Why We’re Rolling Out the SHIELD Family of Devices

by Jeff Fisher

Quicker than most anyone had thought possible, Android is becoming the largest computing platform in history.

There are more than a billion active Android users. And it’s being built into all types of devices. Smartphones, tablets, TVs and cars are just a start.

It’s clear that folks love to play games on Android. The Google Play Android market generated roughly $250 million in revenue in the first quarter, up 2.5 times from a year earlier. And 90% of those revenues came from games.

So far, Android gaming has largely been confined to casual games. But that’s going to change. We see a different future for Android gaming. We’re committed to turning Android into a vibrant platform that can excite gamers and provide the foundation for a vibrant industry.

That’s why we’re introducing the SHIELD tablet and SHIELD controller to a family of SHIELD devices that includes our fantastic SHIELD portable, which we continue to sell, support, and update.

Each of these devices is built to offer an incredible Android and PC gaming experience, and each product is purpose built to give individual gamers exactly what they need.

Arc of PC Gaming

We’ve seen this movie once before. When we first showed up, gaming wasn’t part of the PC industry’s sensibility. Two decades later, PCs are the premier gaming platform.

And we’ve been there every step of the way. Not just by introducing the GPU and the programmable shader. But with support for new standards shared by the entire industry, and with steadfast support for great developers.

Like the PC, Android is an open platform. Like the PC, Android has a huge installed base of users. But the underlying performance, software tools and resulting content have yet to be delivered.

Turbocharging Android Gaming

Our aim is to turbocharge Android gaming. After all, the pieces are all there. It’s an open platform. It has a vast user base. Now it’s time to add the performance – and the tools – to inspire developers to create never-before-seen experiences.

We’re taking this one step at a time. Not so long ago, Android gaming was limited to touchscreen controls on your smartphone or tablet. You could buy a third-party controller. But it was with the hope that everything would somehow work together smoothly.

The SHIELD portable, the first product in our SHIELD family of Android gaming devices, changed that. And we keep investing in it, with regular over-the-air updates that bring new features. We built TegraZone to put great games in front of gamers. And we built a device with console-grade controls that gamers could pick up and play.

New Tools for Developers

We own all these pieces. So we can follow through on that investment with new tools for developers, and new features for gamers.

Gamers can play Android games, with exclusive features like Gamepad Mapper turning their favorite Android games into titles they can blast through with SHIELD’s controller. They can stream games from their PCs. And they can play these games on their high-definition TVs. We’ve even been running trials that let SHIELD users stream AAA games from the cloud.

Our partners see this opportunity, too. That’s why Google is adding more sophisticated graphics to the next version of Android with AEP. It’s why developers like Unreal are showing off next generation gaming capabilities on Android with demos like Rivals.

Now it’s time to put those technologies into a form factor at the center of the Android market: a tablet. When the SHIELD tablet is paired with our best-in-class SHIELD wireless controller, it fast-forwards the conversation about what Android can do.

Android has proven that it can go mainstream. Now it’s time to prove it can meet the needs of those who demand more.