NVIDIA’s been pretty aggressive about taking on the console space. Not only have they cooked up a heaping helping of portable products at varying price points, but they’ve managed to get their Tegra in Nintendo’s upcoming Switch. Today, they doubled down on this competition with the Shield TV, a product pitched squarely at the console set.
The Shield TV is a device built around NVIDIA’s proprietary GeForce Now game-streaming service and a Pascal GPU architecture. New updates to the service will bring Ubisoft games to the platform, with Watch Dogs 2, The Division, and the upcoming For Honor already confirmed. While it’s a bit silly that players will have to link their UPlay accounts in order to play, it’s still a pretty big win for the company.
Other improvements, however, definitely make the system an interesting alternative to consoles. NVIDIA’s GameStream service will now allow for 4K streaming at up to 60 FPS. On top of that, the Steam app is now supported, and gives players direct access to Steam Big Picture. This means that you’ll be able to access supported games in your library and stream them to your living room with pretty solid framerates, on top of playing them at higher resolutions via upscaling.
All of this can be had for $199 USD, which easily edges out the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in terms of pricing.
The intent behind all of this seems pretty clear. NVIDIA is going all-in on being a household name through releasing their own take on the traditional mid-tier home console. The only hurdle it faces is not having the brand recognition of something like a PlayStation or an Xbox, as well as many consumers still associating physical discs with gaming purchases.
Still, NVIDIA’s new product is nothing to sneeze at. As somebody whose PC runs on a GeForce GTX 1080, I can firmly say that the company is no stranger to quality products. If it can uphold its promise of being three times faster than other streaming platforms, the successful GPU manufacturer may have a serious contender on its hands.