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NVIDIA’s new Shield just became the best streaming box you can buy

Published Jan 5th, 2017 10:58AM EST
nvidia shield

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NVIDIA just quietly revealed an all new version of its Shield streaming box that includes some really fantastic upgrades. The new Shield looks identical to its predecessor, with an angular body and rectangular footprint, and it’s powered by the same Tegra X1 chip that gave life to the “old” shield, but it’s a more capable device overall. The new gadget features full 4K streaming support for all the big streaming services as well as 4K PC-to-TV game streaming.

While Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku and the rest of the streaming heavyweights battle it out for living room dominance, NVIDIA has been playing the long game with its Shield box. It does much of what the others do since it’s powered by Android, but it also streams games from a PC to anywhere else in the home.

Along with the 4K support, NVIDIA added Google Assistant, which can be used via voice command to launch shows from Netflix and elsewhere, as well as perform searches and deliver news, weather, and the like. Assistant will also work with NVIDIA’s all-new “Spot” accessory.

The Spot is basically a smart microphone that you plug into any outlet, and it syncs with the Shield to provide Assistant functions in additional rooms. It’s a surprisingly awesome whole-house AI solution, and it’s not from Apple, Samsung, or Amazon, which makes it all the more shocking.

You can order the new version of the Shield right now for $199, but the Spot add-ons aren’t quite ready for retail just yet. NVIDIA says it’ll announce pricing and availability soon, however.