It isn’t uncommon for companies, especially those with fewer resources to devote to multiple generations of products, to discontinue an old model once a new one becomes available. The common practice, however, is to make sure that the new one is really available to consumers before yanking the old one out of the picture. Whether by mistake or by design, that isn’t the case of NVIDIA’s new SHIELD Remote and anyone who needs to buy one will have to wait for the new Remote to start shipping in about two months’ time.
It hasn’t even been two months since NVIDIA announced not one but two new SHIELD TV devices. With those devices, however, came a new SHIELD Remote. Of course, a new SHIELD TV or the new SHIELD TV Pro comes with the new Remote but if for one reason or another you need to buy a remote separately, you’re out of luck until next year.
The new SHIELD Remote is a major improvement over the old one. Not only does it include the most critical controls, but it also has a reprogrammable button that’s set to launch Netflix by default. Of course, you’ll need a third-party app to do that but at least NVIDIA doesn’t seem to be blocking it.
The new remote will be compatible with old SHIELDs, with a firmware update perhaps. That’s probably why it has displaced the old model on the NVIDIA SHIELD store. Unfortunately, the store also says it will be available by the end of January 2020 only. Hopefully, you won’t need an emergency replacement for your existing remote until then.
You could always buy a new SHIELD TV with a remote, but the $150 price tag is ridiculous compared to the standalone remote’s $30 in this context. The SHIELD TV Pro, which looks more like the SHIELD fans have known and loved, costs $200, also with the remote.