At the weekend, internet code sleuths at XDA developers discovered some references to a new Nvidia Shield TV set-top-box, going by the codename “mdarcy”.
A reference in the Google Play Developer Device Catalogue suggests this means that a new, slightly refreshed version of the Nvidia Shield TV is inbound. It is said to be coming with the same Tegra X1 chipset as the current model, but powered by Android 9 and slightly overclocked to give it more oomph.
In addition, The Digital Fix claims that its sources reveal the new box will also be geared towards Google Stadia cloud gaming – with Nvidia maybe even boasting that it’ll be the best Stadia console around.
There are a couple of discrepancies in the site’s report. It says that a Shield TV without a controller will be sold, to connect to the Stadia controller instead. However, the Stadia controller connects straight to your home Wi-Fi no matter the streaming device and connecting it to the new Shield would actually add latency, so we can’t see that as beneficial.
In addition, The Digital Fix says that the Shield has only streamed games from a local PC in the past, but owners will already know that Nvidia’s own cloud gaming platform, GeForce Now, has been available on the box for years.
Nonetheless, a new Shield TV would definitely make for a great Stadia machine. Indeed, unlike Google’s own Chromecast, it will undoubtedly be getting access to Microsoft’s Project xCloud too. Double the choice.
As for the date of the new hardware, while we also had leaks back in March, where XDA developers spotted codenames for new Nvidia Shield controllers and remotes, we’re still awaiting any suggestion of availability.
And, to be fair, it only seems to be a minor update and refresh of the 2017 version rather than a brand new generational jump to Nvidia Shield 2. Those will existing models, therefore, can also likely look forward to running Stadia and xCloud.
There is some suggestion that the new model will include some tweaks to the chipset that allow it to support better power usage and an enhanced maximum GPU clock speed – meaning more power behind the aging hardware. And, the addition of Android 9 will also help improve the software setup and the performance of Nvidia Shield Experience software as well. But, to be honest, the current Shield was ahead of its time anyway.
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