News: Nvidia Shield Pre-Orders Open Next Week, Pricing Announced

nvidia-shield_2Nvidia’s first step into the handheld gaming market comes in the form of the Nvidia Shield, an Android based device which will allow gaming on the go with Android apps as well as streaming PC games to the device from your PC.

The Nvidia Shield is set to launch during the back-end of June, though you’ll be able to place your pre-order from May 20th to guarantee yourself one of the devices.

The price? It’s a whopping $349.99. Ouch. That’s much more than the PS Vita or Nintendo 3DS, in fact it’s more expensive than a brand new PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 or Wii U. I’m pretty sure you could also find a decent laptop that will play decent games for around the same price. (For those who think that it’s impossible to game on a laptop that doesn’t have an aliens head plastered to the back, my laptop was just under £380 and plays the latest games just fine, so it is possible!)

The Nvidia Shield is set to compete with the likes of the PlayStation Vita, Nintendo 3DS, iPhones and iPads, not to mention the endless waves of Android powered devices as well as Windows-based phones and tablets alike.

The device itself is running Android version 4.2.1 and features a Tegra 4 graphics chip, 16GB on board storage and a 5-inch screen to display games. The streaming capabilities are what most are interested in, but it’s not all good. The device can stream your games from Steam, though you have to be on the same WiFi network and your PC’s graphics card must be a GTX 650 or better. In addition, only a small number of games will be supported at launch, with more being added in the future.

When the Nvidia Shield was first announced some months ago, I have to admit I was intrigued. However, with the revelation that you’ll only be able to stream select PC games via Steam and on the same WiFi network, it begs the question; What’s the point?

If you’re looking for a powerful handheld console that is truly portable, I highly recommend the PS Vita. It’s a damn sight cheaper and despite what it’s critics say, there are a ton of games out there to get stuck into.

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Interested in the Nvidia Shield? Thinking of plonking down some hard-earned cash on the device? Or will you stick to a truly portable gaming machine? Let us know down in the comments section below.