SAN FRANCISCO—At a Game Developers Conference presentation tonight, Nvidia revealed Shield, a living room gaming and 4K video streaming-focused extension of its existing portable- and tablet-based Shield game console line. The "streaming device on steroids," as an Nvidia rep referred to it, will be available in "early May" for $199 with an included controller.
The Android TV-based, Tegra X1-powered Shield will run a selection of controller-optimized Android titles natively—Nvidia says a curated selection of 50 such games will be available at launch, but others will also be playable from the Google Play store or even through sideloading. This includes all the games that already run on Nvidia's Shield portable and Shield tablet consoles; games purchased on one of those devices will be playable on the others through the same account. Nvidia also left open the option of games that takes particular advantage of the extra processing in the X1 chip, which doesn't have the kind of power restrictions that often limit chips on mobile devices. Nvidia compared the power of the chip favorably to the Apple TV and the Xbox 360.
To show off that power, Nvidia let Ars try a demo of Doom 3: BFG Edition running at full 1080p resolution at 60 frames per second on the Shield, with some decently advanced lighting effects bouncing down the game's narrow hallways. Nvidia also demonstrated Crysis 3 running on the console, and said it's working with Crytek to port the full CryEngine to Android for use on the device. During the announcement event, Gearbox c-founder Randy Pitchford came on stage to announce that Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel will be coming to the console as well, alongside ports for the Xbox One and PS4.