NVIDIA's SHIELD Android TV box has only been available for a few weeks, and it's already getting its over-the-air update. This one improves a handful of the SHIELD's app functions and its accessories. Notably, software build 1.2 enables 4K output in Google's Photos & Videos app, provided of course that you have a 4K TV to view them on. According to the changelog it also improves streaming performance for both Netflix and Google Play Movies.
More codecs are always better, especially if you're talking about a device that's (arguably) primarily for watching video. Android TV will get MPEG-2 support when the Android M build comes out - in fact you can check it out right now if you have a Nexus Player - but apparently NVIDIA doesn't want to wait. According to this forum post, an update to the new SHIELD Android TV will enable MPEG-2 codec support within a month.
Why MPEG-2 in particular? Apparently NVIDIA wants to add support for the popular HDHomeRun series of network-connected digital TV turners, which outputs directly in MPEG-2.
The Doom series is perhaps one of the most iconic in gaming, so much so that it's been ported and hacked onto just about every platform and gadget imaginable. There are plenty of unofficial ways to play Doom on Android, but today owners of NVIDIA's SHIELD Android TV and SHIELD Tablet (and sadly, no one else) get a chance to own the entire series in a single package. Doom 3: BFG Edition is now available on the Play Store for $10.
This omnibus collection includes the original Doom, Doom 2, The high-end Doom 3 (originally released for the PC back in 2003), and all the expansions and extra content that the developers have created over the years, including eight new levels for Doom 3.
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. Here's a look at the changelogs for each:
- Android TV support
- UI improvements
- Broader localizations
- Cloud saves, achievements
- SHIELD Android TV support
- UI improvements
- Broader localizations
While Portal got cloud saves and achievements via Google Games, it looks like HL2 may have not been so lucky.
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.
SHIELD comes with $30 of free Google Play Store credit and 90 days of Google Play Music All Access.
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.