Nvidia X1 “set top” box/gaming console – News

Shield Green LED

Yesterday at GDC 2015 (Game Developer Conference), Nvidia announced a device they say will hit the market in May this year.  They called the device the Nvidia Shield X1.  This gaming console as insinuated from the title will house the bleeding edge Nvidia X1 chip.  This is an Android TV device like the Amazon Fire TV (though the Fire OS is running front end) and also the Nexus player. What sets this apart from the rest of the competition is the promise of delivering 4K content from movies and TV shows.

I am a big fan of the Nvidia products.  I have owned many of theirOriginal Shield products from the original Nvidia Shield to the newest line of their tablets housing the K1 processor.  They do make quality products and from the looks of it, the quality and pizzazz continues with this new announcement.  Ever since the beginning, each of the “Shield” products have offered a “console” mode in which if plugged into an HDMI port you could play the content on your big screen.  I have tried this a few times and found the experience to be lacking and lagging in frame rate. I believe this stems from more of the problems with wireless AC networking rather than the device(s) themselves.  The Nvidia X1 Android TV,  has a built in gigabit ethernet port which nips this issue in the bud.  I always recommend ethernet over wireless.  I am happy to see they have this option built into this box.  Nvidia Back

As you can see, this new device has HDMI, Micro USB (I assume for power), two USB 3.0 ports and a micro SD card slot for expanded storage.  I do like the options provided, the Nexus Player is lacking the ethernet port and thus relies on the inconsistency of wireless technology.  This is one of the many things I love about my Amazon Fire TV is the built in ethernet port.

I’ve discussed the similarities between the X1 and other Android devices.  What sets this machine apart from the rest is the claim to run hit titles such as Crisis 3 natively and also able to stream it from your gaming PC.  While this is great and all I don’t see much value in it and here is why;  1) If your gaming PC is on, why not just use that to game on rather than another device 2) If you do own the game and want to play it natively on the X1 then you’ll have to re-purchase that same game you already have bought on the PC through the Nvidia or Google Store.  I saw this with Trine 2 which they touted would run natively on their tablet.  While it did…it required a re-purchase of the same content I already had purchased for my PC.  I think this is foolish and if there was a way for it to play natively and already see your game purchase library and not make you buy it again for that specific “set-top”  I’d be all in…I don’t see this happening anytime soon though…everyone is too greedy and money hungry.

Capture

Nvidia has taken a shot at Microsoft (Xbox) and Sony (Playstation) releasing this console, I mean “Set-Top.”  If you call it a gaming console they get upset!  This is a disc-less set-top Android TV box that comes with a controller for the 200 dollar price tag.  Apparently the “Shield Remote” will be sold separately at around 40 dollars.  I do like the Nvidia cloud gaming GRID as it provides high end gaming to people that can only afford a tablet or an Android TV.  HOWEVER, they are taking away the FREE price tag and making it a subscription base.  I HATE SUBSCRIPTIONS!  KEEP IT FREE!  I don’t like that they have done this, I do not believe the subscription is worth it for a hand full of gaming titles they are consistently updating. You better hope that your internet connection is superb to keep from lagging cloud gaming and missing the button mash at the exact moment when it is needed.

It is for these reasons I would stay away from this product and go with something else that already does all of this.  While GRID gaming is absent as well as 4K content from Amazon Fire TV it already streams your games from your gaming PC using the app called Limelight.  It doesn’t look as fancy as Nvidia’s X1 but I’m more about functionality rather than good looks, hence the reason I’m an Android user and fan. Don’t get me wrong, I love Nvidia, my Shield Tablet and my Nvidia graphics cards…but…I think this is a step in the wrong direction with all of these flaws as pointed out.

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