NVIDIA has announced the NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV device powered by Tegra X1 with the capability of a significant game console and entertainment device. This will be a forerunner in the competitive race to own the living room entertainment experience worldwide. The company has not yet announced plans for China, but the SHIELD will launch in other parts of Asia such as Japan and Taiwan in Q4 when it also launches in Europe. It will launch in North America today, May 28th. The starting price is $199. NVIDIA says that this device will out-power and outperform Apple TV and others. It will come with access to a line up of more than 100 games, available via Google Play and NVIDIA’s GRID store (to be launched). The distribution via Google Play will be a hindrance in China so we fully expect an alternate plan for that market when the time comes.

Lisa Hanson is in China this week collecting data on the TV-based and console gaming market here, for an upcoming report on that topic. The timing of the NVIDIA SHIELD announcement dovetails well with new information from China such as the ever-growing popularity of TV-based Android set top box consoles, and the uncertain future for true consoles such as Xbox One and PS4 despite their legal launch into the market. We believe that Alibaba is also developing a higher end STB on Aliyun (a variation of Android), and that its future presence in the market will validate what NVIDIA is also doing with SHIELD Android TV.

Watch for our report in June 2015 for more discussion on this topic.