Nvidia just showed off its new Shield TV set-top box. The successor to the “world’s most powerful streamer” adds expanded support for 4K HDR, as well as Google Assistant.
Over the last year, we’ve seen 4K come to a number of streaming boxes—think the Roku Ultra and the Chromecast Ultra—but those only stream 4K content. The new Nvidia Shield supports 4K for video and games. And its HDR support is notable because it will work with Netflix, Google Play, and Amazon Video.
But the real distinguishing feature between the new Shield and last year’s model is the inclusion of support for Google Assistant. Google Assistant is Google’s answer to Siri and Amazon Alexa. So far, we’ve seen Google Assistant on the Google Pixel smartphone and the Google Home speaker, but we haven’t seen third-parties get access to the technology. Part of what has given Amazon such a big lead with Alexa are the number of third-party devices with Alexa baked in, so it’s good to see Google proactively licensing its tech to its partners.
Nvidia will also sell a little microphone/speaker that sticks to your wall called the Nvidia Spot to expand its Google Assistant support. Think of it as like a miniature Amazon Alexa. You can have multiple Spots in your house and they connect to your Shield to process the assistance commands.
The new Nvidia Shield will sell for $199—the same price as the existing Shield—when it becomes available later this month.