NVIDIA’s SHIELD TV product is beloved by the Android community because of its (still) powerful Tegra X1 and years of software support. NVIDIA’ first Android TV box was released in 2015, and it was refreshed in 2017. Now, after we discovered that NVIDIA is working on a new SHIELD controller and remote, another product we’ve been tracking has finally appeared somewhere unexpected: the Google Play Developer Console’s Device Catalog. A new NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV device code-named “mdarcy” appeared today with seemingly the same specifications as the 2017 model. Here’s what we know so far about this potential new SHIELD TV.
The only immediate difference between “mdarcy” and “darcy,” the 2017 SHIELD TV, revealed by the Device Catalog listing is the fact that “mdarcy” has been certified to run Android 9 Pie. The current NVIDIA SHIELD Experience software for “darcy” is still Android 8.0 Oreo-based, so clearly “mdarcy” is running on newer software. I’m told that previews of Android Pie have been spotted for “darcy,” however, so it’s no surprise that newer hardware is running newer software here.
According to a few Tegra kernel developers I’ve spoken to, “mdarcy” is basically the same as the current “darcy” except it’s running on top of Linux kernel 4.14 with the t210b01 SoC — a rumored refresh of the Tegra X1. Developers believe that this refreshed Tegra X1 will feature better power usage and a higher maximum GPU clock speed, though that depends on what model is being used on this new SHIELD Android TV product. The Device Catalog listing does not provide any details on what revision of the Tegra X1 is being used here, so we, unfortunately, cannot corroborate those findings with the latest information.
If we learn more about “mdarcy,” we’ll provide updates. NVIDIA has worked on and silently canceled other in-development SHIELD products, so the Play Console listing came as a surprise to us. If the rumors of a Nintendo Switch revamp are true, it would make sense for NVIDIA to also use a newer revision of the Tegra X1 in a refresh of its SHIELD Android TV.
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