The answer, he said, is a cloud-based streaming game service. Initially, though, the Shield store will launch with 50 titles.
In addition to its gaming elements, Shield will also act as a smart TV peripheral, letting people stream movies, music and apps from the Google Play service in 4K – primarily using voice control.
The device will come with a microphone-equipped remote control that people can use to search for content or command the Shield to run an operation. (The remote also features a headphone jack, for private listening, much like Roku's remotes do.) The Shield will also come with an included game controller.
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Huang touted the device as significantly more powerful than competitors' devices, such as the Apple TV or Google's Chromecast, though some of his introductory remarks were a bit curious for someone about to make a big bet on a new set top box.
"Smart TVs will be the way we enjoy TV in the future," he said, seemingly discussing TVs that have the intelligence built in during the manufacturing process.
To emphasize its commitment to cloud gaming, Nvidia also announced the expansion of its Grid Game-Streaming Service, letting players stream top-tier titles in 1080p at 60 frames per second. Grid is along the same lines as Sony's PlayStation Now game streaming service, which allows PlayStation 4 owners to instantly stream games in a Netflix-like all-you-can-eat model for a monthly fee.
Grid is already available to owners of the company's handheld system and tablet. The service will also feature a subscription service with two tiers. Basic will offer access to the service's collection of existing (and largely older titles). Users who pay for the premium service will have the opportunity to purchase and play newer games.
Asking users to pay a premium to pay full price for some new games is a risky move, though, that is unlikely to boost Grid's subscriber base.