and Apple TV. He also took a dig at Xbox 360 by telling the crowd that the new NVIDIA console performs twice as well and at half the power.
The company said that it aims to popularize the concept of superior video games and other forms of personal entertainment on a larger scale.
Along with the Console, NVIDIA also announced more than 50 Android games and an online service – Grid store – for streaming videogames to the console. The console itself, including the game controller will be available in May and has been priced at $199.