By Vamien McKalin email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Jan 13, 2013 10:51 AM EST
Since the dawn of gaming, many companies tend to entered the market with obscure products on a regular basis. It's a regular thing, it's expected. However, when these products come from well known companies with a history in gaming, then right there we have a problem.
NVIDIA is one of those well-known companies that have a history in gaming, and that's why we are surprised at the state of the Project Shield handheld gaming device. What we are looking at here is a device that is trying to cater to both the casual and hardcore gamer due to its design. NVIDIA considers Project Shield as a mobile gaming device, but how can that be when it is unable to fit in a pocket?
Just look at the design - it is a massive controller with a flip-open screen on top. Does it look like it has the makings of a mobile gaming device to you? No, it does not. However, luckily for NVIDIA, Project Shield is not only a mobile gaming device, but a home console as well since it can be plugged into the user's TV. This is where the controller would come to life, and that flip-open screen would be very useful when you are not around the TV or you would need to go to the john.
While the Project Shield could be a competent home console, how many gamers would want to play Android games on a 1080p TV? Imagine having an Xbox 360 like controller in your hands playing Angry Birds and some lame jumping game on your big screen all day. That wouldn't feel right, unless you're 10, or even younger.
We get what NVIDIA is trying to do here - it has a jack-of-all-trades device to compete with well-established home consoles and mobile gaming consoles like the Nintendo 3DS. However, Project Shield doesn't seem to fit anywhere in between - the only useful feature is the ability to stream PC games to it and play over Wi-Fi. This feature is similar to what the Wii U Gamepad does, but on a smaller screen with no apparent sign of innovation.
NVIDIA Project Shield is aiming for a Q2 release for a price not yet known. If the company is willing to take a loss and sell it cheap, it could achieve decent amount of sales, but that's a big "could." In the end, this project is dead, there's no room for it anywhere so if you want an Android gaming console, look out for the Ouya.