NVidia Project Shield – DOA?

I’ve just watched the Wired Hands-On video (at CES) of NVidia’s Project Shield console:


I’m not sure that the machine can avoid the same fate as so many handheld consoles of the past (GP32X anyone?) and bridge the gap between PC, Console and Handheld.

As a standalone handheld, it’s not very portable (did anyone actually do any ergonomic studies on the design?), the screen doesn’t look as good as the Vita’s – and how many console quality games that would benefit from the device are currently available for Android? Perhaps the availability of the OUYA will change that over time, but definitely not in the short-term. Its a given now that that any new console will live or die by the quality of titles available for it – probably why Nintendo worked so hard to ensure a nifty line-up for the Wii-U last year.

Perhaps with that in mind, the PC streaming capability of NVidia dangles the entire Steam PC gaming catalogue in front of you like the proverbial carrot. Seems brilliant, and the ability to output to TV via the the HDMI interface is neat – but then you tie up two screens. Streaming from your PC also ties up that machine and its screen too – plus you need to have invested in the latest (and no doubt expensive) gaming machine complete with NVidia’s most powerful chip. If you had invested in such a machine, then it no doubt would have been complete with a large widescreen monitor and suitable for your needs!

2013 will be an interesting year, perhaps Android boxes will take a foothold, or be washed away by the possibility of an open-platform and development tools delivered in the next generation console from Sony or Microsoft ….


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