If you’ve been following the Kodi hardware scene you’ve likely seen a lot of buzz about the Nvidia Shield. Originally designed as an Android based console it’s taken off as a high end Kodi device, even being referred to as an HTPC killer. It’s small, quiet, and has low power consumption, but has some some absolutely beastly processing power thanks to it’s Tegra X1 SoC. Saying it’s faster or more feature rich than the average Android Box is like saying a Ferrari out performs a Honda Civic. There’s no comparison.
The Ferrari comparison is even more apt when you look it. This is a powerful appliance in a seriously attractive form factor.
I also want to touch very briefly on the controller. . The build quality is top notch and feels solid in your hand. The controller includes a headphone jack and micro USB port for charging. It’s really, really fanatic for games and fairly passable as a Kodi remote. This is a quality controller. You of course have the option of a traditional mouse and keyboard or your own remote.
Why am I mentioning games? Because it has two KILLER features that set it apart from any Android box regardless of their performance, and they are both game related. It’s also my main interest in the shield and why I wanted to do this post.
We’ve previously discussed Steam’s In-Home Streaming. Nvidia’s shield offers a similar although somewhat more limited offering. Your gaming PC will need to have an Nvidia graphics card, and not every game is support, but the library is decent. At the time of this article over 200 hundred games are supported, some of them not on Steam either. It’s a solid feature that no other android box has.
Another game oriented feature unique to the shield is Nvidia GameStream. Nvidia GameStream is essentially Netflix for games. The service allows you to Stream entire PC games from the Net to your Shield the same way you can stream netflix to your tablet. It’s veyr similar to In-home Streaming except instead of your PC doing the wokr it’s Nvidia’s data center. There will eventually be a charge for the service but it’s currently free until the end of September 2015. No costs have been announced as of yet. If you;re interested in this service it’s highly suggested you have a 5 GHZ router and at least a 10Mps connection.