Upon organising n3rdbal3’s big day out at the Eurogamer Expo this weekend made a list of all the things that I really wanted to see, one of them being the NVIDIA Shield. This handheld device has always been on my radar since it was announced in January but when I eventually had the chance to play it, I couldn’t have been more disappointed.
At Eurogamer NVIDIA had four of the handheld consoles on display which had been paired up with four seemingly high powered computers. It was mainly demonstrating the console’s streaming features, probably one of the most attractive features I found the NVIDIA Shield to have besides from the chance to play stuff I’d purchased off of Google Play. It’s just a shame that they chose the game, The Bureau, for people to play on.
As with most games at Eurogamer you’re given a short 10/15 minute demo but the person before me left half way through which was the same thing I did.
First impressions of the device were that it was heavy. For something that you’d be holding in your hand for a prolonged period of time it felt far too heavy and awkward to hold. It was also really hot. Granted I’d just picked up the console a few seconds after someone else had put it down but it was still fairly warm.
In terms of ergonomics I felt that the NVIDIA Shield had none, it was awkward to hold, the thumbsticks were in a similar position to that on the PlayStation’s Dual Shock controllers but a little closer together. The width of the device made it fairly hard to comfortably use the triggers on the back of the device and the small rim of the edge of the device that the screen sits in when it’s folded away made my hands a little sore, even after a few minutes of playing the game.
The screen size felt fairly inadiquate too compared to the size of the controller portion of the console, it also probably didn’t help that the PC that it was streaming from also had the a screen showing the same as what was on the console – this made it easy to just watch was was on the monitor rather than the device itself.
The NVIDIA Shield also has a full touch screen, something which wasn’t currently being utilised with the current game of choice which I felt unfairly represented the device. Perhaps if other consoles were set up to demonstrate the devices mobile gaming capabilities I would have been able to provide a more in-depth analysis on how it performed.
The console’s performed as a streaming device did actually impress me, probably the only thing that did so. I found the game had no lag between the what was on the monitor and on the device which was impressive but I feel that for someone with a computer like mine that isn’t too powerful it may struggle a little to stay as smooth as it did.
Overall I think the NVIDIA Shield needs a bit of work before it could really become a sought after hand held gaming console and PC game streaming system. I sadly found it uncomfortable and awkward to hold that’ll only get worse with prolonged gaming.
In my opinion what we all saw at Eurogamer could be a completely different experience what we get at home with the varied hardware that everyone has and for the £300 price tag I’m sure you’re getting a top-notch mobile gaming system that’ll flawlessly play resource heavy games like GTA III, Asphalt 9, and Dead Trigger, but for something that relies on your PC’s hardware for it’s other main feature, streaming, it could be very hit-or-miss.