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NVIDIA ushers in age of Ultra HD Android gaming with Shield set-top box

Nvidia has unveiled its Shield set-top box and the device looks set to pack a mighty punch, bringing users games in glorious 4K both locally, and streamed from the company’s GRID subscription service. 

The device is built on Google’s Android TV platform and driven by one of the company’s powerful Tegra X1 SoCs, which sports a 256-bit Maxwell GPU alongside a quad-core 64-bit processor.

We’re hoping that this will give it the necessary chops to punt out 4K visuals at 60 frames per second without breaking a sweat.  Titles like Crysis 3 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel will be available to stream from launch and the company claim over 50 top-end titles will be ready to go when the console launches in the US in May.

As it’s an Android TV device, we should get things like Netflix 4K working on the Shield too. 

Nvidia GRID, the company’s game streaming service, will operate on a subscription basis, a bit like Netflix, letting users pay a monthly fee to stream whatever games they like. At launch there will be titles like Metro: Last Night Redux, GRID 2 and Batman: Arkham Origins available, and new content will be added to the service weekly, giving people plenty of choice.

You’ll need to fork out $199 for the Shield when it goes on sale in May in the US. Nvidia has said that the device will be coming to European shores in the second half of 2015, though there has been no mention of pricing for this side of the Atlantic. 

The box itself will also feature 3GB RAM, 16GB storage, a micro SD slot, IR receiver, gigabit Ethernet and two USB 3.0 slots, as well as a micro USB 2.0. There’s also Bluetooth 4.1 included as well as dual-band WiFi, and the console will support 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound. 

There’s a few days left to go before the Kickstarter window closes for rival Android gaming rig ZRRO to acheive lift off, but whether or not it can go toe to toe with Nvidia’s Android TV box

We’ll bring you more on both the Shield and GRID once we know more.

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