Why We’re Building SHIELD, the World’s First Android TV Console

by Matt Wuebbling

200 gaming titles at launch. One teraflops of computing power. Support for 4K television. Access to a huge, and growing, library of on-demand games. And the ability to delve into a deep well of Android TV apps and entertainment.

“Today we are introducing NVIDIA’s first living room entertainment device,” Jen-Hsun Huang told a crowd of more than 900 press, analysts, and game enthusiasts at an event ahead of the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco Tuesday night.

NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang introduces SHIELD.

We’ve been working on the technologies we’re talking about today for more than five years. Now, with SHIELD, you can bring it all together in a device that lives near the best screen in your house.

Just as smartphones will be how we enjoy phones, smart TVs are how we will enjoy television, Jen-Hsun said. These devices will replace dedicated devices over time, just as an application has replaced your GPS, your music player, your radio and your camera.

“Before you know it, applications will come along that surprise us,” Jen-Hsun said. “This is really a discontinuity in the gaming industry.”

Your living room will never be the same.

Bringing Android Home

SHIELD runs the Android TV operating system. So, it works with your other mobile devices—and the rich ecosystem of apps built around them. Google Play. Pandora. YouTube.

These apps do more than just work on SHIELD.  They scream.

Our Tegra X1 processor’s 256 GPU cores bring the power of our Maxwell GPU architecture to Android, cranking out 1 teraflops of computing power. That’s more than what the world’s fastest supercomputer could do just 15 years ago.

That means SHIELD is ready to handle whatever multimedia comes next. It’s the first streaming device built to handle 4K digital media, hustling video onto next-gen TVs at up to 60 frames per second.

“We think people using NVIDIA’s SHIELD console will love watching YouTube in 4K, thanks to the work NVIDIA did to make its Tegra X1 processor support VP9 video decoding,” says Heather Rivera, YouTube’s director of product partnerships.

Getting content is easy, too. Call up movies and shows using Google’s shockingly accurate voice search. Use SHIELD’s included console-style controller or our incredibly simple remote. You can even beam content to your television, via Cast, from Android devices.

Changing the Game

Of course, SHIELD offers great gaming, too. SHIELD is built with the same Maxwell GPU found in everything from supercomputers to the very latest gaming PCs. So it has graphics grunt to spare.

The story behind that hardware story: we’re building the software and services needed to plug all that power into the thriving Android ecosystem. We’ll launch with 50+ Android titles that take advantage of SHIELD’s capabilities.

SHIELD is built to slide into your entertainment system, and can be displayed either vertically or horizontally.


It’s a package that’s grabbed the attention of the industry’s best developers: “We’re very excited about the power of Tegra X1-powered SHIELD,” says Steve Allison, senior vice president publishing at Telltale Games. “When you play our games on a Tegra X1-powered SHIELD, you are getting a mobile version with the same visual fidelity as our next generation console and HD PC versions.”

These are games that break boundaries. Games such as Doom 3, Crysis 3, and Borderlands: TPS. And with support for as many as four players at once—on your big screen—these games become a social experience like no other. On SHIELD, they deliver action that will bring you—and your friends—to your feet.

“I am positively thrilled that NVIDIA has once again proven their commitment to being the best graphics platform for gamers by making it their mission to bring Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre Sequel natively to the new SHIELD, driven by the incredibly powerful Tegra X1,” says Gearbox Software President Randy Pitchford.

Making the Cloud Rain Great Games

SHIELD comes bundled with our Wi-Fi direct controller.

SHIELD also serves as another way to access our GRID instant gaming service. GRID – available on our entire SHIELD family of devices – brings the latest PC games to the living room.

“NVIDIA has created a powerful and unique device that we are excited to be working with,” said Fredrik Liljegren, vice president, Graphics & Portability Group, TransGaming. “Our partnership with NVIDIA provides the perfect opportunity to demonstrate the value of TransGaming’s cross-platform enablement technology by delivering high-quality AAA+ games to this exciting new platform.”

Equipped with GeForce GTX GPUs, our GRID game-streaming service packs the power to make the most demanding PC games feel immediate and visceral. GRID lets us deliver the latest PC games—titles like Metro: Last Light Redux, Dying Light and Batman: Arkam Knights—to SHIELD the way these games were meant to be played. With GRID, gamers can enjoy games delivered at 1080p and 60 frames per second. That’s an experience you won’t find outside of a high-end PC.

“GRID enables us to deliver entertainment to our fans when they want, where they want,” says Pierre Vinson, head of digital for Deep Silver. “Gamers can play Saints Row IV and Metro: Last Light Redux and we’re working hard with NVIDIA to expand the catalog.”

