Nvidia Shield 2017 is out today, but you may not need to upgrade after all

Nvidia announced today that its upgraded Nvidia Shield TV set-top box is now available for sale.

The media player offers 4K HDR streaming, major gaming capabilities, and some brand-new features like the debut of Amazon Instant Video and the voice-activated Google Assistant on Android TV. (The latter coming in a later update.)

However, those still holding onto their previous generation 2015 Nvidia Shield might just be able to get the 2017 model's bells & whistles – including Amazon Instant Video and Google Assistant – without having to shell out $199/£189 (about AU$260) for a new device.

A press document released during the 2017 Shield's announcement at CES 2017 mentions that "features announced for the new SHIELD TV will come to current SHIELD devices through an over-the-air software upgrade, available in January."

Shielding for impact

While we think it could use a little clarification, this announcement may mean that many of the 2017 Shield's best features – like its improved game streaming app, Nest home automation integration, aforementioned Amazon Instant Video/Google Assistant support, and Android Nougat – could come to the 2015 model soon.

While the software features of the new Shield may possibly transfer over to the previous model, hardware tweaks like the smaller size, refined controller, and boosted guts will obviously remain exclusive to the 2017 model.

We have contacted a representative to confirm what features from the 2017 Shield will make it to the 2015 model (if any) and will update this story as more details develop.

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