Late last night Nvidia announced the Shield console, a $199 gaming console running Android TV. Inside the Shield console you’ll find a 256-core Tegra X1 CPU with 3GB RAM and 16GB internal storage.
Far larger than its $99 competitor the Fire TV, the Shield console is a true gaming console and not, as some have described it, a set top box.
Inside the case you’ll find Bluetooth and 2×2 802.11ac Wifi, and around back you’ll see a gigabit ethernet port, HDMI, a microSD card slot, a couple full sized USB ports, and a microUSB port. It comes with 16GB storage, and the card slot can take a 128GB microSD card.
The console comes bundled with the same gaming controller which can be had for the Shield tablet, “a solid Xbox 360 controller knockoff with great buttons and great analog sticks, plus a tiny touchpad in the center for if you ever need it”.
You can also buy an optional remote control should you want to use this gaming console for so plebeian of an activity as watching a movie. Other accessories include additional controllers and a stand.
This is the first gaming console to run Android TV, which came as a surprise to this blogger. I don’t take Android gaming seriously. Android lacks the high-end games found on PC and other consoles, but Nvidia’s Grid streaming service is in the process of changing that. What’s more, Gizmodo says that the chipmaker has somehow convinced big game developers like Crytek, Capcom, and Konami to support the platform.
The Nvidia Shield console is expected to launch in May for $199.