Game On

Tegra X1. Android TV. Support for 4K displays. 50+ Android titles at launch. A great controller. SHIELD is about more than just a collection of powerful technologies. It’s about your games. Your music. Your movies. Your photos. It’s about your digital life. And bringing it all together in your living room.

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  • https://plus.google.com/+ChrisMorozin Chris M

    Is it still able to stream from your PC like previous Shield devices? I missed that part in the conference and article… but to be fair, I had maybe had a little bit of whiskey during the event.

  • ender


  • domahman

    Where is the pr-order button?

  • domahman

    why not leverage it to allow access to companies vGPU?

  • H

    In the faq you wrote,

    – < 60ms ping time to one of six NVIDIA datacenters world-wide

    How Is It possible to verify that ?

  • Beezl

    so no portable shield with a tegra x1 and some new sexy screen eh… I was so pumped about playing my pc games in bed on the portable and boom…it exists nowhere. I can’t find it in any store and your company has said nothing about it. Oh and guess what?? This is coming from purchasing a gtx 970. I had a couple of exchanges. Ok no worries, happens. GPU lotto right? Well. Then come to find out about the memory bandwidth thing. Again, not a real big deal. Still what a great card. Really nice company… I am trying man. Just ah… Want to give you some more of my money… Is that too much to ask for? 🙂

  • Beezl

    Also I am 100% clear I can play the new shield on a tv. Not dense here. I want to play it on a little screen. in my hand. And take it places as needed. Please. If you are holding back. I can’t take anymore man. What is happening with shield… ( I originally typed the last sentence in caps but I don’t like to yell at people )

  • Beezl

    I was hoping for a x1 shield portable enabling me to play any of my pc games anywhere. Just leave my pc on and play all my games with my saved settings and saved games. Plus the added OLED 5.5″ Edge to Edge display would be there. I could easily plug this into a tv with a cable or wireless if I had the new shieldANDROID BOX………….And use the shield portable as a second screen for games..but no…..

    not even a hint of a portable.

  • carol argo

    ?really?where is the legendary (highly expected )shield tablet X1?nobody care about a console that connect to a TV.a shield tablet that connect to a TV tho ,now that is legendary.a console,fudge we got so many console we don’t know what to do with all of them

  • carol argo

    Isn’t the shield tablet their best new product?why did they get rid of such an awesome product?men I all never understand corp.oh well:I’m yelling :google,when were can I find a nexus 9

  • 3Rton

    They didn’t get rid of this shield is handheld this is staying at your home and big screens. They are trying to strike at all fields.

  • http://www.prreklam.com/slutet/ Force Majeure

    No Tegra X1 8 inch tablet?!?! Ohh man, what a Bummer!!! 🙁 Will some other manufacturer use the Tegra X1 in a tablet?!?

  • Evinas Dad

    The Shield console looks interesting. One item I would like to know is that since the internal storage is only 16gigs, that doesn’t seem like a lot of space if I’m planning on buying and installing a lot of games. Would downloading and storing games to a microSD card or external HDD be allowed?

  • loop6719

    its a Forge tv knockout!! before Forge even got out of the corner.

  • loop6719

    huh? tablet is still available

  • loop6719

    ah it reminds me of the old Irish proverb “a man that drinks whiskey one day , always works harder the next”

  • carol argo

    Dotting the I lining the twhy didn’t they make a second gen for w10 lunch

  • ChrisGX

    The three announcements that the talk starts with, the “Revolutionary TV”, “Game Console” and “Supercomputer” turn out not to be announcements about separate products but pieces of the self-same product/system/service – I think that is interesting! Jen-Hsun, this time, perhaps relied a bit too much on context to convey that though and as a result a bit of the wow factor was lost. He also forgot to elaborate on the supposedly amazing SHIELD WiFi system.

  • Mike

    Of course. There are a few tegra k1 powered tablets from other OEMS. There are sure to be tegra x1 powered tablets. The tegra4 nvidia tablet was made by evga. Chances are as nvidia focuses on breaking into new markets they’ll source their tablet to someone else.

  • Cipherzone

    NVidia Please release a FULL Fledged console and crush Sony, Nintendo and MS … I’m sure devs would design for it given the Nvidia Tech track record… No more streaming devices pls… give us something real. Something to pull me away from my PC which is running 2 780ti’s in SLI. My consoles are collecting dust because my PC runs better…

    I want to buy this:

    Nvidia Console:

    1TB Hybrid 2.5 HDD
    Custom Intel CPU 3.5GHz
    8GB DDR4 System RAM
    Maxwell GPU 8GB DDR5 RAM (and all that glorious Nvidia Tech)
    Custom Nvidia Linux OS (No More Android Pls)
    Nice Sound Card
    AC Wifi
    GB Ethernet


    I’d buy it …

  • Rob

    Why wouldn’t t hey partner with Microsoft of Steam for this, what is with the Android BS?
    I will never own and never plan on owning anything running a crappy mobile phone OS no matter what resolution it can output.

