Nvidia, known primarily as one of the two major companies that manufacture computer graphic cards, has taken the liberty to reveal, something that is a very first for the company – a handheld gaming console, dubbed Project Shield. It runs the latest version of Android Jellybean and features Nvidia’s brand spanking new Tegra 4 processor. But there’s even more; Project Shield will allow you to stream PC games directly to it. That’s right, you’ll be able to play Call of Duty while on the toilet.
The device packs a 5 inch, HD screen with multitouch capabilities, and has a very Xbox 360-esque controller attached to it, forming a clamshell when closed. That’s nice and all, but the design is disgustingly ugly; how it made it out of concept phase is beyond me. For something that’s selling itself as a portable, the controller is far too bulky. It just doesn’t seem pocketable in the slightest, unless you have really huge pockets.
Now Project Shield won’t feature its own dedicated games, like the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita do, but instead will rely on the ecosystem of the Google Play Store and Steam. I suppose that’s a good decision, because such a move would really confuse the market. But on that note, minus its PC game streaming capabilities, do people really take tablet gaming that seriously? Without a doubt, certain games on tablets (like first person shooters) are a chore to play with touchscreen controls, not denying that. But I seriously wonder if people really take tablet gaming that seriously that they’d go out and purchase a device such as this. I mean look at the thing, does it look like it would be useful in areas other than gaming? Or maybe the PC streaming capabilities will be the draw? Who knows?
On the point of streaming PC games, Project Shield will require of you a few things. The first is that you must have bought the game from Steam and have it in your library. Secondly, it will only stream from PCs equipped with Nvidia’s own GeForce GTX graphics cards, which is huge middle finger to AMD users everywhere, but such is business I suppose.
The design and the fact that it alienates part of the PC gamer market are two of my biggest gripes. But that aside, Project Shield, if Nvidia plays their cards right, has the ability to really shake things up and it will be quite interesting to see how things play out.
This article was written by Akeem