Leader of the Pack: SHIELD Update Brings Marshmallow, Vulkan into the Living Room

by Chris Daniel

SHIELD continues to set the standard for delivering product updates to consumers.

With our latest update, we’re delivering Android 6.0 Marshmallow to SHIELD Android TV. We’re also making it the first Android consumer platform to ship with support for the new-generation Vulkan graphics API.

Announced during CES last month, our latest over-the-air software upgrade, available now for SHIELD Android TV, brings Android 6.0 Marshmallow and a host of improvements and upgrades.

In addition to delivering Marshmallow to the living room, it also continues NVIDIA’s rollout of Vulkan drivers across multiple platforms, including Windows 7-10, Linux and now Android.

The Vulkan API provides highly efficient, low-level access to modern graphics hardware, such as the Maxwell GPU in SHIELD Android TV. Vulkan has been created by experts from across the industry working together at the Khronos Group — an open standards consortium.

Today, NVIDIA is equipping Android developers with fully conformant Vulkan drivers just one week after the specifications launched. In addition, Google has announced that Vulkan will be a core platform API in a future version of Android to drive new classes of interactive user experiences. More information is available on the Vulkan developer hub, where Vulkan Android samples can be downloaded.

Vulkan Chopper
SHIELD Android TV is fully conformant to both Khronos Vulkan CTS and Google Certification.

The update that brings Android 6.0 Marshmallow also delivers much more:

  • Upgradable storage and home screen customization
  • Quick access to the power menu on the homescreen by long pressing the “Back” button
  • Seamless switching between surround sound and headset audio in Netflix app
  • Wireless support for SHIELD controller when charging via USB, including headset audio and voice search
  • Improved color support for YUV 4:2:0 video playback
  • Option to set 1080p 60Hz resolution on Ultra HD TVs
  • Option to set RGB Full Range via Settings > HDMI > Dynamic Range
  • Improved support for Denon receivers and CEC volume control for more audio receivers

Plus, all the new Android games now available — Real Racing 3, Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, Oddworld Munch’s Oddysee, Dead Effect 2, Minecraft Story Mode and Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.

Gamers can also enjoy a number of Square Enix titles coming to GeForce NOW with Tomb Raider now available and Lara Croft and The Guardian of Light, Murdered: Soul Suspect, Sleeping Dogs and Quantum Conundrum coming soon.

Once again, the best gets better.

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  • Frank Kaufmann

    Great now give us the promised Fermi support for Vulkan…

  • S Severino

    This is awesome news. Nvidia’s continued development for Shield devices is really unlocking the power of Android gaming, and with GeForce Now starting to rope in some big name games, the Shield TV is getting closer to ruling the living room.

    Nvidia just needs to add some games for people who like online multiplayer–competitive and cooperative.

  • Alejandro M

    And the Shield TV is still not available in Spain. It is about time, there are lots of people here looking forward to it.

  • Stephen Sharp

    Online multiplayer is great, but I’m really hoping for some more local multiplayer action 😮

  • Jerry Rodd

    I turned on the new Shield TV today and a big smile lite up my mug after seeing the .82gb update.
    Would love to see another one of your great You Tubes showing us all the inside info you have to offer on the S TV update. It is great being retired and finding these new toys to play all day with. ?

    I just bought the K1 this week also. I can’t believe that Best Buy does not stock any Shield products. Especially since Amazon lists the K1 as the best selling in category. I just stumbled across the Nvidia products while shopping for a cheap backup tablet. I have about 6 or so tablets including a Samsung 12.2 Note Pro and a Surface Pro 2.

    I have to say, I am very impressed with the K1 for a misely $199 bucks. We also have 3 Roku 3s and a Roku travel stick, but the Shield TV (“only had it for about 2 weeks”) just seems to be alot crisper on the Samsung SUHD in the TV room.

    One quick question, I just ordered a Samsung T1 mini ssd. Do you think I will be able to store games and content on it and swap it back and forth between the K1 and the Shield TV?
    Thanks again.

  • S Severino

    Looks like you got your wish today.

  • Stephen Sharp

    Hmm? Didn’t see any new local multiplayer games released

  • S Severino

    Lara Croft and The Guardian of Light has multiplayer, no?

  • Stephen Sharp

    Oh you mean for GeForce Now..I have no idea. I’m thinking of games that run locally like Bombsquad. Not a fan of subscription services personally

  • Adrian Meredith

    Would love to see the latest tomb raider instead of the old one….

  • S Severino

    GeForce Now works really well for me, and there are some games with local multiplayer. It’s very hard to tell the difference between streaming a game and playing it locally as long as you have good internet.

  • Andy Watts

    the update has broken the ability to use ftp to transfer files to my external usb drive. no write permissions now.

  • Gary_Rainville

    Check our support site for technical assistance. There’s a knowledge base, live chat and email support: http://www.nvidia.com/page/support.html

  • Andy Watts

    I’m chasing to support. they say developers are investigating. surely nvidia should have known this result would occur. do you not fully test the update???

  • Andy Watts

    yes… instead of statng the obvious try using your influence to fix the issue

  • Alejandro M

    Pues no se me habia ocurrido, gracias.

  • Aaron Allen Fulkerson

    I see you mods replying, please read this: my family would love multi-user support on this platform. Please!

  • Gary_Rainville

    You’ll be able to store movies and files on the SD card, and swap it back and forth between the tablet and SHIELD Android TV. But once the card is formatted as internal storage, you won’t be able to swap the card back and forth with apps and games.

