The Nvidia Shield TV is the pinnacle of what is possible for Game Streaming. It’s a premium device that provides a refined experience. We recently took a look at the Shield TV, and here are our impressions.
It’s all about Polish
“Cloud Gaming” and “Polish” often don’t go together. If you’ve tried a few Cloud Gaming services, you’ve probably found that each has some sort of quirk. Some are hard to setup and others have poor controller support. Almost none of them include a controller-friendly interface.
Nvidia changes all of that with the Shield TV. The goal of the Shield TV is to make Game Streaming as easy as possible. They accomplish this through a slick interface and with some special features.
An example of a special feature is the ability to turn your controller into a mouse for navigating Game launchers. Hold the Start button, and your right analog stick will control the mouse cursor. You’ll also have access to a keyboard overlay that works in any game. It’s features like this that make the Shield TV stand out from the pack.
Many Gaming Options
Gaming is easy on Shield TV. It includes an “Nvidia Games” App that grants you access to several types of Games. You can play optimized Android Games, or you can try one of Nvidia’s streaming technologies.
GameStream allows you to stream your own Games to the Shield TV. These Games can be hosted on your own Gaming PC, or on a Cloud PC (like Paperspace). All you need to do is install the GeForce Experience App on your server, and it will automatically detect and optimize your Game collection.
GeForce Now is Nvidia’s Cloud Gaming service. They power it with their impressive Grid technology. It’s important to point out that GeForce Now on the Shield is different than GeForce Now on a computer. The Shield version is an instant Game collection that you can play for free. All of the titles are included just for being a Shield owner. GeForce Now on a computer is a larger collection of Games that you can play only after purchasing each title.
In addition to Nvidia’s in-house streaming options, you can also enjoy other Cloud Gaming services on the Shield. The Shield TV is based on the Android TV platform. This means that it includes the Google Play Store, and you’re welcome to install any App that is available. It allows you to enjoy Cloud Gaming through Vortex, Moonlight, Parsec, Steam, and LiquidSky. If you’d like to customize things a little more, you can also sideload any Android App that you’d like.
More than just Games
While we are mainly focusing on Gaming features, it’s also worth pointing out that it can do much more. The Shield TV is known for being an impressive Media Center. You can install most of the media streaming apps that you’re accustomed to using (Netflix, Hulu, HBO, etc). It can also act as a custom server for apps like Kodi and Plex. The Shield TV supports USB Storage and can be a hub for your movie collection.
On top of it’s media features, the Shield TV includes Google Assistant. Both the Shield Controller and Shield Remote feature a microphone that enables you to give commands to Google. It’s a bit like having a Google Home built right into the Shield. There’s also an option to use it as a Smart Home Hub for controlling things like your lights and locks.
A Premium Experience
If you’re looking for a way to stream Games to your TV, you could get away with something inexpensive like a Raspberry Pi. The Shield TV is focused on being more than that. It’s not about just providing the bare minimum to make streaming a possibility. Nvidia wants you to have a rich experience. Everything from the Interface to the Apps are designed to make Gaming easy. It also helps that the streaming itself is smooth and reliable.
Overall, we really like the Shield TV and find that we turn to it a lot when it’s time to play Games on the TV. It’s also intuitive enough that inexperienced users can enjoy it as well.
Shield TV is a great way to introduce novices to Cloud Gaming. With that said, it’s also a device that has deep features for those of you that want to do more. You can network it to a computer, and it’s Android roots allow for many customizations.
We’d like to thank Nvidia for providing a unit so that we could test it and share the results with you. If you’d like to purchase your own, you can support Flickstiq by using our Amazon Affiliate Link.
Have you tried the Shield TV? Let us know what you think of it in the comments!
Josh is a long-time Gamer and Technology Guru. He is known for his writing and troubleshooting skills. Josh can solve just about any problem, and is especially good at getting to the bottom of technology challenges. He has a background in Networking and holds a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology degree. When he’s not gaming, Josh can be found blogging, testing new tech, and interacting with Flickstiq’s social media following. He lives in Ohio with his wife and children.