We expected Google to use this year’s I/O conference as a launch ramp for a new Nexus Player or Chromecast (or maybe both), but what we didn’t realize was the search giant’s digital media streaming software already found its way inside the perfect hardware.
Of course, the Shield Android TV, aka Shield Console, aka just Shield isn’t technically a Google-branded product. Yet it was so aggressively hyped during I/O 2015’s opening day to developers and members of the press, it definitely felt like family.
Formally introduced a couple of months ago for the first time by its manufacturers, the Shield can now be purchased via Nvidia’s online store, [easyazon-link asin=”B00U33Q940″ locale=”us”]Amazon[/easyazon-link] or Best Buy. As anticipated, it starts at $199.99 with a bundled gaming controller, and the Pro variant costs $299.99.
The main difference between the two? The latter is any digital hoarder’s wet dream, featuring 500 GB of internal storage space, whereas the former merely accommodates 16 gigs of data. Obviously, they’re both leaps and bounds ahead of the cheaper [easyazon-link asin=”B00S8U5A7W” locale=”us”]Nexus Player[/easyazon-link], [easyazon-link asin=”B00DR0PDNE” locale=”us”]Chromecast[/easyazon-link], [easyazon-link asin=”B00PWDZQP4″ locale=”us”]Apple TV[/easyazon-link] or [easyazon-link asin=”B00GDQ0RMG” locale=”us”]Amazon Fire TV Stick[/easyazon-link] in terms of capabilities, combining the standard functions of a set-top box with the advanced gaming tech of microconsoles.
You can beam movies and shows to your large-screen living room TV, including in 4K quality, and play a host of Android and PC games at the flick of a switch. For a limited time, the Shield and Shield Pro are sold with free $60 worth of Google Play credit and services, and additional accessories go for $29.99 (stands), $49.99 (voice search-enabled remote control), and $59.99 (gaming controllers).
Via [Nvidia Blog]