  • http://www.prreklam.com/slutet/ Force Majeure

    I have yet to see a single tablet with the K1 Denver SoC though. K1 32-bit is sorta out of date now that we have 64 bit chips from QC and Samsung everywhere.

  • Paul Petko

    Looks awesome! I want and can’t wait to see what NVIDIA power will do to my home entertainment setup.

  • Paul Petko

    As much as I would like to see NVIDIA dive into a full fledged gaming console it may not be the best idea. NVIDIA currently seems to be putting their hands into many realms, they want to be a gaming device, a developer device and also same time consumer friendly. That is a lot to achieve and keep all parties satisfied. Whatever direction they do take, I will be supporting them all the way!

  • Nyqua Xyla

    Rofl.. What about Google Nexus 9?!

  • Dedren

    It is not a direct partnership, but you can stream Steam games from your PC to this AND when you buy a game from Nvidia they also send you the Steam/Origin code.

  • Dedren

    Yes. The USB 3.0 ports support any size external drive and you can also use ?micro?SD cards up to 128GB if you have those laying around the house.

  • Dedren

    Yes, it still streams from your PC.

  • Dedren

    The Shield tablet is still one of the most powerful out there, so I am not sure they could have done much better. I am actually considering this over an Xbox One or PS4 if those streaming abilities are as good as they showed. I could use some Borderlands and Metro Last Light.

  • kron123456789

    Wow! That’s…it, there is no tablet with K1 Denver, exept Nexus 9. But Nexus 9 has one major problem — it lacks OpenGL support, which is why it CANNOT run Tegra games(like Half-Life 2, Trine 2, etc.).

  • kron123456789

    That thing is awesome, but some MOBILE device with Tegra X1 is needed.

  • http://www.prreklam.com/slutet/ Force Majeure

    Yeah part from that crap, it’s expensive and too large.

  • Andre Prasetya

    Dear nVidia, kindly consider a tablet running Ubuntu touch with tegra x1 and 4 GB RAM in it, with that much power, we can game using steam. There are plenty of games there waiting to run.

  • Christopher Hallett

    You could of course just run an HDMI cable from your p.c. to your t.v. There’s these new inventions called wireless keyboards and mice that you could also use in that case…

  • shawnmb

    Am I the only one who came here to call them out on the “world first” statement? Are we just going to pretend the Ouya didn’t happen?

  • vidvox

    Can we get confirmation on that?

  • f696522@trbvm.com

    who cares its android
    it has suck written all over it
    cant wait to see this console melt (literally)

  • carol argo

    Hopefully this get sold to Nintendo.wiiu (x)don’t get me wrong I like the idea of a small box under my TV instead of my big PC.and this maybe even permit to get one to your daughter bedroom TV.so yes it is a better solution then alternative but tablet were also uber
    True doing this make sense it permit them to enter the use TV market that is barely utilized now

  • carol argo

    I just don’t see what use is a shield console.I all wait for shield tablet (x)

  • http://www.prreklam.com/slutet/ Force Majeure

    Yeah besides there are less and less Tegra products coming out, in the days of Tegra 3, 4 and 4i there were quite a few phones, tablets, game devices and such. Then the K1, a chromebook or two, the Xiaomi pad, Jetson TK-1 SBC and the shield tablet, plus it might be coming to ARA modular mobile. But with K1 denver and now X1, there’s only one afaik and nothing else has been announced. It’s sad, since the X1 is the best ever, of the bunch. If it eats up too much power, down clock it, but I saw a test on engadget that it requires less power than the iPad Air 2 to get the job done. Go figure!

  • Jortiz3

    I hope GRID gets an NVLink upgrade in 2016 – 1080p gaming is not enough to dethrone xbox and ps4, and I wonder if its because subscribers are streamed from a single GPU. When you have grid servers streaming subscribers 4K at 30+fps, you will have significant numbers of people switching from xbox and ps4. Offering the same capabilities is no reason to switch.

  • Brandon Green

    ..and OnLive, or even Gaikai which became PS Now, as the first streaming game service.

  • Jaocagomez

    Doom 3, Crysis 3, and Borderlands: TPS in android??? OMG this is gonna be good!!

  • mööp

    Ouya runs on Android Not Android Tv, weich is New an creator especially for TVs optimized GUI for Control wird a remote etc…

    So ist is the Worlds First Android tv console

  • mööp

    Sry for the Bad english, crappy autocorrect 🙁 german Android Keyboard…

  • Todd Buckner

    Is this gonna to allow 3rd party android .apk to be installed? I use Kodi and wonder if these apps will be allowed to be installed or device locked down?

