Xbox One? PlayStation 4? Yesterday's news. Today, NVIDIA disrupts the console market with the all-new Shield gaming console. While not a gaming console in the traditional sense, it is instead a 4K Android TV media box with extreme graphics performance.
How has NVIDIA pulled off such a thing? By utilizing its new Tegra X1 chip, it can outperform all other TV media boxes. Guess what? It is 35 times more powerful than an Apple TV! Can it really compete with Microsoft and Sony? At $199 (£135), absolutely.
"We need to start with our latest mobile processor, the Tegra X1, which is 35x faster than the Apple TV. Being faster than a Smart TV device is good, but not good enough for great games. You need a platform to let developers have a platform that lets them deliver great games. If you compare it to Xbox 360, it has 2x the performance, 6x the memory at one-fifth the power", says Jen-Hsun Huang, CEO, NVIDIA.
The console will launch with over 50 available Android games. Besides the normal Google Play store, NVIDIA will be bundling its own store, which curates the best Android games that are guaranteed to run well on the Shield.
Best of all, the controller is included in the box. Yes, rather than bundle a remote and sell the controller separately, NVIDIA is wisely doing the opposite. After all, while Shield can handle multimedia, gaming is the top focus.
Huang showed demos of both Doom3 and Crytek's Crysis 3 and both of them ran flawlessly. Crysis even ran in multiplayer mode, without any hiccups. It is awe-inspiring. Another game demoed, called
Cevat Yerli of Crytek says, "we got to access the SHIELD console and were amazed at the power of Tegra X1. We compiled it, we had it running and it was amazing".
My favorite aspect, however, is the promise that it will be "whisper quiet". While Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are not obnoxiously loud, they are definitely audible, and certainly not whisper quiet. Think about it; you are probably putting Shield in your living room for watching movies too. Do you really want to be distracted by a loud fan? Hell no!
The optional Shield remote includes a microphone for voice commands and looks very comfortable to hold. Best of all, it recharges using microUSB, so you never have to worry about buying batteries.
Will you buy the Shield? Tell me in the comments.