Category Archives: News

New FAQ, OTA imminent, reminder about ROOT …

Good morning everyone.

The OTA update for Shield TV OG to bring it to OS parity with the New Shield TV 2017 model is imminent.  Be on the look out!

With that, we want to remind everyone that as of the time of writing, there is no way to root a Shield TV running Android 7.x (aka Nougat).  Based on posts on XDA and elsewhere, we believe root IS just around the corner – but if you have daily needs on root access, you may want to hold off a few days.

Finally, we’ve started our FAQ section for Shield TV 2017 – so if you have any issues or growing pains, we may have some help for you there!

Long live Shield!

No Man’s Sky, The Witness now available!

Whether you’re a brand new Shield TV owner or a proud owner of an Original Shield TV, you have two new games available for your little black box.

In The Witness, you wake up, alone, on a strange island full of puzzles that will challenge and surprise you.

You don’t remember who you are, and you don’t remember how you got here, but there’s one thing you can do: explore the island in hope of discovering clues, regaining your memory, and somehow finding your way home.

The Witness is a single-player game in an open world with dozens of locations to explore and TONS of puzzles. This game respects you as an intelligent player and it treats your time as precious. There’s no filler; each of those puzzles brings its own new idea into the mix. So, this is a game full of ideas.

The Witness is available from the Google Play store for $19.99 ($20 off the Steam price).  Get it on Google Play, check it out more on Steam.

Inspired by the adventure and imagination that we love from classic science-fiction, No Man’s Sky presents you with a galaxy to explore, filled with unique planets and life forms, and constant danger and action.

In No Man’s Sky, every star is the light of a distant sun, each orbited by planets filled with life, and you can go to any of them you choose. Fly smoothly from deep space to planetary surfaces, with no loading screens, and no limits. In this infinite procedurally generated universe, you’ll discover places and creatures that no other players have seen before – and perhaps never will again.

No Man’s Sky is available for $59.99 on GeForce NOW and includes a digital key for Steam.  Check it out at NVidia or on Steam.

New Shield TV hits the streets Monday!

Just a reminder that NVidia cool new 40% smaller Shield TV (complete with hot new controller AND remote) start shipping on Monday and Amazon is taking pre-orders!  We’ve included some affiliate links to Amazon if you’re looking to buy (helps throw a couple bucks to the site).

We’ll have an unboxing, hands on and more once ours arrives!

If you plan to use “active listening” with Google Assistant – and you have the Original “OG” Shield TV, you’ll need the new controller or the NVidia Spot.

 

Confused about the NEW accessories and Google Assistant compatibility with original Shield TV? We have answers.

I thought this would be worthy of its own post.  There is some confusion about compatibility and features regarding Google Assistant and the new accessories.  I reached out to NVidia for answers.

Is There More Than One Shield Remote?

Yes.  There are two Shield Remotes.

The existing Shield Remote (Remote OG) remains in circulation.  When you purchase a Shield Remote from NVidia, Amazon, et al – you will be purchasing the Remote OG.  The NEW Shield TV Pro will come with the Remote OG.

The New Remote is ONLY available with the purchase of a NEW Shield TV 16GB unit.  This New Remote has the following changes:

  • It is not rechargable (uses CR type coin batteries – reputed to last one year)
  • There is no headset jack for private listening (use the Shield Controller for that)
  • IR Blaster for controlling TV Power
  • Passive Mic (you need to push the button before speaking to it; it cannot be used as an Active listening device)

Neither Remote (OG or New) are required to use Google Assistant (a feature which won’t be around for a few months anyway).

What Do I Need For Active Listening (Google Assistant)?

You will need the New Shield Controller to perform active listening.  Active listening means you do NOT need to push a button or otherwise touch anything; Google Assistant will hear you.  The Shield Controller OG (original) cannot be used for active listening.  Neither Shield Remote OG nor New Shield Remote can be used for active listening.

Bottom line: If you want active listening – you will need the NEW Shield Controller.  Or one of the new NVidia Spot listening devices coming soon.