  • http://bitkistl.blogspot.com/ Peter Bauer

    Just make the shield console dual-boot Ubuntu/Android and take my money

  • ymhayuociotlc .

    …and it would cost $1000+

  • domahman

    Nope. 4k is a no go. Grids life span is about 5 years (For game streaming).

  • JackFrost

    200 gaming titles at launch, or 50 title at launch, which is it?.

    This blog first says 200 then later says 50

  • Jortiz3

    I’m pretty sure you just said that without really anything to back it up.

  • domahman

    the amount of data that has to move is way too much.

  • Jortiz3

    If you are talking about the data required to stream 4K h.265, it is about 1Mbps for every frame-per-second. 60fps 4K H.265 = 60mbps. Considering average speeds in the US are already about 20mpbs, with some packages delivering more than 50mpbs from Comcast, etc, AND considering growth rates are about 20%+ per year, we are looking at a mere three years before most people will be able to stream 4K@60fps. Already there are plenty that can. For instance, Netflix is already streaming 4K@30fps. The whole heart of the matter is having a processor capable of decoding 4K at that speed and with low latency. The X1 is such a processor, probably for that reason. The rest of the maxwell chips can as well, but we will see if/when/how they will use that capability in future refreshes of GeForce Experience. Also we will see how government interference with “fast lanes” and net neutrality delay this inevitable transition. On the other hand VR gaming is fundamentally incompatible with streaming latency.

  • Abram Carroll

    50 AAA games and 150 android games that aren’t crap.

  • Abram Carroll

    They don’t kill their products with the next chip.. They alternate products and stand behind what they sell.. They still haven’t replaced the shield portable with the Tegra 4 chip.

  • Abram Carroll

    ” was hoping for a x1 shield portable”

    Same here.

    “This is coming from purchasing a gtx 970.”

    AMD is bleeding money and it has their fans on a troll campaign.. The 970 is a binned 980. Fully functional it costs $200 more. That is it’s the same chip with broken parts cut. AMD also does this, as all their non”X” cards are binned chips. There is a bit of a GPU lotto with binned chips and a higher chance of issues and other defects.
    Also many Nvidia cards have had the 2 pools of VRAM.

    If you have any sort of driver issue that shows up as stutter and usually only when you really hammer the CPU.. this happened to many when they cranked up the settings.

  • Dedren

    Apparently I don’t get notifications for this, but here is the proof if you didn’t read the official one on Nvidia’s website.: “In addition, users with a GeForce-powered PC in the house can stream their entire Steam library to a Shield on the same network.” http://ars.to/1EKXQZY

  • vidvox

    I was more interested in the steam code part. It would be even better if GRID subscribers could link to their Steam account and share save files across the platforms like OnLive offers.

  • rarnedsoum

    Why would I replace my $29 Chromecast with Shield for $199?

  • An Son

    release date?

  • Steven

    Please go back and focus on what you do well. This console is embarrassing. What’s more embarrassing is the claim that it’s the first android console on the market.

  • Itsme

    How’s it embarrassing? So in your world no company should do anything new.

    And it is the first “Android TV” console, since Android TV is a new OS and currently there is only 2 devices currently released that run Android TV, the ADT-1 which is a developers box and the Nexus Player which is a media streaming box.

  • Cole Hyntermeister

    I think if Nvidia redeveloped the X1 Shield Console to use Steam OS instead of Android, it would fit the bill quite nicely. It’d maybe need some basic hardware boosts, but when the base Android console is what, 200? It’d match a $400 PS4 EASILY. And it would be one of the cheapest, most powerful SteamBoxes we’ve seen.

  • Cole Hyntermeister

    The Chromecast doesn’t run games natively. And your device needs to be able to process the game as well as stream it, if the game even allows streaming. Think of it more of a Wii/WiiU thing, not a PS4/XB1

  • master

    Come on nobody sees it this is clearly another experiment by nvidia first a portable gaming device then a tablet WiFi and a 4g lite version now aan android TV console each breaking the boundary in processing power getting close to what a Sony or ms. can do now delivering exclusive and AAA titles the next device will probably be a phone new devices get all features from the previews devices this will be incredible a phone with all this nvidia will make the phone replace consoles in time its gonna be awesome

  • _Flip_

    So this is basically a Chromecast on crack? Able to stream PC titles from their Grid to the TV as well as a plethora of android apps.

    The gaming network “The Grid” as well as the ability to stream from your PC, is what sets this device apart from your typical Android Sreaming device. It’s definitely worth taking a look at.


    Can you make it so shield console runs windows 7 because PC gaming is too expensive and this would make it like 200$ for a really good gaming PC.


    make this tun the steam OS there is already tons of games especially Garry’s mod


    Either Or