PAX East happened last weekend in Boston, and while there I had the chance not only to hear a lot of interesting panel discussions, but also demo some new games and hardware.
When I first heard about the Nvidia Shield I was kind of dumbfounded. It looked like a handheld screen had been strapped to an old Xbox controller. It was and remains unclear who exactly will be creating software for the Shield. And its two big selling points made it feel too much like a piece of boutique gaming tech rather than an independent handheld like the 3DS or PS Vita.
The Nvidia rep’s explanation at the company’s PAX booth did nothing to alter that impression. He noted, as I already knew, that the device allows you to stream PC games to it as well as play them on an HDTV, but as Grant Hatchimonji writes,
“Yes, that’s a nice feature and all, but it needs to be connected to a PC to do so, and all of the work is handled by that machine before it’s spit out on Project Shield. At that point, it’s little more than a controller with which to play your PC games, and we all know those have existed for quite some time…and for far less money.”
Now we don’t know yet how much the Shield will cost. It could be as low as $99, which would make it an extremely interesting option. That’s also extremely unlikely though.