Will Google Assistant Work Entirely With Original Shield TV hardware (16GB or Pro)?

Yes – passively.  That means you’ll have to press a button before you speak.  If you want active listening, you’ll need the NEW Shield Controller (or the NVidia Spot listening devices announced at CES 2017).

UPDATED: The New Shield TV: Unraveling the Secrets

This article was updated on 1/8/2017.  New info in italics.

While press releases are flying around the internet and NVidia discussed it briefly on their CES keynote – I’ve been doing some digging trying to uncover the answers to the question we all have: What ARE the secrets of the new Shield TV that weren’t revealed?

I’ve tapped all my resources and I have found some information that loyal Shield users will want to know.  I’ll update this page as I get more info.

Will I need the new Shield TV if I already own the Shield TV OG (original)?

Right now, the answer appears to be “no”.  Spec-wise, there appears to be nothing worthy of an upgrade.  Now, manufacturing improvements may offer some advantage – but what’s under the hood seems to be the same.  That is NOT true of the controller which really appears to be the biggest change of the group.  Fortunately, that is available separately.  Since it is Bluetooth and the Shield TV OG and the new Shield TV should be sharing the same version of the OS?  There should be no issues simply adding the new controller to your existing Shield TV system.

Both new Shield TV skus ship with both CONTROLLER and REMOTE.

Bad news: It appears that the new Shield TV sku is without microSD slot.  Let’s hope a phat 128GB USB3.0 flash drive will do the trick.  Trying to find out if the Pro sku still has it.

What’s new about the controller other than the visual appearance?

Aside from aesthetics, the controller is now Bluetooth.  It also has dual vibration feedback (a much welcomed addition).  According to the spec sheet, it also includes an IR blaster to allow you to control TV volume and power.  All in all, it sounds like the new controller kicks butt and we should all start budgeting for one.

It has also come to my attention that you’ll need either the new Controller or Remote to use Google Assistant.

The volume control is now the touch area in the middle of the controller – much like the Remote.

What about the Shield Remote?

The spec sheets on the Remote seem to indicate that other than being Bluetooth now, much is unchanged.  However, one of the spec sheets says that it has IR Blaster capabilities (Shield TV) and one spec sheet doesn’t mention it (Shield TV Pro).  The press release mentioned the remote for both Shield TV skus, but only mentioned a headphone jack when talking about the Pro unit.  My guess is that there is only ONE Shield Remote that works on BOTH machines – and that it has IR Blaster and headphone jacks regardless of whether you go standard or Pro.

This is an area of confusion.  Apparently the one that comes with the new Shield TV is no longer rechargable (uses coin type batteries – but supposedly lasts a year) and supposedly does NOT have a headphone jack.  The one you buy over the counter (or possibly with the Pro) might be the “full version” we’ve previously seen.

Is Amazon Video finally coming to Android?

We don’t know about “Android” overall, but yes – Amazon Video in 4k will be available on Shield TV.  Finally.

What do we know about Shield TV Pro?

Other than the Pro version looks to be the same size as the old Shield TV Pro (The new Shield TV 16GB version definitely looks smaller in both pictures and video) and that the Pro version has 500GB of storage – we don’t have much.  We do not know yet if the hard drive inside is still the proprietary hybrid type drive we’ve all grown to love – or if this has been changed.  Time will tell.  The price wasn’t announced, but shows on the website as $299 – same as before.  It appears that this sku will be shipping later than the 16GB sku.

I’m hoping it retains the microSD card slot.

What about NVidia Spot?  How does that fit in?

Spot is a little device that plugs into power outlets in various rooms of your house that extend the natural voice control of Shield’s new Google Assistant.  I’m guessing it works over WiFi, so I see no reason to believe that Shield TV OG skus will be excluded from supporting them.  Old or new, your Shield TV should handle communications with Spot.

Voice recognition was already part of Shield TV.  What makes Google Assistant different?

