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Wednesday, 31 July 2013 10:42

Nvidia Shield reviews are in

Written by Peter Scott

Mostly harmless

The first full reviews of Nvidia’s Shield handheld console have gone up and most of them are surprisingly positive. We had a chance to see the console in action and it is a very nice piece of hardware, but it does have quite a few shortcomings.

Reviewers agree that performance is not an issue. The Tegra 4 is more than enough for a 720p device. Build quality is good, and so is battery life. However, there are quite a few glaring omissions. For some strange reason Nvidia failed to include a vibration motor, which means there is no feedback. Many reviewers complain that it hasn’t got a camera, but frankly we see no point in adding a camera to a handheld gaming device anyway. Although it has 2GB of RAM, internal storage is limited to 16GB, which doesn’t sound like much, but it can be expanded via a microSD slot.

So, the hardware side looks pretty decent, but the same can’t be said of the software.

PC streaming is still in beta, but it seems to be working quite well, although you need a relatively powerful PC and an 802.11n network to make the best of it. In other words most potential users will have to invest in some 802.11n gear. The trouble is that controlling your PC from the console is rather tricky. It could get better once it is out of beta, speaking of which – why is it sill in beta? It’s not Siri and Nvidia is not Apple. Saying that something is still in beta turns off consumers, even if it works.

In Nvidia’s defence, Shield’s biggest shortcoming is Android itself. There simply aren’t enough good games out there, and many casual titles can’t handle physical controls very well. This should be a non-issue if PC streaming is what you’re after, but most consumers will be after both – after all, that’s what Nvidia is selling.

The question is should you buy it? We didn’t have a chance to review it ourselves and many reviewers who did don’t seem to be sure themselves. It is an interesting device with loads of potential, it’s not overpriced, but at the same time it’s not for everyone. Some avid PC gamers will be interested in PC streaming, while some Android geeks should be interested in native Android gaming.

We’re just not sure it has a big market. Still, Nvidia believes Android gaming has a future and it’s willing to take a huge leap of faith, and it should be commended for it. Now how about some cheap Geforce - Shield bundles Nvidia?

 

You can check out some of the reviews here:

Engadget

The Verge

Android Community

Android Police

CNET






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