The gaming industry has seen real advances, in everything from graphics and gameplay, just in the past year. From virtual reality to consoles that provide almost ridiculously realistic art, gaming has changed in ways that used to be science fiction.
NVIDIA is not on a mission to take that same concept to the world of mobile devices. SHIELD is a series aimed specifically at games, rather than as a broader media device.
They have three options: a tablet, a portable game system, and a wireless controller. Working through Android, it connects you to your games no matter where you are, allowing you to play on the television, or either of the portable devices.
In addition, it allows you access to movies and TV shows through Netflix and Hulu Plus. As well as music through Google Play. If it takes off, other services are sure to be around the corner.
Essentially, Google has just teamed up with NVIDIA to provide their first console device. But they are staying true to their mobile ambitions in the process, cornering a market that is currently in desperate need of an update.
Best of all, they are doing it with a price tag to match. For starting at $299, you can get your own SHIELD device. This comes with its pros and cons, of course: it is cheaper than other consoles, but won’t have the same game options and cross compatibility of an XBox or Playstation.
Since it is a mobile platform, it is also going to be limited in the style of games you can play. There is only so much it can support on 2 GB of RAM.
The Bottom Line
This is a cool device. But they are aiming at the wrong audience. Yes, it is for games and people who want to play games. But it is for mobile game players, which is very different animal than those of us who are bound or the console or PC.
People who are addicted to mobile apps will love this (and mobile games have definitely become intense in recent years). But if Google and NVIDIA hope to attract hardcore gamers as customers, they are going to have to offer a bit more than this.
It is a good first step, though, and interesting as far as the direction both companies are taking. Seeing where it leads will be exciting.