Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Hands-on with NVIDIA's first game console, Project Shield (update: now with video!)

NVIDIA surprised the world last night by transitioning from hardware component manufacturer to game console manufacturer in one fell swoop, introducing the world to its portable game console, Project Shield. A 5-inch "retinal" HD multitouch display sitting atop a full-on game controller that resembles a blend of the Xbox 360 gamepad's curves and the PlayStation 3 DualShock 3's unfortunate analog stick placement, all powered by the newly revealed Tegra 4 quad-core cortex A15 processor. The console's set to ship in Q2 2013, and it promises stunning graphics for the Android games it's made to run, as well as a direct streaming option employing NVIDIA's GeForce Experience application. That means not just Android games, but also full-on PC games, with built-in Steam Big Picture Mode integration. It is, frankly, an impressive package. But the proof's in the pudding, right?

We got our first chance to go hands-on with the device this morning -- our first hands-on with any Tegra 4 device, mind you -- and came away impressed. Beyond being a speedy handheld, the 5-inch LED makes high-def PC games look even more visually stunning. Sheer pixel density alone meant that our test run of Need for Speed: Most Wanted looked even better on Project Shield than it did on the PC running it. More importantly, there was zero perceptible lag.

As for controls, Shield is a bit on the unwieldy side of things. In an effort to make the screen foldable, clamshell-style, with the full gamepad underneath, the analog sticks are sunk into the body. While it didn't make any of the games we tried unplayable, it did feel a bit less comfy than, say, an Xbox 360 controller. The DualShock 3-esque placement of those analog sticks isn't helping either, but sadly that doesn't look like it's changing -- the sticks are where they are for function's sake.

Continue reading Hands-on with NVIDIA's first game console, Project Shield (update: now with video!)

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Source: http://www.engadget.com/2013/01/07/nvidia-project-shield-hands-on/

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