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.

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  • realjjj

    How are you going to achieve all that with a bulky overpriced tablet?
    That body can fit a significantly bigger screen , the thickness and weight are unacceptable and the price is too just too high.
    All roads might lead to Rome but you aren’t gonna get there all that soon if you don’t start walking.

  • Joe

    Is the original Shield form factor going to see a upgrade in specs?

  • peter jansen

    and what about the support for 3d gamers? will we see that on tablets any time soon?

  • kron123456789

    Overpriced tablet? Cmon, dude. Find a better tablet with same specs then. Xiaomi MiPad doesn’t count, it’s not available in Europe/America. I don’t think that $300 for most powerful mobile device is “too high”, and i don’t actually care about thickness and weight.

  • kron123456789

    3D? you mean Nvidia 3D Vision?

  • KeithR

    He is right, The Tegra Note 7 by EVGA was a disaster. I owned 3 of them and got sick of them just flaking out all over the place. After I rooted the 3rd it finally started to function correctly, but that lasted a month before it just started flaking out again. Paying an extra 100 over the Tegra Note is a necessary evil for a good tablet. The Tegra note tried to do everything the Shield could and failed.

  • Charles Vamos Jr

    Don’t forget the controller at $60 and the tablet cover at $40.

  • kron123456789

    lolwut? It’s a tablet. to use it like a tablet you don’t need controller and cover.

  • kron123456789

    Tegra Note 7, actually didn’t try to do everything the Shield could.

  • Charles Vamos Jr

    I am just saying the controller is 60 and the tablet cover they show is 40. Is the fanboy in you getting too big for reading comprehension?

  • kron123456789

    if you were just saying, you didn’t have to add that “don’t forget” stuff.

  • KeithR

    It had Tegra Zone, it tried to have the same games, and keep up, but it seriously failed because of how unstable it is. It may not have had the controller, but it was trying to walk the same path with a stylus instead. The point is that it was not a stable product and if you bought it over a standard Tablet for the Tegra features it was a joke. The Shield had hiccups, but not like the Note did. They are both Android Tablets/devices toward mobile gaming, multimedia, and targeted at enthusiasts.

  • fm123

    Anyone’s (branded) controller cost $60, even at Costco or GameStop outlet. That’s where they make money. Most other 8 inch tablets are listed over $300, newest LG and Samsung, and of course Apple.

  • KeithR

    I hope some way to carry it or maybe even have it fit in a pocket.

  • Charles Vamos Jr

    As in don’t forget if you want to add a controller it’s 60 and if you want to add the cover it’s 40. Those add to the price if you want them. The controller is going to be a big part of it too. Didn’t the video day you needed the wireless controller to play on your TV?

  • Kixar

    60 dollars still looks better than something by Steelseries where they want a ridiculous amount of $80+. Besides if it has bluetooth you should be able to link any bluetooth controller ( in some form of fashion ) so if you have a Playstation controller use it.

  • Kixar

    Meh this has got to be a region thing, here for the price range and size it beats out other tablets by far.

  • realjjj

    Actually you could find deals for the LG G Pad at 230-250$ and there is the Nexus, sure those are a year old now but it doesn’t mean they won’t get an update.

  • realjjj

    Crazy new things like the internet and postal services allow you to get anything you want and the Mipad is higher res and not way bulky (too bad it’s 4:3 only reason i am not getting it actually). And ,you know, there are other tablets out there no need to compare just the 2 existing TK1 tabs.

  • Charles Vamos Jr

    Steelseries is just one manufacturer. Why did you even bring them up when there are better products for cheaper? Or do you fanboys like to cherry pick? This tablet is going to be another disaster.

  • ed jon

    It would make sense if they included the gamepad. It would make it more like a console but also allow you to use it as a tablet. They should have made it like a ps4 in the way that it came with everything you need to game on a tv like a controller, hdmi cable, headset. That would have been really cool if they did it that way. It would seem like a more ideal gaming option as well as an option for gamers who want to do more then just game on the device. I got to be honest as much as i prefer the idea of the original shield. They did a good job at taking appealing pictures. Lol.

  • Kixar

    Ok fine… one of MOGAs supposely “best” is also 80, NYKO is meh, paying for what you get there, you can use your PS3 controller (assuming you have one if not theyre still around 60), and the cheaper ones are generally just that… cheap. I was just pointing out the fact that for $60 dollars its not that bad, and that it could be worse.

  • co_r

    Wait soo let me get this straight you’re complaining about the price of whats about to be the most powerful tablet/handheld android device yet? lmao gtfoutta here XD

  • co_r

    No, but I’ve heard it has native support for bluetooth gamepads soo I’ll be good since I have a wireless ps3 controller and a wired one 🙂

  • awp69

    Anyone heard whether Shield exclusives like Half-Life 2 and Portal will be playable without the controller? I heard they were updated to add support for the new tablet, but nothing has been said about whether they will be playable using touch controls

  • Brian Caulfield

    Can’t comment on rumors or speculation. But your feedback is always welcome.

  • jonen

    the bezel is there for a reason actually, to let you hold the tablet without losing any screen real estate. same with the thickness, its there to make the tablet easier to grip and it helps spread the heat. not every device needs to have anorexia, there`s a reason the Macbook air has such low clock speeds. id rather have a thicker device than nerfing the soc to make it thinner.

    also, price is too high? a tablet with the same size as and price as the Wi-fi only iPad mini except this one has a better soc, better screen, better speakers, included stylus, game-stream, twitch-streamin and shadowplay

  • marco

    Shield Tablet pretty much hit all the right specs – weight, play time, size, performance, stylus useability, resolution (not excessive at the expense of battery life and not below 1080p), great front firing audio (power and quality), price, LTE availability, HDR photos/video, BUT missed it completely on the rear camera – 5MPixels is a joke these days and does the product a disservice. With the excellent HDR capabilities a 10MPixel camera would enable some serious high quality picture shoots. Real time HDR is RARE and a powerful functionality – marrying it to a 5MPixel sensor makes it a joke. Gamers are not interested in the stylus nor perhaps the HDR/Camera – but having a great stylus and great HDR/Camera reaches out to a wider audience. I am not a gamer but I would love to have a powerful general purpose LTE tablet which the shield Tablet almost perfectly fits – the camera is a BIG let down. For a few more dollars – it’s worth the pixels.

  • cremisi1000 .

    I wish Nvidia will tune down that Gamers for Gamers , gamers marketing pitch a bit , ill be getting one of these since I need a tablet and its nice to be able to play some nice games on it with my kids also , the hardcore gamers out there are throwing a fist because they think the tablet is trying to take down their rigs lol .

  • Brian Caulfield

    Thanks for the feedback! Keep those comments coming.

  • Brian Caulfield

    Thanks for the feedback.

  • Brian Caulfield

    Thanks for the feedback. Let us know how you like your SHIELD!

  • Rob

    Can NVDA please release an over-the-top Shield device? I want to be able to stream the best games in a Netflix-like (Steam) environment with better graphics than my PS4, that would be awesome.

    Maybe it would cannibalize some PC GPUs but I think it could appeal to most average gamers. Game developers would love the new distribution channel too.