While the original Shield TV voice recognition was about SEARCH, Google Assistant is about CONTROL.  It is part of the “home automation” arm of Shield TV.  Integrating with Nest, Hue and other existing home automation products, Google Assistant via Shield TV will let you control THOSE devices as well as extend the “powers” of the voice recognition – allowing you to leverage more features via commands within the OS.

Whoa!  What is with the Steam app icon that appears in the Shield TV demo video released?

We try not to miss a thing around here.  While we don’t have definitive information about it, it sounds like NVidia has worked with Valve to bring “Steam Big Picture” to Shield TV in much a similar way that SteamLink works.  This was briefly mentioned but not expanded upon.  The other possibility is that it works with the new GeForce NOW PC service – which is essentially ‘Steam in the Cloud’.  We’ll have more on that as we get it.

Based on more information released, this sounds like exactly what it is

NVIDIA Launches New SHIELD TV, The Most Advanced Streamer

NVIDIA today unveiled the new NVIDIA® SHIELD™ TV – an Android TV open-platform media streamer built on bleeding-edge visual computing technology that delivers unmatched experiences in streaming, gaming and AI.

Sporting a sleek, new design and now shipping with both a remote and a game controller, SHIELD provides the best, most complete entertainment experience in the living room.

“NVIDIA’s rich heritage in visual computing and deep learning has enabled us to create this revolutionary device,” said Jen-Hsun Huang, founder and chief executive officer of NVIDIA, who revealed SHIELD during his opening keynote address at CES.

“SHIELD TV is the world’s most advanced streamer. Its brilliant 4K HDR quality, hallmark NVIDIA gaming performance and broad access to media content will bring families hours of joy. And with SHIELD’s new AI home capability, we can control and interact with content through the magic of artificial intelligence from anywhere in the house,” he said.

Highest Performance, 4K HDR Media Streamer

The new SHIELD delivers the richest visual experience with support for 4K HDR and 3x the performance of any other streamer on the market. With the addition of Amazon Video in 4K HDR, SHIELD offers the largest, most open catalog of media in stunning 4K – also supporting Netflix, YouTube, Google Play Movies(1) and VUDU.

YouTube’s flagship TV app will also be available for SHIELD in the coming months, delivering immersive, 360-degree viewing experiences.

Amazing Games

SHIELD TV stands alone among media streamers, with the widest range of gaming capabilities and richest assortment of game content. Its library of games has been expanded to thousands of titles, with the ability coming soon to stream Ubisoft’s catalog of hits, including Watch Dogs 2, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, For Honor and countless others. New Ubisoft games will also be available, simultaneous with their PC release.

SHIELD continues to add hit franchises to the platform natively. Upcoming games include The Witness, Tomb Raider and Shadowgun Legends.

AI in the Home

In the coming months, SHIELD TV will be expanded with a series of AI capabilities that transforms home entertainment:

  • First hands-free Google Assistant integration on TV. Google has optimized the Assistant experience on TV by having the home’s largest screen show visual answers in addition to an audio reply. Use voice commands to replace clicking a remote for finding content, pausing, fast-forwarding or rewinding. Plus, your Google Assistant can help better find content and answer questions.
  • SmartThings Hub technology integration, instantly turning SHIELD into a smart home hub that can connect to hundreds of smart home devices.
  • NVIDIA SPOT™, an AI mic accessory that makes SHIELD the central backbone of the AI home, extending intelligent control throughout the house.

Support for SHIELD

“We’re excited to be part of the new SHIELD TV, powered by the Android TV platform,” said Sascha Prueter, director of Android TV at Google. “When the Google Assistant comes to Android TV in the coming months, SHIELD users will be able to enjoy a hands-free Android TV experience through ‘Ok Google’ voice commands.”

Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies, said, “By seamlessly integrating great gaming, rich media content and AI, NVIDIA has established a whole new standard for streamers. With its broad mix of services and immaculate execution, SHIELD represents the future of home entertainment.”

