One of the companies embracing cloud gaming may be making a pivot to support one of the new kids on the block. The Digital Fix reports, through anonymous sources, that Nvidia will add support for Google Stadia controllers to its Shield streaming device and attempt to “position the new Nvidia Shield as your central Stadia supporting entertainment hub.”
The Nvidia Shield TV is an Android-powered device that serves as a hub for media streaming and the report suggests that a new version of the Shield will be launching around the time Stadia launches in November. It can access Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, and more via downloaded apps and is also gaming ready. Through GeForce Now, which is currently in its free beta stage, a user can stream games like PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Fortnite, and Rainbow Six Siege to enabled devices, like the Shield TV and Shield TV Gaming Edition. The standard version of Shield TV is $180 and comes with a remote while the Gaming Edition is $200 and includes a controller and remote.
The report shows an image of the Nvidia Shield TV and mentions the Tegra X1 processor, which is what powers the Shield TV, but it is possible the writer is referring to the old portable Nvidia Shield, which was a controller with a screen attached for mobile gaming. It was powered by a Tegra 4 and could stream PC games and also run Android games. Google Stadia will work on mobile devices but having a gamepad with an attached screen or a third-party attachment that works with a Stadia controller could be appealing.
As far as the report’s source suggesting Nvidia will be positioning the Shield as a flagship device, that isn’t a likely reality. Stadia’s hook is removing the console from the equation and purchasing the $180 Nvidia Shield TV seems counterintuitive to that. Even producing a new version of the portable that attaches to a Google Stadia controller may be a stretch. The best-case scenario is that existing Nvidia Shield consumers will use Google Stadia on the devices they already own. New customers would have to weigh the cost of a new Shield portable or the $180 Shield TV versus a $70 Chromecast Ultra for access to the same gaming platform.
GeForce Now is a competitor to Stadia, and while the pricing isn’t known and we can’t directly compare the gaming libraries, Stadia’s functionality could render the subscription redundant. Leaning into Stadia while the platform continues to gain support seems like a strange business move that would cut into the potential of Nvidia’s own cloud gaming.
The sources are anonymous, so consider the potential pairing of Nvidia Shield and Google Stadia a rumor for now. We’ve reached out to Nvidia for comment and will update this piece with their statement should they respond. As far as likelihood, adding Stadia support makes some sense. Attempting to position the Shield TV as a central Stadia hub or launching a new portable, not so much.