The Nvidia Shield: Tv Box or Console? By Jack Vanson
The Nividia Shield: TV Box or Console?
For the last thirteen years the gaming industry has thrived under three main companys, Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo. However Nvidia Corporation the largest and highest rated pc graphics card producer in the world has decided to enter the ring, and go console to console, with the big three. Using its latest attempt at android gaming, the Nvidia Shield Console. Oops! I said "console" but is it worthy of the name? Many are calling it a TV Box or Stream Box, instead of a full fledged console. So brings the question, is it a console or another Tv/Stream Box?
This Isn't the Company's first try at developing a successful console. In the past, Nvidia tried its' hand at android gaming with the Shield Portable, and the Shield Tablet. However this time they have forged a full out console; in their own words, but does it meet the qualifications? Under the hood the Nvidia Shield Console, sports Nvidia's latest and greatest Tegra X1 processor, 3GB of Ram, and a 256-core Maxwell-generation GPU, for "raw unmatched performance". Before you ask is it more powerful than an Xbox One/ PS4 its at least on the same level with them but definently more powerful than last generation consoles. The console itself stands about 8.3 inches tall and is 1.0 inch thick at the bottom slimming its way up to the top. Its' a geometrical marvel of triangles smashed together in matte and smooth resin-like plastic. Laying down as it would be postioned without the stand it has a single slightly raised triangular edge that cuts like a knife and conceals the coolest looking power on light Ive ever seen. It makes the Razer Forge TV underglow look dull. The front panel has an IR reciever and on top of the console laying down is a touch sensitive Nvidia eye button that is used to sync the Shield controller, but I'm getting ahead myself.
It also ships with Googles' Android TV OS which is basically a modified version of Android Lollipop, a few Nvidia Shield-only apps, high speed HDMI cable, and a controller. Wait! Its labelled as a tv box, but it ships with a controller? "Gasp!" The Shield controller is the same as the ones available at the launch of the Nvidia Shield Tablet, and modeled after the bottom part of the shield portable. Where the Shield Controller is heavier and bulkier than Xbox One or Ps4 controllers it more than makes up for it with a host of features. For starters, and this might be my favorite feature, it has a full 3.5mm headphone jack at the top of the controller beside the micro usb power port. Yes its rechargable, and you can charge the controller with your phone charger, assuming you use android phones. Sorry, Apple fans your out of luck, but then again micro usbs are a dime a dozen and it comes with a charge cable anyway. Of course it also sports the famos Xbox One, Xbox 360, A,B,X,Y, right side button configuration followed by the left and right triggers and bumpers found likewise, at the top of the controller. The joysticks and d-pad, however favor PS3/PS4 Dualshock configuration, placing the thumbsticks side by side and the d-pad to the left of the controller. Centered in the middle of the controller are 4 touch sensitive buttons that light up when the controller is synced up with the console. Just a notch above the touch controls there is a little hole...it must be a defect... no just kidding, its actually a built-in mic! Now you can twitch without a headset. Try doing that with a Xbox One Controller, or PS4. Not going to happen! Moving on, less than an inch below the touch controls is a clicky trapazoidal pad with a metallic smooth plastic finish. This is a touch sensitive trackpad with clicker! However in all my tests it doesn't work with the Shield Console as of yet, so shame on you Nvidia! Directly Below the touchpad there is a volume rocker for your convienance. On the back of the console you'll find plenty of io as its fully equipped with power jack, HDMI 2.2, two (count them, two) usb 3.0 ports, micro sd slot (supports upto 128gb) and ethernet jack. The console/media device comes in two models. The 199.99$ version gets a 16GB hard drive and the 299.99$ variant or the "Pro" as it is labeled comes with 500gb hard drive and Borderlands the Pre-sequel full game download. Buying either Console merits you a free 30$ Google Play Gift card and 3 Months subscription to Google Music, if you purchase it off Amazon.com. You can also purchase a traditional remote (49.99$) or console stand for (29.99$).
Still unsure if its a console or a TV box? Perhaps the software will answer the question as said above It comes equipped with Android TV OS plus some specially developed Nvidia only apps such as the Shield Hub and Grid, and fully functional voice search via controller or remote.. This means You get Shield Exclusive games such as, The Talos Principle, Ju Ju, Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2: Episode One and Portal, while still getting access to all supported Google Play games. Plus I noticed there are a multitude games coming soon in the Shield Hub. TRIPLE AAA Console quality games! The Shield also has two native abilities that set it aside exclusively from all consoles and mainstream media boxes. It can stream pc games from the Nvidia Grid service at an awesome 1080p, 60fps if you have a good internet connection, and for the time being its free. It also natively supports 4k resolution TVs! On the media streaming side it has its fair share of media apps like Plex, Netflix, Hulu, Sling, PBS KIDS Video, Crackle, Youtube, and Kodi (XBMC as its formerly known), and more.
So the answer to our elongated question at hand. A console or a Media box which category does it fall under. Whichever one you decide, obviously, in my opinion I feel like its edging its way towards console mostly due to the fact that it comes with a controller and not a traditional remote, you can stream games on it and there are a listful of "console exclusives" coming soon to it and lest we forget the built in streaming service. Thanks for reading, this is Jack Vanson with Geared Toward Tech. Feel free to comment and follow or vote in our poll. Also don't forget to click the link below to check it out at Amazon.com, along with the controller and remote!