About NVIDIA Shield TV

Some years ago I had a situation with my television. It wasn’t a smart TV. I wanted to watch more content that I liked from it. I tried to make this possible in several ways. First I tried connecting my old Raspberry Pi, the first model, to it. I found out that it wasn’t powerful enough.

What I tried next was to install a Linux distro to a computer and then hook it up to the television. So I got my hands on an old computer that was not used anymore actively. I installed many distros. I was most successful with first Lakka OS and then I also tried LibreELEC. I wasn’t satisfied.

I started thinking if there would be some other solution. My thoughts were first centering around Google Chromecast. It was cheap. Then I found this perfect solution. It would cost a bit but it would cost even more to get a smart TV. This solution was Nvidia Shield TV.

I have now written already three paragraphs in this blog post and we haven’t really touched the main subject yet. The subject of course is the device that allows you to run any Android app and in that way allow you to play games, new and also retro, and see any television programs that you like. The image related to this post displays the remote controller of Nvidia Shield TV.

There are two models of this device available. One has a price tag of about 150 euros and the other, Nvidia Shield TV Pro, has a price of about 230 euros. I have the cheaper one of these two. I also bought a 128 GB memory card with the device. IT connects to your network only with a cable. So that is a small minus. Otherwise I have been happy to use my Shield TV.

It connects to your television with a regular HDMI cable. So, as I said, you can install any Android app. You can hook up your favorite game controller through Bluetooth. I used Dual Shock 4, which is PS4s controller, and I also made sure that my controller had power for it. In this case Dual Shock 4 takes its power from a smart phones charging cable. It uses micro-USB.

There is an app for retro gaming and it is Retroarch. You have to copy your rom files through your local network which is very easy actually. I wasn’t able to play any PS2 games but I found that I could run any PS1 and Dreamcast games. So it is more powerful than your Raspberry Pi would be. And I think there isn’t any decently working Android emulator to be found at the moment (please correct me if I’m wrong).

I can recommend NVIDIA Shield TV to someone that needs a bit more power than the newest Raspberry Pi provides and wants to watch TV programs provided by any Android app. There are also features that let you mirror the games from some other device like a PC.

Differences between serious and casual gaming

What really is casual gaming? Does it refer to playing at easier difficulty level? Does it mean not playing so many hours daily or weekly? In this article I try to explain this matter. There are many things that are or seem to be more important than playing. But sometimes you can combine playing with writing an essay or getting to spend some free time. We can go even further – what if you could also create new games and use your knowledge to your advance?

In my thoughts casual gaming means passing some time that you just seem to have to something that you don’t fully want to do. You are just spending time or even wasting time because you might be bored or you are waiting for something to happen for example waiting for the oven to warm so you can bake some pizza in it. This means that you are not so passionate about the actual game and all the difficulties and experiences inside the game are not the thing that you are interested in.

Let’s for a moment think about serious gaming. You are obsessed with the game you are playing. You want to find every piece of equipment, turn over every rock you find and reveal all the secrets that the game has. You are willing to receive everything that specific game has to offer. You are deeply inside this games world. You want to focus on the main character and side characters also. You seem to understand the story.

Studying is a lot like learning a new game. Some people try to figure what things are the most essential and learn them and even memorize some phrases or images or something that they find important. But if you want to learn things more deeply you want to understand why things are the way they are. You want to fully understand the matter you are trying to learn. Not just some phrases that some expert thinks are important. You want to understand what the game is. You want to know everything about it. So this basically is the difference. Casual gaming is a way to pass some time. Serious gaming is when you want to understand what you are doing inside the game.

As I’ve learned some programming as I was studying I came to understand games more deeply also. It opened some doors for me. My role would not be an artist or 3D modeller or graphical or texture designer. I would be the creator of games logic. That’s what game programmers do. They design the logic. You need a key from that room that opens a door to that next room. And so on. You can build on it.

This text is just one post in my blog. It appears to me that I have touched something important here and we can propably think about these matters in some other posts also. Some things like how can you get so much valuable information from games and how can you even make gaming from your hobby to a profession. I’d like to write more about game designing and eSports. I think there are many valuable things here and that gaming can be more than a simple way to pass time and it can bring you valuable things.

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