Escapist News Now: Nvidia Shield Overview - CES 2014

Nvidia Shield Overview - CES 2014

Andrea Rene went to PepCom 2014 at CES and took a look at the Nvidia Shield!

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Am I the only one who rolled my eyes at this guy when he said he was trying to make it affordable for gamers, then proceeded to explain that it costs $199 if you buy it as a package deal with a brand new GeForce graphics card (which are a few hundred bucks as well)?

Isn't that sort of like how smartphones are "affordable" on a cheap budget if you sign up for a two-year contract at $60+ a month?

CriticKitten:
Am I the only one who rolled my eyes at this guy when he said he was trying to make it affordable for gamers, then proceeded to explain that it costs $199 if you buy it as a package deal with a brand new GeForce graphics card (which are a few hundred bucks as well)?

Isn't that sort of like how smartphones are "affordable" on a cheap budget if you sign up for a two-year contract at $60+ a month?

Well considering that the PSVita costs $200 and comes with no inbuilt storage (ie. you have to buy a memory card to use it) and the 3DS ranges from $129 to $199 depending on which model you get I don't think it's that outlandish that this device costs $299 at retail and comes with 16GB of inbuilt storage with a microSD card slot built in to expand that in addition to the console quality controller and the fact that it's a full android device (minus camera).

I got one of these for Christmas because they had a Black Friday sale where they were selling this for $249.99 and it came with a free protective case (normally $40), free shipping, and a free Tshirt (woo!) and I thought that was worth it to me. I love my shield so far and I really hope they expand the GRID's capabilities in the future. The Grid is like OnLive but for the Shield, that is to say, a cloud gaming service. It's in beta right now but it's free and it lets you stream 10 different games from their cloud server in San Jose. I'm way up in Ontario and I can still play most of their games with little to no latency or video artifacting. Overall the Shield is a really cool piece of tech that's been very well supported post-launch by NVidia so I would highly recommend it to anyone who is on the fence and wants to play some of the good android games (yes they do exist and there's more of them than you may think!) on a device which is a console quality controller with an 8-10 hour battery life while gaming, which is really impressive IMO.

MY only real complaints with the shield is that a) I wish the screen was bigger and b) that I wish they had two USB ports or an alternate way of charging the device. For A, the screen is only 5" which is similar to the size of a phone. So games, especially PC games that you're streaming to it, can be really small and hard to appreciate all the detail. For B, when you're in console mode, if you want to stream at 1080p 60 fps to a TV, you need to buy an ethernet-to-mini-USB adapter and plug it into your miniUSB port which means that you cannot charge the device while you are doing this. This problem also arises if you want to connect USB keyboards, mice, controllers, or other doodads to your shield, since the one USB port is the only way to charge the Shield

BTW- the deal that he was referring to with the graphics card is this: If you buy a "qualifying" GTX graphics card from NVidia or any of their partners, you get a $100 off NVidia Shield card, PLUS Splinter Cell: Blacklist PLUS Batman Arkham Origins PLUS AC4- Black Flag for PC for free. Which is a pretty damn great deal and I was kicking myself over it when they started it in October because I JUST bought a new GTX 770 card in August and I missed out on that deal.

The Shield is also still $50 off at most retailers but it doesnt come with the free case.

Sight Unseen:
Well considering that the PSVita costs $200 and comes with no inbuilt storage (ie. you have to buy a memory card to use it) and the 3DS ranges from $129 to $199 depending on which model you get I don't think it's that outlandish that this device costs $299 at retail and comes with 16GB of inbuilt storage with a microSD card slot built in to expand that in addition to the console quality controller and the fact that it's a full android device (minus camera).

Sort of my point. It's the cost of a handheld console, more if you don't buy it with a package deal. That doesn't really make it "affordable" to most gamers when it's essentially going to function for so many as a wifi controller for their PC. I imagine the device won't see very many sales at first unless it can do something particularly impressive, beyond acting as a controller for PC games and playing all the same games I can get on my phone.

I'm glad you like it, but I'm not seeing the appeal. Not for that price tag.

CriticKitten:

Sight Unseen:
Well considering that the PSVita costs $200 and comes with no inbuilt storage (ie. you have to buy a memory card to use it) and the 3DS ranges from $129 to $199 depending on which model you get I don't think it's that outlandish that this device costs $299 at retail and comes with 16GB of inbuilt storage with a microSD card slot built in to expand that in addition to the console quality controller and the fact that it's a full android device (minus camera).

Sort of my point. It's the cost of a handheld console, more if you don't buy it with a package deal. That doesn't really make it "affordable" to most gamers when it's essentially going to function for so many as a wifi controller for their PC. I imagine the device won't see very many sales at first unless it can do something particularly impressive, beyond acting as a controller for PC games and playing all the same games I can get on my phone.

I'm glad you like it, but I'm not seeing the appeal. Not for that price tag.

I understand that it's a niche product, and those who would just buy it as a PC streaming device are kind of missing the point I think. The thing that makes it great IMO is that it can do a whole lot of things, each one of which I wouldn't pay $250-300 for, but combined make for a really nice package.

The PC streaming is really cool and if you have a 50" TV somewhere far from your PC and want to play on that, this device will work flawlessly for that (provided that you have a dual-band router, a GTX 660 or higher graphics card, and ideally a bluetooth or USB wired xbox controller)

If you like gaming on the go, there's literally thousands of games that you can play on this device. Admittedly the vast majority of those are crap and/or freemium micro-transaction filled garbage, and the vast majority do not have built in controller support yet and certain games will never lend themselves to working well with a controller (ex. Plants vs Zombies) But there's a pretty large and steadily growing library of games that officially support controllers and/or the NVidia Shield which are easy to find because NVidia has made the Tegra store which shows only officially supported Shield games.

Lots of old console game hits are getting remade for iOS/Android these days, like the Bards Tale, GTA Vice City and GTA San Andreas, Max Payne and others. And there's well over 100 games already on the tegra store and most of them are WAY cheaper than DS or Vita games, clocking in at $2-15.

Even some games that aren't technically compatible can be made to work with the controller through the NVidia gamepad mapper which lets you manually map touches, gestures, and even gyroscope movements onto buttons of the controller/thumbsticks and you can share, rate, and download other people's configurations really easily.

The NVidia Shield is also BY FAR the best mobile device on the market today for running emulators. It can easily run N64, PSX, SNES, and many Gameboy emulators, and I've heard that it can even run Dolphin which is a wii emulator. Also if the shield itself cant handle the emulator you could put the emulator on your PC and stream it, but of course that only works at home.

And then there's the GRID, which is an up-and-coming service that will let you play PC games almost anywhere with a good enough internet connection once it comes out of beta and the kinks are worked out.

Also as a personal thing, the Shield is MUCH more comfortable to hold than a PSVita or a 3DS. Since its form-molded like an xbox controller, it's a lot more comfortable, and the analog sticks are much bigger. I get hand cramps using my old PSP and my DS but so far I haven't had that problem at all with the shield. And needless to say, this is FAR superior to gaming on your phone/tablet since virtual buttons/analog sticks suck and are nowhere near as responsive as real buttons, and the battery life and raw power of the shield is way better than most phones. Also there's the fact that you aren't blocking the screen with your own fingers/hands.

So yeah, each individual feature there I don't think is worth the asking price, but if you plan to use a combination of those then it is really well worth the asking price. I'd only recommend this as a secondary or tertiary android device though since you can't use it as a phone and it has no camera. It's pretty much only made for gaming and movie streaming and web browsing.

EDIT: Wow, sorry I type way too much xD

 

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