Portal and Half-Life 2 were both launch titles for the SHIELD Portable, and to this day remain two of the best games you can play on Android. Recently, both apps got updated to support Android TV, which really only means one thing: they support the new SHIELD set-top box. That's good, because playing them on the TV is honestly one of the best ways to experience these classic FPS titles.
So you've read our exhaustive review of the NVIDIA SHIELD and decided that it's the Android TV device for you. Whelp, it's available for purchase right now in the US, from both NVIDIA's own store and Amazon.com. The standard 16GB SHIELD is $199.99, but it looks like the SHIELD Pro ($299.99) with its 500GB internal hard drive won't be available until June. According to the NVIDIA Store it's coming on the 3rd, while Amazon says it won't be in stock till the 12th.
When you hear the name "NVIDIA," the first thing that comes to mind is most likely graphics cards, or at the very least the company's Tegra chips that have been powering Android devices for several years now. Either way, it's probably not "the company that makes the killer Android TV box that's hanging out in my living room."
But after today, it honestly might be.
We've spent the last week or so playing with both the base model SHIELD and storage-laden SHIELD Pro, which at this point are unquestionably the best Android TV boxes that money can buy.
This one's been waiting in the wings for quite a while. NVIDIA teased The Talos Principle, a puzzle game played out primarily in full first-person 3D, way back at the reveal of the SHIELD Tablet in July of 2014. After nearly a year of waiting (and the game's full release on the PC), it's now available exclusively for newer high-end Tegra-powered devices. According to the game's Play Store description, it's intended for the SHIELD Tablet, the Nexus 9 (equipped with a Tegra K1), and the upcoming SHIELD Android TV set-top box only. It uses either touchscreen controls or external controllers.
The Talos Principle is an introspective and somewhat philosophical puzzler created by Croteam, of all people - that's the developer of the over-the-top Serious Sam shooters.
NVIDIA promised a 5.1 update for the Shield tablet would hit devices this month, and it looks like the company is making good. We've got numerous tips that say the update is available right now on the WiFi tablet. Head to the settings and grab it at your earliest convenience.
It's been quite a roller coaster ride with this 500GB Shield Pro device. You can finally stop wondering if it's real or just NVIDIA trolling—it's real. NVIDIA's customer care rep on the official forums has posted a few answers about the device. It'll be hard to walk this one back if NVIDIA still wants to play coy.
Remember that 500GB version of the Shield Android TV that leaked on NVIDIA's website last month? Remember how they said it wasn't a "consumer" device, but a development partner system? Well, I'm going to go ahead and call NVIDIA a bunch of lying liars who lie, because a 500GB "Shield Pro" console listing just popped up on Amazon.
I mean, there's even a picture of the box saying "500GB Android TV" - if someone is trolling Amazon, they're doing a press-photo quality job of it, also apparently having pictures of the remote and stand in high-definition.
After years of unsuccessfully pushing its almost-here software-defined Icera LTE modem, NVIDIA officially announced yesterday that the Icera unit, which it acquired in 2011, would be shutting down. The fate of the 500 employees working on Icera projects at NVIDIA was not announced, but may be in NVIDIA's quarterly earnings call tomorrow.
As recently as two years ago, NVIDIA was still pushing the Icera i500 LTE modem solution as part of its Phoenix Tegra 4i reference design phone platform, which saw adoption that could be counted on a single hand (OK, if the hand had six fingers). I believe ZTE, Xiaomi, and Coolpad were actually the only full-on Tegra 4 phone partners, each with a single, limited-run 3G phone that didn't even use Icera modems.
Looking to get into NVIDIA's SHIELD ecosystem, perhaps before the launch of the GRID service? Perennial video game retailer Gamestop is offering the base model of the SHIELD Tablet with a $50 discount, bringing down the price to $249.99. The SHIELD Controller, which is compatible with the original SHIELD Portable, the SHIELD Tablet, and the upcoming SHIELD Android TV set-top box, is also discounted. You can grab it for $39.97, a bit more than $20 off.
The SHIELD Tablet is easily the best 8-inch Android tablet available at the moment, thanks to its plentiful power and quick software updates from NVIDIA.
As excited as many of us are for NVIDIA's upcoming Android TV-powered SHIELD set-top box, there has been a distinct lack of enthusiasm for the rather measly 16GB storage option. We all know that modern games - even ones designed for mobile platforms - can easily clock in at two or three gigs apiece, filling that 16GB drive with just a few titles. Sure, there is expandable storage, but it's just so convenient to have everything all in one place and not have to worry about SD cards, USB drives, and the like.