The Nvidia Shield Android TV console will be a “provocateur” for the big boys in gaming, Xbox and PlayStation.
Announced at GDC 2015, the Nvidia Shield is the first Android TV console and packs PC-like specs into a svelte, slimline box.
Speaking to TrustedReviews, David Bowman, Director of Production at Crytek, said that the Shield is going to ruffle some feathers at Xbox and PlayStation.
“I think [the Nvidia Shield] is going to be provoking of a response, because small form, low-power usage and quiet, that’s living room,” said Bowman at GDC 2015. “That’s something that right now if you have one of those power-consuming heavier ones with the fan blowing all the time in your living room, it can kind of be a distraction and some people are put off by that. Just in the form factor, that’s one thing.”
The Nvidia Shield features the new NVIDIA Tegra X1 processor with 256-core Maxwell GPU and 3GB of RAM, which Nvidia claims makes it offer twice the power of the last-gen PS3 and Xbox 360 consoles but only using a fifth of the energy.
“From a power point of view, we’re able to run Crysis 3 on this, all the bells and whistles on for real. We didn’t optimise, we didn’t go out and really do the things we could have done to take advantage of the power. This was purely a port. The potential is pretty extraordinary and when you look at the Grid also, that’s the promise. That’s a whole other layer of power on top of it where you’re actually offloading the rendering to a farm and bringing it back all within a few seconds – or milliseconds in this case.”
But of course, the Nvidia Shield doesn’t just play games downloaded from the store. Instead, you’ll have access to the Nvidia Grid game streaming service, which stores games in huge servers and you then stream them to your device over a speedy Wi-Fi connection.
“That increases the potential beyond what you fit into a box. Now, if you’re a traditional manufacturer and you just have a box, are you going to be competitive in the next generation of content? So people are going to have to respond,” explained Bowman.
“At the very least [the Nvidia Shield] is a provocateur. In the best-case scenario for Nvidia – and we like them as a partner, so we wish them the best success – it becomes exciting for people in a way that the bigger consoles were like for geeks, this is for the living room. It has entertainment value beyond just games.”