NVIDIA SHIELD TV (2017) Review: Smart Home, 4K HDR, And Game Streaming

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Gaming On NVIDA's Android Nougat-Powered SHIELD TV

Gaming is also a big part of the NVIDIA SHIELD TV. There are multiple ways to game on the device — native Android games downloaded from the Google Play or SHIELD stores, streaming games from a GeForce GTX-equipped PC on the local network, from the newly-added STEAM client, or streaming from NVIDIA’s GeForce Now service.

NVIDIA is works closely with developers to ensure a good experience and a steady flow of new titles. And for the vast majority of titles, NVIDIA isn’t simply plugging them into the store. Profiles are configured to make sure games work well with the wireless controller and NVIDIA has consistently worked to balance image quality and latency when streaming games from GeForce Now.

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With that said, streaming games is not always perfect, because there are lots of variabilities between the SHIELD and streaming servers that can affect the user experience. However, as we’ve said before, NVIDIA seems to offer the best game streaming in the business currently. We streamed a handful of games from GeForce NOW, including graphically-rich, AAA titles like the Witcher 3, and thought the experience was top notch. With twitch-reflex games, occasional lag due to spikes in a latency can detract from the experience, but that is the exception and not the norm.

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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 TV and you can stream it to your HDTV.

We should note that some games from the Google Play store may not be optimized (or compatible) with input from a controller, because they’re designed for touch screens, but that is not an NVIDIA-only issue. Any set top box will have to contend with some issues from titles in the broad library of Google's software store that haven’t been fully qualified.

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NVIDIA does offer the ability to create profiles to map controls in games not already optimized for use with a controller, however, that’s not something every user will want to do. Regardless, the sheer number of ways to get high-quality games up and running on the SHIELD TV easily, is a strong differentiator for NVIDIA's platform, and it's another major plus for the device in our opinion.

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