Pricing and Availability

SHIELD TV is available for pre-order now and will ship in the United States, Canada and select European regions in January for $199.99, including controller and remote. SHIELD Pro will be available later this month with controller, remote with headset jack and 500GB of storage. A separate version of SHIELD, with custom software optimized for China, will be available later this year. The NVIDIA SPOT mic accessory for SHIELD will sell for $49.99.

Features announced for the new SHIELD TV will come to current SHIELD devices through an over-the-air software upgrade, available in January.

 

New Shield Android TV Announced, NVidia Spot + Google Assistant

NVidia announced today that a new Shield TV would be available later this month for $199.  While no specs were discussed, the early press photos appear to be completely genuine.

The Shield TV does appear smaller and has some new features.

  • Full 4K + HDR
  • 4K Content from Netflix, Hulu, Google Play
  • FULL 4K SUPPORT FOR AMAZON VIDEO!  YES!
  • Fully integrated Google Assistant
  • NVidia Spot Compatibility

NVidia Spot is a tiny peripheral you plug into rooms in your home that connect seamlessly to Shield TV.  This brings natural speaking voice commands to Google Assistant on Shield TV from anywhere in your house.  It can tell where you are in the home and act accordingly.

Specs and more should be leaking out slowing in the next 24 hours.  Keep an eye here on NVidia Shield Zone for more information.

 

NVidia at CES 2017: Shield? VR?

Tonight NVidia will do a keynote for the Consumer Electronic Show at 6:30pm PST.  They released this trailer.

We see some VR action going on but no company logos are visible on the headset – nor are any wires visible.  Could we be getting NVidia’s own wireless Gamestream technology?  Could the Shield brand be adding VR to its stable?

GeForce NOW technology is hinted along with a brief look at a guy playing Mad Max presumably on a smaller NVidia Shield TV (but using the old controller?).  We may get our answers tonight.

We’ll have our thoughts here after the presentation.

Shield Holiday Game Sale is in full swing

Ready for some great gaming deals?  Whether you’re into streaming games or native Android titles, NVidia has you covered.

Which sale games do we play over here at NVidia Shield Zone?  Our recommendations:

Native Android: Pix the Cat, GoNNER, Chariot, Family Guy and Walking Dead Pinball

GeForce NOW: The Witcher 3 (we called it the best game in 20 years; we even made a music video), Sacred 3 and Dead Light.

Read scroll down to see what else is on offer.

Native Android Titles

GoNNER released for Shield Android TV

Following a successful launch on Steam, GoNNER comes to Android – exclusively on Shield Android TV.  Available now at at the sale price of $6.69 (33% off the regular price of $9.99).  Watch our 10 minute video then click the link below to get your copy now!

GoNNER is a tough as hell score-based procedurally-generated platformer with roguelike elements. GoNNER is also a story about friendship between Ikk, Death, and a space whale named Sally.

You will die. A lot. This is by design, but it’s not made to feel unfair. You’ll eventually get the hang of GoNNER, so don’t lose your head. But even if you do it’s okay cause we have a lot of replacement heads you can use.

  • DAILY CHALLENGES! Only playable once a day. Levels are randomly generated but in this mode everybody plays the same world and use an identical loadout. Everything resets at midnight (Swedish time, UTC+1). Can you crush your leaderboard foes?
  • PROCEDURALLY GENERATED! Every time you play the game the levels will be different and present unique challenges and opportunities.
  • UNLOCKS! You’ll be able to choose from a variety of passive and active abilities at the beginning of each run so be sure to experiment with all of them and find the play style that best suits you.
  • SECRETS! Secret areas exist in the world of GoNNER, and these areas will get you different items that you can then always use from the beginning of each run. We’re not going to tell you how you get to these areas or what the criteria is for even finding them because secrets, duh.
  • LEADERBOARDS! Kill creatures, get combos, score points, and brag to your friends how much better you are than them.
  • MUSIC! It’s really freaking good.

Good luck.

Google Play | NVidia | Steam