Nvidia’s Shield is the company’s in-house-designed mobile gaming console built on the Tegra 4 architecture. Its coming on the 27 June 2013, and rather surprisingly Nvidia has dropped the retail price from the planned $349 to $299.
Shield is a bit of a strange one because not only is it a mobile gaming tablet that plays games from the Google Play store and TegraZone, it’s also offering essentially the same advantage that Sony is offering with the PS Vita, and Nintendo is doing with the Wii U. You can stream games from your PC (running Nvidia hardware) to Shield over local LAN Wi-Fi, and if you have enough signal across your house, you can play Borderlands 2 online, in co-op mode, on this tiny little console… in your bathroom.
Its possible that Nvidia dropped their pricing because at $349 it would have been too close to the Sony Playstation 4, which is currently sitting at $399 and releases later this year in the US, Canada and Europe. At $299 its closer to the price of the PS Vita. If you were on the fence recently about the PS4 and the Xbox One and didn’t know what to choose… Nvidia suggests the Shield.
Its actually a good tactic. The potential owners of the Shield already have a qualifying Nvidia graphics cards from the GTX600 series and are already connected online and/or have a WiFi LAN set up. Its almost the same market that the Xbox One was targeting, but at least Nvidia has one comfort – the people who would buy Shield would probably be able to use it to its full potential.
Nvidia’s Shield has been on pre-order for the last month and will be available on some stores across the US and presumably on Geforce.com for those of you who have credit cards and don’t mind dealing with the customs office in Johannesburg. Shield will work on Wi-Fi and will also work on 3G and LTE cell phone networks. Game streaming doesn’t currently work across the Internet, but Nvidia’s hoping that Geforce Grid will fill in that gap in the future.