After a recent Bloomberg report hinted that an updated Nintendo Switch console could be on the horizon, more rumors surfaced focusing on the chip that powers both the current Switch as well as NVIDIA’s Shield TV line of streaming devices. Gamereactor cited an unnamed person familiar with the matter, who claims NVIDIA could end production of its current Tegra X1+ chip variant later this year. If that’s the case, it’s unclear what will happen to the company’s Shield TV line.
The Tegra X1+ SoC (system-on-a-chip) is a variant of the company’s X1 line. Code-named Mariko, this version continues NVIDIA’s tradition of using names from popular comic books as code names for its Tegra products. Over the years, we’ve had chips with code names like “Kal-El,” “Wayne,” and “Logan.” The Mariko version, and its predecessor known as Erista, have powered the company’s Shield TV line since its 2015 introduction, with Mariko making its debut in 2019-era models.
If these new rumors are true, it begs the question: What does the future hold for Shield TV? Despite hardware that dates back to 2015, the Shield TV line remains a powerful option among dedicated streaming devices, and it also makes for a solid game-streaming device, such as with NVIDIA’s own GeForce Now cloud-streaming service. The 2019 revisions, with the newer Mariko variant, added features like Dolby Vision support and Dolby Atmos decoding.
Potential future options include discontinuing the Shield TV line (hopefully while continuing to support current models), or introducing an updated model — perhaps with an improved Tegra chip inside for improved gaming performance or additional feature support. It’s too early too tell which way NVIDIA is leaning, but we’ll certainly be on the lookout for Shield TV news as the year progresses.