Nvidia Shield Review

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USraging

So... does the shield support 5GHZ wifi or still 2.4?

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Marks360

Remember the PC Streaming is still in Beta and yes there are some bugs. I have a Shield and I really like it. I don't play the Android games much because they are usually only very short affairs. I do stream my Steam collection and so far nearly every game with controller support has worked fine with only minor glitches. About the bugs and glitches, Nvidia has been very helpful trying to iron out glitches.

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tekknyne

Oh you mean an android device w/ a controller is no different than an android device with a controller?

If you have ever played any android games, I think you would understand the replay value, the need to buy a dedicated device, or the ROI that a controller brings to a clunky game. Yeah, nothing.

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jgottberg

+1 - Exactamente

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jgottberg

300 bucks for this thing? With the Vita being lowered to $199 and all features (streaming games from PS3, etc...) that do work, I'm not sure who would buy this? The Vita has a much larger catalog of games and certainly better and deeper titles. Plus, it's twice as heavy... I know a pound doesn't sound like much but after holding it for 15 minutes, I'm guessing fatigue will set in.

I don't even own, nor want a Vita but IF I were on the prowl for a portable gaming machine, it wouldn't be the Shield.

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jbitzer

To be fair, vita games are also $20 - $40, and android ones are almost nothing.

Mobile phone gaming is edging out the dedicated consoles, I could see people who don't want to pay $40 a pop on games to play on the crapper seeing this as a better deal.

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Caboose

When you look at the games on iOS and Android, and compare them to the game offerings on 3DS and Vita, the 3DS and Vita games offer a much better deal. Sure they're more expensive, but the games are much more vast, have good replay value and are developed well.

Games on your mobile are quick come and go games. They aren't usually games you put a lot of time and effort in to.

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jbitzer

And I don't put a lot of time and effort into handheld games. Why would I spend $40 for a tiny game with crap graphics and controls, when I could buy a full AAA PC title for that.

The cost of games is what keeps handhelds in the same niche they are in, people can get acceptable games on their phone for almost nothing to play while they wait in line somewhere, why would they spend hundreds of dollars on an only slightly better experience?

When handheld games were like $20-24 on gameboy and stuff, they were at an acceptable price, but the problem is that devs seem to think people will pay almost the same price for a watered down console port and be willing to overlook glaring flaws because you have lowered expectations for a portable. I on the other hand, will pay $1-$5 and not feel bad if the game sucks, but I won't gamble a $40 on a crap purchase.

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jgottberg

@jbitzer - Mobile gaming is edging out consoles? Really?? Where did you get this information?

The price of apps, I can see but if I'm basing my gaming experience on the games I can afford (i.e, crappy, linear games), I'd rather have a nice system and buy a game at a time than a system that plays crappy games... but lots of them.

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jbitzer

Your experience is meaningless as a metric, you need numbers to make a valid argument, and the numbers are flagging for dedicated handhelds.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-20010933-37.html

http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2011-08-16-crytek-dedicated-handheld-consoles-losing-ground-to-tablets

http://www.theverge.com/2012/4/26/2976735/nintendo-sales-stats-handheld-gaming-report

http://www.asymco.com/2011/11/16/the-end-of-the-dedicated-portable-device/

http://thenextweb.com/insider/2013/06/12/handheld-gaming-consoles-to-lose-yet-more-market-share-to-ios-and-android-by-2014-idc-and-app-annie/

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jgottberg

@jbitzer - Sorry, but... never mind... Sure... whatever you say.

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jbitzer

Yep, good argument there, providing no data other than "I say so" to back up your claims.

You've humbled me with your keen observations on how this device , priced at the same level as the other devices whose praises you are singing cost at launch, should/should not be compared on certain metrics only you approve of, and based on no actual data points.

Go play your overpriced games on Vita, they must be totally riveting to provide you so much time to come and down this niche product.

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Caboose

I love it when people compare Apples to Watermelons.

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jbitzer

I love when people throw out rejoinders without any indication of who they are replyhttp://www.maximumpc.com/comment/reply/26164/249494#ing to, or what point they are disputing.

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Philippe Lemay

I still don't see why people keep throwing out that comparison. The Shield easily has 4 times the specs of the vita, yet only costs 1.5 times as much.

The Vita has no internal memory and uses proprietary flash cards (no SD card support), it has half a GB of RAM, 960 × 544 resolution, and as little as 3 hours of battery life for some games. It's over a year old with dated specs but they've barely dropped the price (in typical console mentality).

In contrast the Shield has 2 GBs of RAM, 16 GBs of internal capacity and SD card support, full 720p display, probably twice the Vita's battery life, and a much more modern/powerful CPU/GPU. Not to mention all of the streaming capabilities.

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kixofmyg0t

As a Vita owner myself, I wanna know where the heck you heard it only got 3 hours of battery life. Are you sure they weren't talking about a Sega Game Gear?

The Vita has awesome battery life.

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Caboose

"Are you sure they weren't talking about a Sega Game Gear?"

A GameGear with fresh AA batteries, and the battery pack!

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jgottberg

Because they are portable gaming systems? I think that qualifies for comparison.

