This is not as big of an update as we had hoped but Nvidia has launched a new Shield Android TV box at CES 2017. The refreshed and smaller box adds support for Google Assistant, Amazon Video, SmartThings, Steam, and more.
New Nvidia Shield
The new Shield TV streaming box features an updated and smaller design. The hardware seems to be more or less identical to the original box but Nvidia says that it is still offers “3x the performance of any other streamer on the market”.
The box now comes with both a remote and game controller for $199. A 500GB version will also be available at a higher price later this month.
Nvidia Shield runs on Google’s Android TV platform so you can download apps and games from the Google Play app store. That includes streaming services such as Netflix, HBO and YouTube,
And very soon Amazon Video, too, says Nvidia. The Amazon Video app will be available on both the old (sometime in January) and new version of the box. It supports 4K and HDR streaming.
Steam app and Geforce Now
Gaming never really took off on the original Shield. Xbox and PlayStation are still the go-to game consoles but Nvidia is hoping to change that with new features in 2017.
Firstly, Nvidia will expand its game cloud streaming service, GeForce Now. In the coming months it will add titles from Ubisoft, including Watch Dogs 2, The Division, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate and the upcoming For Honor.. Future titles from Ubisoft will launch on GeForce now at the same time as on PC.
Secondly, a Steam app is coming to Shield. It basically allows you to stream games from your PC onto the living room TV via the Nvidia Shield box. This has been possible in the past with the SteamLink but now you just need the Nvidia Shield.
Lastly, you will have access to the catalog of Android games.
- “Game developer Thekla’s acclaimed puzzle game, The Witness, will be available in January. The Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix hit Tomb Raider, and Shadowgun Legends, from Madfinger Games, will debut later this year,” says Nvidia.
Google Assistant voice control
Nvidia will offer an add-on peripheral microphone that it has dubbed Nvidia Spot. This microphone gives you access to the Google Assistant voice control system.
Think of it as the Google Home speaker. You can ask the Google Assistant to do lots of stuff in your home, and the feature is now available on Nvidia Shield.
Additionally, Nvidia Shield will add support for the SmartThings IoT platform.
The new Nvidia Shield box will be available in stores later this month. Both remote and game controller are included in the box.