Updated: Nvidia Shield TV refresh is in the works with a new controller, better performance and possible Stadia supportPlatforms: Android | Google Stadia
Nvidia are reported to be working on a modestly refreshed version of their Shield TV console. The Android TV powered device has a solid following and offers one of the best Android TV experiences being placed as both a respectable streaming device AND a big-screen Android-powered gaming platform.
The news that a new version of the console is being worked on is no huge surprise, but it'll generally not be a huge jump up from the current model, which itself was a refresh. We're expecting similar options in terms of storage but the central Tegra X1 CPU will run at a higher clock speed meaning there will be a performance boost. The new Shield TV will also be certified for the latest version of Android TV (based on Android 9.0 Pie) - it may well be that previous versions of the console will not support the most up-to-date Android iteration. It should be noted however that this is by no means anything near a new generation of the console.
What is interesting is that one person we've spoken to has told us that this is being developed to launch later this year and that Nvidia are eyeing up Google's Stadia as a source of new owners. The idea being that Nvidia will offer both the Stadia streaming experience alongside the gaming and TV streaming options that the current Shield TV offers. The new Shield TV will also feature a more streamlined controller and more advanced remote. A new controller would make a lot of sense - the existing Shield controller works well enough but it's not the most ergonomic of gaming peripherals.
Similarly, we hear that there will be a controller-free model for those who already have a Stadia controller connected to their home wifi. Our contact suggests that Nvidia are going to position the new Nvidia Shield TV as your central Stadia supporting entertainment hub as they plan to offer both all of the streaming functionality of a Chromecast Ultra with the full set-top box Android TV interface.
The Nvidia Shield TV has offered streamed gaming for a while using both Nvidia's cloud gaming service GeForce NOW or by your gaming PC as a source via Steam, so it's extremely logical for Nvidia to look to both embrace and capitalise on all of the Stadia talk even if it does eat into the GeForce NOW market share. We're expecting more info to come soon - if Nvidia can bring on board a few more TV streaming partners they could well end up creating a real alternative platform for those who would rather stream their games than own them.