What good are the specs if the only games are Android-based and any smartphone made in the last year can already play those games? And from the reviews, those games are optimized for touch controls that aren't compatible with the controls on the Shield.

The Vita, while not as powerful is at least mature and has an established gaming ecosystem with games designed specifically for it.

Like I said, I have no vested interest in the success or failure of the Shield - I just see a device that is priced pretty high to play Anroid games and think, my phone already does this.

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MaximumMike

But.... You've discounted two categories of gaming on the Shield and condemned it on the basis of one. Lets not forget that based on the review emulators are better on the Shield. And maybe you don't care about emulators, but that's a niche that has been around since Windows 98 (and maybe longer) and has made its way over to Android. That's also thousands and thousands of games across a number of platforms.

Also, there is the ability to stream your PC games. And although its in its infancy it's a very compelling feature. Maybe you don't always want to be stuck in your man cave (pc desk) no matter how awesome it is. The ability to carry those games throughout the rest of the house is compelling. And anyone able to afford the high end video card and router necessary to make it work probably isn't bothered too much by the price.

I don't see this device being the one that takes over and dominates. But if Nvidia keeps with it, I think they eventually have a winning platform that ties together mobile games, console games (think ROM emulators), and PC games on one device.

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johnny89

Crazy Taxi has updated to support Shield

> today Crazy Taxi was updated to version 1.2, complete with SHIELD-friendly controls.

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trgz

That streaming almost sounds like a local OnLive setup. I tried doing something similar with my Nexus 10, Splashtop, and Back To The Future (the game on Steam-I deliberately picked a 'slow' point-and-click game) in windowed mode, and it was just about ok. I guess this is simply a far slicker invocation of the idea, with better controls and support for hosted applications running in full-screen - beats those pointless Android games I guess!

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froggz

I have windows media center PC hooked to a cablecard for watching tv on the living room. Would it be possible to stream a game in the background to the shield while watching tv or a movie on the bigscreen?

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jimmthang

No, that's another quibble we had with the Shield. When PC streaming, it simply boots up the game on your PC in 720p and then mirrors it over to your Shield. What you see on the Shield is what you see on your PC. If someone were to minimize the game on your PC, the shield would kick you out of the game. That's something we would like to see addressed in future iterations.

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froggz

Thanks for answering my question. That's a no sell for me then. I really dont see the point for this. If the PC is tied up for streaming the game, then might as well use the PC. The only reasonable use I can see for using the streaming, is for married guys and guys with needy girlfriends. Keeps the person gaming in the same room their love ones are hanging out in.

Now that I think about it, $300 is not too bad a price to pay for maintaining a healthy relationship.

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Paladin25

Then I have to ask, why waste $300 for this? A 7 is pretty generous with the limited features vs the price tag.

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Gauntylgrym

I just can't get behind something like this for the price. Guess I'm just too far on the poor side of the market nVidia was shooting for.

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jbitzer

All the other gaming handhelds released at this price. Sony JUST dropped the Vita to 199. And for the power, you're probably not finding an android tablet at this price either. It's worth the cost, I just don't think it's usable enough with game streaming for me.

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Gauntylgrym

That's also why I do not own a Vita. I love the unit, just way too expensive for me. And prices being equal, I think the Vita is a better choice simply because of the quality of gaming compared to the Android market.
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Now I realize that one of the big draws of the Shield is the streaming feature. I'm also not convinced this works flawlessly and without a lot of hassle--never mind the fact that it's basically a crap shoot whether or not a given game that you have on your PC harddrive is going to stream and work with the controls and whatnot of the Shield.
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I applaud the intention and effort. I just don't think it's got all the kinks worked out, nor does it have a solid library of standalone Android games that appeal to the enthusiastic gaming market.

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jbitzer

I'm actually looking at a vita for the remote play feature. With PS+ it is actually a better deal, but if I didn't have PS+ or a PS3, I'd probably still go shield.

The most portable gaming I actually do is Plants Vs Zombies 2 while I'm on the can, but my wife has to let our kid watch damn chuggington on the TV al day, maybe with remote play, she can finish GOW.

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Krattle456

Are you seriously telling me that 1 pound 4.7 ounces is too heavy? I think we men need to be a little manlier than that, come on. At least go touch some weights in the gym....

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jimmthang

Is 1 pound 4.7 ounces heavy? It's all relative. Is that heavy for a laptop, certainly not. It is, however, pretty heavy for a tablet in this day and age. To put it in perspective, it weighs more than twice the weight of an Xbox 360 controller. Yes, we realize that's not a fair comparison considering the Shield has essentially a whole computer inside of it, but that still doesn't change the fact that your wrist won't like you very much trying to play that thing for hours on end. If Nvidia could have gotten it under a pound, that would have been a fantastic start.

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Innomasta

Nobody's really done this before, let's give her time

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jimmthang

Some of the bugs (PC streaming) and compatibility issues (some games not working with the controller) should be easily fixable. And I really do hope Nvidia makes a second gen version to account for the size and weight. 

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gmvolk

You pretty much confirmed all the issues i thought it would have.

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Paladin25

Yep, I foresaw the wifi disconnect as soon as I saw it. I never trust wifi with gaming.