NEW YORK—As you read this, Google I/O will currently be raging on—and hopefully just wrapping up the keynote. A few days before the show, however, Nvidia invited us to check out the Nvidia Shield—the company's first entry into the Android TV market.
As promised in the lead up to the launch of Android TV, Nvidia is positioning the Shield as a set-top box and game console. Gaming is such a big focus for the company that it showed the device off at the 2015 Game Developer Conference, where our gaming editor, Kyle Orland, looked at the Shield from the point of view of a game console. The Shield isn't just a game console, though—the device also feels like the next generation of Android TV.
Android TV's first device—the Nexus Player—had a multitude of show-stopping problems, even with the latest 5.1.1 Android TV update. For starters, the 1.8GHz Intel Atom chip isn't up to the task of smoothly playing 1080p video. Not everyone is sensitive to framerate slowdowns, but if you are, the Nexus Player's occasional hiccups during complex scenes was infuriating—and really, it's inexcusable for a device whose primary job is to play video.