(Pocket-lint) - Nvidia took to the stage at CES in Las Vegas to announce a bevvy of updates to its Shield console-come-TV streamer. It's not only faster than the last model, but way smarter and supports the latest in 4K visuals.
While its physical appearance looks identical to the previous version of the Nvidia Shield, the new model's internals and software are being given a significant update.
Inside, there's a new Tegra X1 processor, which Nvidia claims makes the Shield up to three times faster than its nearest competition, the Apple TV.
Perhaps more importantly, the Shield now supports 4K HDR visuals, and you'll be able to watch Amazon video in 4K HDR right out of the box. If you have a compatible TV, that means your video will look more vibrant and have a higher dynamic range than plain old regular 4K. There's also 4K content from Netflix, YouTube, Google Play Movies and Vudu.
The Shield box will also be compatible with Nvidia-powered gaming in the cloud, thanks to GeForce Now, and can stream games from your PC.
The most intriguing update to Shield is coming in a future update. At some point in the near future, the Nvidia Shield will have Google Assistant built right in, replacing the current standard Google Voice support. That means your Shield console will very much be a smart home hub, similar to Google Home, but plugged directly in to your big screen TV.
With support for SmartThings coming, you'll also be able to control a huge number of smart home products from the Shield. Whether that's switching on lights, central heating, door locks, or anything else that's compatible.
Jen-Hsun Huang, the company's CEO stated that he wants to "turn your home in to an AI", by offering a simple, natural way to control everything through your TV, he's certainly taken a big step towards that.
You can pre-order the new Nvidia Shield in either a standard 16GB or "Pro" 500GB flavour from now. Those cost £189 and £279 respectively through Nvidia's own direct channel.