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Nvidia Shield Console Now Available On Google Play Store

Nvidia has made another intelligent business move to boost the sales of its Shield console, by teaming with Google to make the gaming device available for purchase on the Google Play Store.

The Nvidia Shield is an Android-based gaming console designed to stream games from your PC to your living room. The concept of "gaming on the go" is not new to Nvidia, as previous incarnations of the Shield gaming platform were fashioned as tablets and a bulky controller with a built in screen. Our review of the latter concluded that although these mobile gaming devices were "cool," the Shield was more like a powerful Chromecast device or Android tablet, and would not replace our mainstream gaming consoles anytime soon.

The latest set-top box version of the Shield seeks to compete with the likes of Chromecast and nips at the heels of mainstream gaming consoles with performance provided by the onboard Tegra X1 processor and Maxwell GPU. The Android TV-powered device is even capable of streaming 4K content to UHD TVs, something few (if any) set-top boxes can claim.

The Nvidia Shield console comes in two variants: a 16 GB version and a 500 GB "pro" edition. Both have 3 GB of RAM, an HDMI 2.0 port, two USB 3.0 ports, a micro-USB 2.0 jack and a micro SD card slot. A gigabit Ethernet port and dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi will get you online and streaming, and it also supports Bluetooth 4.1. Audio is provided by a 3.5" jack but also supports Dolby 7.1 and 5.1 audio with a surround sound pass-through over HDMI. The Shield includes the controller in the box. Essentially, only the amount of storage differs between each model.

The Shield was previously only available directly from Nvidia, Amazon or Best Buy. In an effort to make the product more accessible (and theoretically more profitable), the Nvidia Shield is available now on the Google Play Store for North American customers. The 16 GB version has an MSRP of $199, and the Nvidia Shield Pro is available for $299.

Follow Derek Forrest @TheDerekForrest. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

Derek Forrest is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He writes hardware news and reviews gaming desktops and laptops.
  • beshonk
    More people need to buy this. It's amazing. It has completely replaced my other consoles as my primary entertainment device. I just buy all my games on PC and play them on my TV with the shield + controller. I love the higher quality inherent with the PC capabilities.

    Right now i'm playing dragon age inquisition. When the wifey's working on her computer in the den (where both of our computers are) she's distraction free since i play on the TV. When she's watching TV, I can go play on my PC in the den. Perfection! Since it's always playing or streaming from the PC, i don't need to mess with cloud saves or anything. All the saves are on the PC. I love this thing!
    Reply
  • salgado18
    @beshonk That's a great opinion! Almost makes me want to have one. Too bad I use an AMD card, so half it's usefulness would be wasted.
    Reply
  • CaptainTom
    @beshonk That's a great opinion! Almost makes me want to have one. Too bad I use an AMD card, so half it's usefulness would be wasted.

    You can already bloody stream over Steam lol. Oh and you can use almost anything so you don't need to buy this overpriced POS.

    -If you want a dirt cheap console, a PS3 is $20 cheaper, actually has games you can play, and includes a Blue Ray player.

    -If you want to stream, there are far, FAR cheaper ways of doing so.
    Reply
  • beshonk
    Yeah, stream over steam with a 30% performance hit. Steam streaming hardware is also just for that. It's not the swiss army knife of TV entertainment plus streaming that the shield is.
    Reply
  • jaber2
    I once asked who buys this crap, now I know
    Reply
  • juansojo
    Well, I bought the Nvidia shield TV to use the Grid service thinking I was going to be able to play online multiplayer games like COD advance warefare and all or be able to purchase full games something similar to steam but NO, I think you can only play 2 player on the same console but not online, I actually thought it was going save me from buying a underpowered Xbox one or ps4( I can build me a superior pc gaming rig for $400-$500) or from building a gaming pc but the fact that all games offered on the Grid are pretty old and not many. I don't want to play old games, repeats of what I have already played on console. On top of that most games on the app store that are compatible with controller are not that good like modern combat 5 that you can't find a single person to play with on multiplayer online. I'm starting to regret buying it.
    Reply
  • beshonk
    Grid's still in Beta, and the grid store where you can purchase full versions of games to play over Grid is still not ready for beta yet. It's a work in progress for sure, but hopefully once it gets ironed out you'll have what you want. This is still the only service/equipment that offers anything like it.
    Reply