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7 things we'd like to see on new NVIDIA Shield TV
We’ve known for months now that a new NVIDIA Shield TV device is in the works, owing to references in code and regulatory filings. The latest filing, via Bluetooth SIG, doesn’t give us much information, but it certainly serves as more proof that it’s coming.
How could NVIDIA improve the console? Here are a few things we’d like to see on the new NVIDIA Shield TV.
Better wireless connectivity
The new machine’s Bluetooth SIG filing lists Bluetooth 5 support, which would be an improvement over the previous model. This should result in faster pairing, less latency, and a wider range.
We’d also like to see Wi-Fi 6 make an appearance here, as it could make in-home game streaming a more pleasant experience. Wi-Fi 6 enables faster speeds and lower latency compared to legacy standards, which means there should be less lag when streaming games from your PC or over the internet.
Better button-mapping support
One of the biggest downsides to the NVIDIA Shield TV is that button mapping for touch-only games isn’t available. This is a complex feature though, so we totally understand why it isn’t available yet. But it would be great to be able to map virtual buttons and swipes to real buttons and other input methods, as it would enable more games to work on the machine.
A Nintendo Switch-style form factor
The chances of this happening are slim, as NVIDIA likely wouldn’t want to step on customer Nintendo’s toes by offering a direct competitor to the Switch.
Still, a new NVIDIA Shield TV that’s actually a Shield Tablet would be a great move for gamers. This way, you could attach a gamepad to the tablet when on the go, and dock the tablet to your TV for the big screen experience.
NVIDIA is rumored to be using the same, smaller Tegra X1 processor as the Nintendo Switch. A smaller process results in less heat and better battery life — two important factors for mobile gaming.
More PC and console ports
The NVIDIA Shield family plays host to several neat PC and console ports right now, and you can’t officially play these games on other Android devices.
The list of exclusive titles has a few classic big-hitters, including Half Life 2, Portal 2, Metal Gear Rising, Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3, Doom 3: BFG Edition, and Tomb Raider.
We haven’t seen much in the way of new games in a while, and the company’s website doesn’t seem to have the correct game listings. It’s understandable that NVIDIA might want to focus on cloud gaming instead, but the ability to play full-fledged console/PC ports means you don’t need an internet connection, a powerful gaming PC, or servers to be located close to you. If NVIDIA were to opt for a Switch-style design, that means you’d be able to play these games while on the plane.
Google Stadia support
Google Stadia is one of the most eagerly anticipated services in a while, representing Google’s foray into the game streaming business. The company has already confirmed that Stadia is coming to Android TV down the line, which hopefully means the new NVIDIA Shield TV is a lock for the service. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if this device launches alongside Stadia later this year.
It seems like a perfect match too, owing to the Shield’s comprehensive support for game streaming anyway. If confirmed, it would mean you can run Google Stadia, Steam Link, GeForce Now, and several other streaming services on the Shield TV.
Also read: The full list of Google Stadia games
A remote with headphone jack
The original Shield TV model offered a remote with a 3.5mm port, making it easy to listen via earphones in case you don’t want to wake up anyone in the middle of the night. Unfortunately, the 2017 model’s remote didn’t come with a headphone jack (although the controller has one).
Bluetooth support is always welcomed, but the revival of the 3.5mm port in the remote would be another great option. After all, wired earphones don’t require charging.
MicroSD support on the regular model
In a rather weird twist, the 2017 NVIDIA Shield TV Pro model packed a microSD card slot while the regular model didn’t. We say it’s weird, because the Pro model packed 500GB of internal storage, while the regular version only offers 16GB of storage.
It’s possible to use USB 3.0 storage on both models, but microSD cards are one of the most widespread ways to expand storage too. Best of all, opting for a microSD card means you’re freeing up one of your USB ports for other peripherals.
Are there any other tweaks and additions you’d like to see on the new NVIDIA Shield TV?