NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV Reviewed: Gaming And The Ultimate 4K Streamer

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Gaming On SHIELD

The SHIELD Android TV is also about gaming. There are multiple ways to game on the SHIELD — native games downloaded from the Google Play store, streaming games from a local GeForce GTX-equipped PC, or streaming from NVIDIA’s GRID service. The horsepower and accessories make the SHIELD Android TV well suited to all three, but there are some caveats.

Doom 3 BFG Edition On The SHIELD Android TV
Doom 3 BFG Edition On The SHIELD Android TV

There are a number of impressive looking native titles coming to the SHIELD, that are due to be released sometime this summer, like Doom 3 BFG Edition, Borderlands The Pre-Sequel, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, and a number of others. NVIDIA is working closely with these developers to ensure a good experience, so we expect titles like these to really showcase the SHIELD when they become available.

NVIDIA Has Consistently Added New, AAA-Titles To Its GRID Service
NVIDIA Has Consistently Added New, AAA-Titles To Its GRID Service

Games that NVIDIA has already optimized for its GRID streaming service also worked very well. GRID is not perfect, because there are lots of things between the SHIELD and NVIDIA’s GRID servers that can affect the user experience, but it is the best game streaming service out there in our opinion. NVIDIA is constantly adding new titles to GRID and for now it’s still free to access. NVIDIA has also done a good job to ensure that games on GRID are optimized well to work with the SHIELD Wireless Controller. We streamed a handful of games from GRID and thought the experience was quite good. NVIDIA has a real differentiator with GRID if it can get the PC gaming crowd on board.
Borderlands The Pre-Sequel
Borderlands The Pre-Sequel

Streaming to the SHIELD via a GeForce GTX-equipped PC works just it does on the SHIELD Tablet or Portable. If you’ve got the GeForce Experience app installed and configured properly, your library will show up on the SHIELD Android TV and you can stream it to your big screen in the living room.

In all of the above scenarios, the SHIELD Android TV stands apart from other set-top boxes. However, with many of the games from the Google Play store that are not optimized (or compatible) with input from a controller, things can get awkward. Whether it’s simple things like a prompt to “touch the screen to continue” or bigger annoyances like controls that aren’t properly mapped, not every game is going to give users a good experience. Of course, this isn’t NVIDIA’s fault and while the company is investing tons of resources for featured titles that work very well, it’s something users should be aware of.

Keyboard And Mouse Overlay In Batman Arkham Asylum
Keyboard And Mouse Overlay In Batman Arkham Asylum

NVIDIA does offer the ability to create profiles to map controls in games not already optimized for use with a controller, but that’s not something every user will want to contend with.

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