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Why I’m Disappointed with the NVIDIA Shield.

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.

Why I’m Disappointed with the NVIDIA Shield. - n3rdabl3

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.

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elitemark7
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elitemark7

Finally a truly honest review! I also feel the same way. it is heavy (but not hot, it never got even warm at all). and oh boy, typing this comment on this device is so hard and awkward. Perhaps I should switch and use my smartphone instead and start over typing this comment. I also never planned to keep this device. I bought it on launch day, kept it a month looking for good reasons or review to open this this thing, but all signs point to how it is lacking good AAA android titles. plus playing PC games on… Read more »

Joe colbourne
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Joe colbourne

I have owned the Nvidia shield for 2 months and have spent hours playing it and the weight has never been an issue and it has never gotten hot. I thought it was heavy when I first got it, but once you actually spend time playing it, the weight is a non issue as it is well balanced and quite comfortable to hold. I play my shield hours at a time without issue. I have never experienced any heat from my shield even after hours of use. I think if you owned one and used it for a period of… Read more »

elitemark7
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elitemark7

Hey Joe, show us a video of you typing using the screen, in the public, and not look stupid. I bet you can’t do that.

Joe Colbourne
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Joe Colbourne

Why would someone buy a Shield to type? It is a gaming device. There are hundreds of other android devices someone can buy to type, but there are no android gaming devices that play games as well as the Shield.

Richard Plews
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Richard Plews

I brought my Nvidia Shield to Eurogamer, and was appalled at the display they had set up. Nobody really knew of the capabilities of the shield and I had fun letting some of the indie developers play with my shield to recognize how powerful a device it is. As for the weight – you don’t notice it at all, I’ve played through all of Bard’s tale, Riptide 2, and a lot of GTA Vice city without it being an issue – it’s basically modelled on the most comfortable controllers available right now so how could be uncomfortable? As for heat?… Read more »

Joe
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Joe

I always thought that this was a flawed concept. It’s hard to tell what market NVIDIA was trying to target here? Were they trying to target people who want to play a game while taking a dump in the toilet? Maybe, but I personally find that disgusting. However, besides all that,the market alone is incredibly seems very small. This would only attract a small amount of core gamers. I can’t believe people got suckered into this piece of crap. Even more so the upcoming steam machine and xi3 piston are another big waste of money.

just my 2cents.

Bobby
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Bobby

The only thing I see the Shield lacking is a gamepad mapping software and the ability to move apps to external SD card. Other than that, in my opinion the Shield is the best gaming android device around. I own almost every android tablet & gaming device made and will always end up using the Shield for gaming and other activities. When traveling, there is no need for packing a separate gamepad controller, battery life is excellent and has lasted beyond my 5 hour trips (gaming, watching videos & listening to music), there is no need for packing an external… Read more »

anon
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anon

Whoever complained about psx emulator on android should try something good instead of that quick cash grab off an open source project that fpse is. RetroArch contains, among many others, the best psx emulator for ARM platforms. It’s fully software rendered(gpu is only used for scaling) and it has the ability to render at 2x native. Saying that Tegra4 is a minor imporvement is just silly. In fact, it has better single threaded raw performance than xbox360 or PS3(tested by running emulators written in pure C without any optimizations). There’s no doubt that Shield is currently the best portable solution… Read more »