Nvidia Shield has finally arrived for the lovers of android games. At this year’s CES, Nvidia surprised with the Shield, a handheld gaming console that is powered by Android. Of course, back then, it was just for show, but now the console is almost starting to roll out.
It was quite the surprise, not because it was attempting to dethrone the Nintendo 3DS XL or PS Vita, but because it came from a manufacturer who is more famous for making chips and internal components, and not complete gaming consoles.
Specifications of Nvidia Shield
The Shield is more than adequately powered for its job:
- The Shield has an ergonomic design, with an intuitive control pad, with a 5” 720p capacitive display with 294 ppi, attached to it.
- Inside, the console is powered by a Tegra 4 Chipset, 72core GeForce GPU, and a quad-core CPU.
- The device has a powerful speaker system for rich audio output, 16GB storage and has a mini-HDMI port which can be used to connect to ultra-high definition TVs or 4K TVs.
There’s really nothing to complain about the hardware aspects of the Nvidia Shield, except maybe the display. 1080p has become the standard, and the lack of it might hurt its ambitions, especially since it has a high price.
The Nvidia Shield will run Android JellyBean. It is not dressed down in a custom UI, so the Android experience you will get will be closest to stock Android.
Performance of the Shield
The Nvidia Shield is sufficiently powered to run any Android game without any hitches. Despite the display lacking the awe factor, it does produce images in rich detail. The console handles graphics very well, and the performance is ahead of other handheld consoles available in the market.
It can run any game titles available from the Google Play Store as well as Tegrazone. You can also stream PC games, to play on the console, a feature that has not been witnessed before.
For die-hard Android gamers, the Shield is the most exciting device they can own. Its ergonomics are pleasing, the controls are tactile and there is nothing to complain about the graphic rendering or gaming experience.
The expected retail price for the Nvidia Shield is $349, which is high, despite its high-flying specifications.
The Challenges for the Shield
- The Nvidia Shield is however faced with an enormous challenge, even before it becomes commercially available.
- Smartphones have become powerful enough to assume the role of a constant gaming companion.
- The price is also higher than what you get on other offerings from PlayStation and Nintendo. Some home consoles retail for less than $349.
- For a serious gamer who likes portability and already owns a high-end gaming laptop, owning the Nvidia Shield might prove to be redundant.
That said, the Nvidia Shield still bears the potential to carve out a niche for itself. Just how large the market for it will be remains the big question. It will be available in stores starting from June.