Nvidia Shield Portable Games Console Review



/ 6 months ago

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Introduction


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The Nvidia Shield, a Tegra 4 powered Android gaming device, has been on the market for a while now, but a recent price drop and a rapidly increasing range of features thanks to a few firmware updates caught my attention. With the price now at a very reasonable £150-200 (depending on where you look) it’s a strong contender for the money in your wallet vs other portable gaming options.

I can’t say that I’ve ever been a big fan of mobile gaming, sure I’ve had a little tinker on a few apps from time to time, especially on long journeys, but there are just too many cons that outweigh the pros of gaming on devices such as smartphones. Devices often get quite hot while gaming, battery life take a big hit, ergonomics of touch screen devices isn’t ideal for gaming, touch screen controls aren’t always suitable for gaming and cost of the device its self can also be quite high. Then of course you have the world of hand-held games consoles such as the 3DS and PlayStation Vita which offer strong competition to the mobile market, but don’t have the same level of market penetration as the big smart phone manufacturers do.

Nvidia is a big player in the gaming world, and that is hardly a surprise given that they produce many of the most popular graphics solutions on the market and have done for some time. Nvidia also dominates a large portion of the mobile market thanks to their Tegra hardware, which is a SoC (System-on-chip) product that powers many of today’s top smartphone and tablet devices, it’s even at the heart of the latest Tesla electric cars and more importantly it also powers the Nvidia Shield android gaming device which we are taking a look at today.

With its unique clamshell controller/screen design combo, the Nvidia Shield is unlike most smart devices. On its flagship Tegra 4 processors it runs the latest version of Android, which packing a colossal feature set that makes it one of the most unusual and diverse gaming devices ever created. So let’s get right to it and take a closer look at what Nvidias new toy has to offer.

The box is really nicely designed and comes with a stunning picture of the Shield on the front, with some of the major features listed down the right hand side such as the Tegra 4 processors, integrated console controller and Google Play support.

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The back of the box is a little vague, with just an image of the system with its lid closed and the phrase “take android gaming to the next level” at the top.

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The box is really cool, opening out like a treasure chest and displaying the Shield on a display mount, makes it feel like a special occasion opening the box.

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There isn’t a whole lot in the box, but aside from the console you’ll find mains to USB charging plug, a good quality Nvidia branded USB to micro USB cable and a collection of booklets.

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The booklets consist of a registration and warranty guide, as well as a quick start guide.

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The quick start guide is clearly laid out in full colour, with plenty of descriptive screenshots and it’s perfect for helping you get setup and gaming in next to no time.

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  • Wayne

    Not having the slightest interest in mobile gaming I would normally ignore reviews on them and the devices but I read this one and found it very interesting (not that it changes my stance one iota). Thank you.
    I like how nVidia has modelled it on a console controller and it makes sense to do it that way because to my way of thinking kids play on consoles and are accustomed to the controller so adjusting to this will be a non issue and this device is no doubt targeted at youngsters which is a huge market and the price is quite palatable so mom & pop shouldn’t have a too hard a time coughing up. If I were a kid I’d much rather have something like this than a PSP.
    As for me, a dyed-in-the-wool PC gamer a controller is something I just can’t get used to, it is nothing but a frustration even for driving games (a Logitech G27 is more like it). If I can’t control the game properly with a keyboard and mouse I’ll toss it aside in a heartbeat.

  • Alistair Hardy

    It’s an interesting idea.
    I like it a lot and if i had the cash to spare, i would get one.
    My only issue with it how long would you use it before the initial novelty wore off?
    Once that’s gone, you’ve got yourself yet another android device.
    Though i do like the idea of being able to play Dark Souls 2 and War Thunder from the comfort of my bed.
    or even Nidhogg