New cord cutters and media lovers alike are always on the lookout for a great set-top box for streaming. A common recommendation is to pick up either the PS4 or the XBox One. After all, they provide an excellent platform for streaming and also allow you to play the newest games. However, if you aren’t an avid gamer, the investment into a gaming console may not be the best choice. The Nvidia Shield provides an excellent “meet in the middle” option between under-powered streaming boxes and game consoles and is often overlooked.
We recently reviewed the Nvidia Shield TV and were very impressed with it. In recent years, the Nvidia Shield has undergone a makeover that brought huge improvements. With the newest version of the device, Nvidia boasts a 40% reduction in size, the integration of new features like Google Assistant, and the inclusion of the Amazon Instant Video app for the first time in the history of Android TV devices. These are just a few of the many reasons why the Nvidia Shield has become one of the most recommended set-top boxes on the market today.
Let’s examine how the Nvidia Shield stacks up against the most popular gaming consoles as a streaming device and all around media center.
Nvidia Shield vs PS4 Streaming
Let’s compare the Nvidia Shield vs PS4 in terms of streaming features. When comparing the Nvidia Shield vs PS4 streaming capabilities, it is important to remember that the PS4 has not placed the same importance on streaming as the Nvidia Shield and XBox One. While the XBox One is a media platform first and foremost, the PS4 is more tailored to gamers. For that reason, gamers may find the PS4 to be a better choice. With that said, the PS4 is still an excellent streaming device, although there are some reasons why the Nvidia Shield surpasses it.
Important Nvidia Shield vs PS4 Streaming Notes
- The Nvidia Shield offers Sling TV, the PS4 does not. Because Sony offers their own live television service in the PlayStation Vue, they do not support other similar services. Unfortunately, this means that the PS4 is unlikely to ever offer the Sling TV streaming app. For Sling users, the PS4 may not be the best choice.
- Both offer 4K streaming. If you have a 4K streaming and want to ensure that you are watching your favorite media in the highest possible quality, both the Nvidia shield and PS4 are excellent choices. Both offer full 4K streaming, although you may have to sign up for premium subscriptions with providers to unlock it.
Nvidia Shield vs XBox One Streaming
Microsoft has placed a lot of importance on using the XBox One as an all-around media center rather than a gaming-centric platform. For this reason, you can expect the XBox One to receive streaming and media updates a bit more frequently than the PS4, albeit still less than streaming boxes like the Nvidia Shield. The XBox One is still an excellent streaming device, offering full 4K streaming, as well as a built-in 4K Bluray player. Like the PS4, there are still a few things that cord cutters should know before spending the extra money on the XBox One.
Nvidia Shield vs XBox One Streaming Notes
- The Nvidia Shield offers PlayStation Vue, the XBox One does not. In the same way that Sony does not include Sling TV access on their platform because of competition, the XBox One does the same with PlayStation Vue. While Microsoft does not currently offer their own live TV streaming solution, they clearly do not want to promote a service offered by a rival game console.
- Both offer 4K streaming. Both the Nvidia Shield and the XBox One offer 4K streaming. The XBox One also comes with a 4K Blueray player.
- The Nvidia Shield does not support 3D. While the XBox does support 3D, the functionality is not currently available with the NVidia Shield.
How is the NVidia As a Game Console?
Although the Nvidia Shield offers significantly less power than both the PS4 and XBox One, it is a good middle ground between typical set-top streaming boxes and game consoles. The device is essentially an NVidia game console and is powerful enough to play all of the games in the Android game library. Additionally, the device allows users to stream PC games directly to their TV using their Nvidia Shield gaming controller. If you already have a large library of PC games, the Nvidia Shield is an excellent investment. While the Shield may not be the best game console 2017 has to offer, it is an excellent choice for casual gamers that play sparingly. For more hardcore gamers, a gaming console may be the better purchase.
Nvidia Shield Gaming Notes:
- Stream PC games directly to your TV. The Nvidia Shield uses Nvidia GameStream tech to stream games directly from your PC to your Shield device. This ensures that NVidia Shield users with gaming PCs have access to all of the latest games.
- The Nvidia Shield controller is excellent. The re-designed Nvidia Shield controller is a huge improvement over the previous iteration. The sleek design offers precision control and a stylish design.
- Access to multiple game libraries. The ability to stream PC games to the device gives you access to almost any PC title, but the Shield also offers access to the Android game library, as well as the GeForce Now library, which offers many modern titles.
While the NVidia Shield may not be the high-powered gaming console that the PS4 and XBox One are, it is a superior streaming device that offers a lot of cool gaming features. Comparing the Nvidia Shield vs PS4 as a streaming device puts the ball squarely in Nvidia’s court. However, it will always be hard for the device to live up to the high powered game consoles on the gaming front. While hardcore gamers might want to go with a traditional game console, more casual gamers will love the flexibility offered by the Nvidia Shield. The Shield is an excellent midpoint between gaming consoles and your typical streaming set-top boxes, offering superior performance.
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