May 20, 2013
Nvidia’s Project Shield Priced At $349
Well, that’s a price that even I didn’t see coming. Nvidia joined Razer earlier this year in announcing a handheld gaming device with the purpose of introducing PC titles to a more casual audience, effectively bringing PC titles into the living room. The conquest for this feat was questionable for a while, mostly because it’s what every PC gamer had scolded hardware companies for. But it seems that the pricing of Nvidia’s console might put it effectively in competition with Sony’s Vita and Nintendo’s 3DS.
Nintendo dominated the handheld market for far too long before Sony made their splash with the original PlayStation Portable, and since its launch, Sony has succeeded in defining a new demographic of gamer. That demographic has been regarded as a lesser casual crowd than HD console owners, but the game support by Sony has seen to it that the Vita is an ideal handheld that you want to have in your pocket on the go. Sadly, Sony’s game support is not as strong as its PS3 counterpart, and certainly not as strong as the PC’s current exclusive lineup. More importantly, the Vita has been open for a rival for years now.
Project Shield promises to be sure competition for Sony’s Vita. Project Shield is an HD handheld shaped like a 360 controller with a flip panel attached to the front of its face. The console isn’t particularly fancy or enjoyable to look at, but it pushes 720p resolution as well as media management with no lag and a crisp, clean frame rate. Along with Nvidia’s GRID cloud based gaming system, Project Shield can effectively connect gamers to the living room screen so that party gaming is a breeze. The question that most of us have asked for the past few months is what the price of the console will be?
Nvidia’s prices it at a modest $349. Most PC gamers recognize this as a steal of a deal, but console gamers still can’t seem to latch on with the momentum. To them, throwing down money for Shield would be no different than throwing down money for a 3DS, which puts Nvidia in quite the awkward position to make themselves look different. Does Project Shield differentiate itself from Vita and 3DS?
Well, of course it does! But that doesn’t make it a viable candidate to a majority of casual gaming audiences. I’m simply speculating on the ethics of the console though, and my words mean nothing as long as the console hasn’t released yet. But $349 seems to be more than generous for a handheld promising to take you on a much cheaper route of PC gaming, especially if you don’t have $750+ to spend on a custom gaming rig.
What more can you people want?!
Shield will launch in June, and pre-orders are available to be made immediately.
Image Credit: Nvidia