  • lastmoonchild

    The answer is no/. Because of the new adoptable storage that lets you install apps and games directly to your sdcard/usb harddrive/usb flash drive it gets encrypted to the nvidia shield tv only for use on it. The move apps to sd card feature is now gone and replaced with adoptable storage. I could be wrong though.

  • Gary_Rainville

    Noted! We’ll pass it along. Thx

  • Donborvio

    Now all I need is the VUDU and NHL.TV apps and I’ll be set!

  • Aaron Allen Fulkerson

    Thank you!

  • Kadek

    If only you guys make phones.
    A Tab is not what I need.
    I need portable device to use it everywhere. For gaming, camera, multimedia and communication. Any phone larger than 5 inch in my case is not comfortable to use.
    Pardon my English.

  • robert3353

    I am glad to see that you upgraded the Shield Android TV along with the castrated version of the Shield Tablet the K1 to Android v 6. However I am very disappointed that there is no update for my $400 Shield Tablet with the 32GB of storage, 4G LTE support along with the drawing tablet functionality that I purchased on March 21st of 2015. A product I was only able to use for about 4 months and then due to the recall I was unable to use it for the next 3 months. Since the end of 2014 I have purchased around $3000 USD of Nvidia products, GeForce 780, GeForce 770, GeForce 970, Nvidia Shield Tablet (the $399 version), a Shield Android TV Pro, and then another Shield Android TV Pro as a gift for my father. Way to go Nvidia in showing such excellent support for a customers loyalty to your brand! You should be given a BIG RASPBERRY AWARD for your non EXCELLENCE. I guess that when the new generation of GPU’s hits the market I will be buying AMD!

  • Jordan Dodge

    We’re terribly sorry for the inconvenience but appreciate your support. We understand your frustration but want you to be aware that we are working on bringing Android 6.0 Marshmallow to 32GB/LTE SHIELD tablets. Once it’s approved through carrier certification, we’ll be ready to release it. You can look for the update in the coming weeks.

  • Jordan Dodge

    We’re sorry for the inconvenience but appreciate your support. We understand your frustration but want you to be aware that we are working on bringing Android 6.0 Marshmallow to 32GB/LTE SHIELD tablets. Once it’s approved through carrier certification, we’ll be ready to release it. You can look for the update in the coming weeks.

  • robert3353

    Hello Jordan,
    Thanks for taking the time for replying to my post. I have asked a couple of times about this issue with Nvidia tablet support but they either did not know or were unwilling to tell me that an update was being worked on. I was planning on purchasing one of these tablets for a Christmas gift for my son, however I was very disappointed to see that Nvidia had removed the tablet function from the revised K1 tablet so I did not buy one. I hope that they are working on a new tablet with similar specs to the Nvidia Shield Android TV. I would love to see a tablet as powerful as the Android TV box with as much internal storage or better yet a tablet based on the new Pascal chipset. The 500 GBs of storage was very welcome especially since it also had a micro SD card slot. In a perfect world I would love to see Nvidia license the pen technology from Wacom and produce a equivalent tablet to the Wacom Cintiq Hybrid 13″ Android tablet that they no longer produce. I am an avid gamer but also do digital art as well as music creation. The Cintiq Hybrid tablet cost $1200 when it was released and I was saving up for one.
    I do have a complaint that you could pass along to the upper management of Nivida and it concerns their quality of support. I have purchased all of my Nivida GPUs along with the first tablet Nivdia made the Tegra Note 7 from EVGA. When the new batch of tablets were released I was very upset that Nvidia decided to manufacture as well as sell their new devices directly to the public. When I discovered this I had been planning on purchasing one of the new Shield Tablets when they were fist released but over support concerns I did not. That is why I put off buying one until last March and only did when they put them on sale by including the controller with the tablet. Well unfortunately my concerns have been well justified because my experience when contacting Nivdia chat support directly this past year and a half has been dismal. I had contacted their support chat on 8 separate occasions asking specif pre sales questions about the Shield Tablet when it was released and not one of the support agents were able to answer any of my questions. Then when I have had to contact them after purchase of both my tablet as well as the Android TV box my support experience has also been abysmal. Every time I have contacted the support chat I usually have to wait in excess of 15 minutes. While monitoring the chat window my place in the line steadily decreases until it tells me that there is only one ahead of me so the first time this happened I thought well it should only be another 5 minutes or so. But no! every time it then takes an eternity and after another 5 to 10 minutes of waiting with it saying that I am number one the damn thing then says I am now number 12 in line or some other unreasonable place in line. The few times I have actually been chatting with a agent your chat software constantly disconnects and re connects making the whole experience very painful. On top of that it is rare to actually be connected to a knowledgeable support agent who is actually able to assist me. Based on my personal experience with Nividia support I have to rate Nvidia as the absolute worse company in the tech sector with respect to support. In contrast I rate EVGA as the best company with respect to customer support and tech support of any company I have ever dealt with regardless of industry. EVGA has 24hr 7 days a week phone tech support, the longest I have ever had to wait has been no more than 10 minutes and every time I have called them regardless of day or time of day their support agents have all be extremely knowledgeable and have all been able to immediately offer helpful solutions even if it requires an RMA. I even called them early one Sunday morning at 2am and a support agent answered after only 5 minutes and had me up and gaming again in a matter of minutes. My recommendation would be for Nvidia to get the hell out of the retail sector because they obviously do not know what they are doing with respect to customer service! I wish they would revisit their decision to cut their traditional OEMs out of the sales channels for their new consumer products. Ever since I have purchase my Shield Tablet as well as the Nvidia Shield TV I have wished that they had been branded and sold by EVGA like the first 7″ tablet.