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Nvidia announces the new Shield, a 4K Android TV console

Tonight at a press conference scheduled to coincide with GDC 2015, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang annouced the latest addition to its Shield line of products. Called simply "Shield," Nvidia's new device is a set-top box powered by Nvidia's Tegra X1 processor, using Google's Android OS and the search giant's new TV platform, Android TV. Shield supports 4K content encoded with H.265, and can stream local content from Nvidia-powered PCs at 1080p60. Shield also supports the company's game-streaming initiative, Grid.

By using Google's entertainment ecosystem, Shield has access to YouTube and the Google Play store. Using the Shield controller's included microphone or a separately sold remote, Shield also supports Google voice search. Shield has access to Google Play's games store as well, and a specially curated Shield store will feature Android titles specifically tailored for controller inputs. Gearbox Software head Randy Pitchford came on stage to demonstrate an Android-native version of Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, created in collaboration with Nvidia.

Nvidia also demonstrated an Android-native version of Croteam's The Talos Principle, and showed the technological capabilities of Shield by presenting a custom, Android-native version of Doom 3: BFG Edition, a feat Nvidia claims is impossible on any previous or current Android device on the market. Later, Huang brought Crytek founder Cevat Yerli on stage to show off a version of CryEngine 3 and Crysis 3 running on Shield. Nvidia is promising 50 Shield-specific Android-native titles for its store at launch.

Nvidia also announced Grid+, an enhanced version of its cloud service that supports game streams of up to 1080p60. In addition to game purchases using Grid and Grid+, Nvidia is planning to roll out a subscription service allowing access to a library of games for the Shield using Grid's technology.

The new Shield will launch in May of this year for $199.

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