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Tomb Raider reboot highlights two paths for gaming on NVIDIA Shield TV

The marquee title arriving on NVIDIA Shield is Tomb Raider, the gritty 2013 reboot of the iconic gaming franchise, starring Lara Croft. Available as a download through the Google Play Store, the game offers a reimagined origin story for the first Queen of Gaming, giving the action adventure franchise a total overhaul and a new breath of life. While it's a few years old, it's a really polished game that looks and plays great on the Shield.

Also coming to the Shield, by way of NVIDIA'S GeForce NOW streaming service, is Marvel Heroes 2016, a free-to-play massive multiplayer online action role-playing game that was previewed by NVIDIA at CES as part of Geforce NOW's new ability to stream online multiplayer games (opens in new tab). Marvel Heroes is free to play for all members subscribed to the GeForce NOW service.

Reasons to stream your games

There's always been a semi-regular stream of titles announced and released for the Shield, but the way NIVIDIA paired these two game launches together sure feels like a not-so-subtle message from NVIDIA to gamers: game streaming is the future. It's the most efficient way to play your games on the Shield. And when you step back and consider all the facts, NVIDIA's right.

For starters, consider that Tomb Raider, available for $15.99 from the Play Store, takes up over 5GB of space. If you went with the larger 500GB Shield, and have it loaded with movies, TV shows, music, and games, you may have to clear out some old games or movies to make space for the download. If you have the 16GB Shield, Tomb Raider will take up basically half of your available internal storage. It's the same issue I have with my Xbox One — the frustration of only being able to have a handful of games installed on your console at one time.

Just the thought of having to install, uninstall, and otherwise manage games via digital downloads often makes me want to put down the controller before I've even picked it up.

Meanwhile, not only do GeForce NOW subscribers not have to worry about balancing their internal storage, but they also have quick streaming access to a library of fantastic games streamed at 1080p and 60fps, with titles including The Witcher 3, Just Cause 2, and… what's that? Tomb Raider — same game, delivered two different ways, on the same console.

Maybe it's just me, but just the thought of having to install, uninstall, and otherwise manage games via digital downloads often makes me want to put down the controller before I've even picked it up. This comes after waiting through the download and install process for getting Tomb Raider from the Google Play Store. It adds a new level of annoyance while trying to add convenience — especially with a 16GB NVIDIA Shield TV hooked up to my HDTV.

Personally, I don't think I'd manage to sit down and play via GeForce NOW enough to get the same value I'd get from NVIDIA's $7.99/month streaming service the same way i justify the other streaming services I rely on, like Netflix and Apple Music (quietly turns off the comment section). But then again, NVIDIA also offers GameStream as a great back up to play PC games on my Shield, which is just another reason to love the Shield as a gaming platform.

For your consideration

If you already have an NVIDIA Shield TV, it's well worth your time and effort to check out Tomb Raider — whether you prefer to "own" it from the Google Play Store or stream it from the GeForce NOW. Running into storage space constraints? Don't forget that the NVIDIA Shield does support expandable storage.

For those of you just considering buying an NVIDIA Shield, if the gaming possibilities are playing a part in buying decision, you'll definitely want to consider whether something like GeForce NOW could fill your needs. That $100 you save on a 16GB Shield could essentially pay for a full year of GeForce Now, which'll save you time and frustration dealing with less space.

Marc Lagace was an Apps and Games Editor at Android Central between 2016 and 2020. You can reach out to him on Twitter [@spacelagace.

15 Comments
  • For what it's worth, the 16 GB SHIELD does have both micro SD and adoptive storage. 5 GB for an install of a AAA console title is extremely reasonable as far as I'm concerned, especially when some PC titles are now climbing to 40+ GB installs. I think it's pretty great though that in the case of Tomb Raider, there are 3 potential ways to play depending on your preferences.
  • The new one doesn't have microsd
  • Have you used adoptable storage in your Shield TV? I haven't, and I'm curious about how it affects performance.
  • I have it with a 2TB drive. Works great for me. I would recommend having external power for the drive to make sure it has power on a reboot before the Shield powers up.
  • Good to know, thanks! I have no need for that much storage, so I will likely just pop in a 128GB microSD or something.
  • Would love an easy How-to-install HyperSpin guide for Shield TV. Playing some retro titles would be awesome along with the new stuff. I've tried watching some YouTube explanations, but I feel like they're always missing something along the way or are assuming we know how to set up certain things.
  • Hmm interesting! Will definitely look into that!
  • " If you have the 16GB Shield, Tomb Raider will take up basically half of your available internal storage." Which doesn't even take into consideration adopted storage, which can add more storage than you'd need without having to "install, uninstall, and otherwise manage games via digital downloads". And even with the 500GB (Pro), why would you have movies, music, etc. on the internal drive when it's just as easy to use a NAS or even plug in a external (non-adopted) drive for that and keep you internal storage freed up for Android games/apps. While I don't disagree that Nvidia pushes game streaming, this article leave a lot out as to how to manage and add more storage which makes these large file size games a non-issue.
  • This is what I do with my ShieldTV. I have an Xbox One but don't like spending the money on the newest games cause I don't know how often I'll get to play. Having this opens me up to a lot more games without having to go buy each one. The biggest issues I've had are if you're on a subpar network. The buffering can make games unplayable. Having the option to purchase and install games is great.
  • "...the first Queen of Gaming" I think there's a certain galactic bounty hunter who would like a word with you.
  • Big oversight. I bet the author feels like curling up into a ball and rolling away...
  • Yeah, it was a Varia big mistake.
  • Probably should've Chozo his words more carefully... Man, I really hope she comes to the switch!
  • I think people are more likely to stream their video content and save games to storage than save videos to storage and stream games. Pokegate: 07/14/16 - Never Forget...
  • True.