Updated, 1/27/2017, 5:33am CT: A change was made to clarify the GPU used in the new Shield TV.
Nvidia released its Shield TV Software Upgrade 5.0 for the previous version of the company’s streaming device, which updates the OS to Android 7.0 (Nougat) and adds 4K HDR capabilities to the old model.
The company announced the new Shield TV (and its intent to get previous-version owners in on the new features) back at CES, where Nvidia revealed its aspirations to make the Shield TV an integral part of your Smart Home, offer more premium games, and upgrade the Android OS.
The new Shield TV features a smaller chassis than the previous version (Shield TV 2015), but it has the same Maxwell-based GPU under the hood as the previous iteration. However, it comes with a newly-designed controller that enables features including completely hands-free Google Assistant, which will also soon connect to Smart devices via an upcoming SmartThings Hub technology integration.
The new controller is a must-have for this feature, and owners of the previous version can simply purchase a new one to get in on the action. Additionally, Nvidia’s Spot AI mic accessory will be hitting the market later this year, which will further extend AI control throughout the home using the Shield TV’s SmartThings Hub.
GeForce Now, Nvidia’s game streaming service, was also updated and will soon feature a slew of Ubisoft games, including Watch Dogs 2, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, For Honor and more. The change from a monthly service to a set hourly rate and the ability to stream to low-powered PC and Mac devices doesn’t kick in until sometime this March, and the GeForce Now update feels more like a prelude of what’s to come.
The new Shield TV and controller are available now from retailers such as Newegg and Best Buy for $200 and $60, respectively. You can also preorder the Shield TV Pro (with a 500GB hard drive) for $300, and it will arrive on January 30. However, we’ll have to wait a little longer for the Spot mic and games.