At its CES 2017 press conference, Nvidia has today also introduced an updated version of its Android-powered Shield TV streaming box. The said device was one of the most popular Android TV devices which enabled users to not only stream content but also play games on a larger screen.

The second iteration of the Shield TV, which is now known as just Shield, has bumped up the specs and added impressive capabilities to the device as well. It brings along support for 4K HDR for viewing both movies and games, something which has been a long time coming. Due to the same, Shield is now said to have three times the performance of any other streaming box available to consumers. You can now access 4K content from Netflix, Google Play Movies, and Vudu. YouTube’s flagship app will also be made available in the coming months.

Speaking on the launch of this updated device, Jen-Hsun Huang, founder and chief executive officer of NVIDIA, says,

SHIELD TV is the world’s most advanced streamer. Its brilliant 4K HDR quality, hallmark NVIDIA gaming performance and broad access to media content will bring families hours of joy. And with SHIELD’s new AI home capability, we can control and interact with content through the magic of artificial intelligence from anywhere in the house.

The most prominent feature introduced to this Android TV-based device is the quirky AI assistant which now resides insides Google’s Pixel smartphones. Yes, the Google Assistant is finally making its way out of Google’s grips and making its way to third-party manufacturers. The said voice assistant had previously only been accessible through the tech behemoth’s own range of phones and its consumer-facing chat app called Allo.

Speaking about the said integration,  Sascha Prueter, director of Android TV at Google, says,

We’re excited to be part of the new SHIELD TV, powered by the Android TV platform. When the Google Assistant comes to Android TV in the coming months, SHIELD users will be able to enjoy a hands-free Android TV experience through ‘Ok Google’ voice commands.

The addition of AI capabilities in the form of Google Assistant to this Android TV device will work in exactly the same way one expects it to. It is aimed at providing a more hands-free experience of streaming entertainment content on your TV. You just need to press a button on a remote for “finding content, pausing, fast-forwarding or rewinding.” The same will also be displayed as well as spoken out by the assistant at the same instant.

Nvidia is also releasing a companion microphone accessory called ‘Nvidia Spot’ for the Shield. This is more synonymous to Google Home or Amazon Echo and is aimed at providing a central backbone for intelligent control throughout your house. It will sold at $49.99.

The Shield streaming device will now be available with both a remote and game controller which will cost you $199.99. It is expected to start shipping to customers by the end of this month. Existing Shield TV devices will get the new features through a software update delivered this month itself.

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