Nvidia Announces A Handheld Games Console

7 January 2013

The Verge:

Hardware-wise, the Shield has a clamshell design with a gaming controller attached below the device’s display. The controller has dual control sticks, a D-pad, and multiple action buttons — it should look familiar to anyone who has held an Xbox 360 controller.

Aesthetically, I think this thing looks horrible. On the software side, it runs Android games (Tegra Zone) and can stream STEAM games from a networked home PC to the integrated display. The Shield is undeniably an interesting play by Nvidia, entering a market which is considered to be in decline, but it’s also weird …

The Shield is powered by a Tegra 4, Nvidia’s next smartphone SoC. So, once smartphones ship with the Tegra 41, the only advantage the Shield has over phones is the addition of non-touchscreen gamepad controls. Is that really that big of a draw to make people carry and maintain another device form factor?

1 Assumed relative performance gains due to the new SoC are currently unknown.