While the Ouya may not have had the processing power needed to accomplish what the new Shield is preparing to do, the older Android console may have been on the right track. Made possible on the sheer power of NVIDIA's Tegra X1, the Android OS is preparing to welcome AAA games such as Crysis 3 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel.
The latest evolution of NVIDIA's Shield series is an Android console, descended from the gaming tablet and streaming handheld before it. The Shield -- not to be confused with the Shield Tablet or Shield Portable -- will support 4K streaming of content from a workhorse PC to a living room TV, and owners will also have the ability to stream AAA games on demand from NVIDIA's GRID cloud service at 720p, 60fps.
NVIDIA's powerful built-for-mobile GPUs are making it possible for a variety of AAA, big budget games, to be brought to the Android platform. Some of the games are promoted as Shield exclusives, which suggests that the others will be available to the wider Android market.
"Before you know it, applications will come along that surprise us," says NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang. "This is really a discontinuity in the gaming industry."
One of those games that may be surprising people right now is Crysis 3, game developer Crytek said. Just a few years ago, it was designed to melt high-end PCs. That rig-punishing game is now on its way to the Android OS.
The other Android games headed to the Shield this year include Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, Doom 3: BFG Edition, Resident Evil 5 and Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.
For the Shield, the big hits don't end there. GRID, NVIDIA's game delivery platform, is preparing a heavy-hitting roster of AAA games to be streamed to Shield consoles.
GRID will, later this year, serve up streaming renditions of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Dying Light, Resident Evil: Revelations 2, Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor and Batman: Arkham Knight. The streaming service already hosts games that include Metro: Last Light, GRID 2, Batman: Arkham Origins, Borderlands 2, Saints Row 4 and Street Fighter X Tekken.
"SHIELD will change the way we enjoy digital entertainment at home," says Jen-Hsun. "It's an incredibly powerful, efficient and advanced living room entertainment device. It's the best Android TV experience. And it can transform into a serious gaming machine. It's made to game."