The Nvidia Shield 2 is the latest Android tablet aimed specifically at the gaming audience, but could it be the direction gaming is heading for? Considering the relatively slow adaptation to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, it seems gamers have gotten smarter with their money.
We’re waiting for something within our budget which will keep us entertained for years again, and so far the new consoles haven’t shown enough to convince us yet. With the emerging popularity of mobile gaming combined with smartphone technology, Nvidia may be on to something.
Android gaming advancements haven’t always been well received, though. The Kickstarter-funded Ouya promised a tiny console which was intended to compete with the offerings of Sony and Microsoft. Sadly, its construction felt cheap, like something you might pick up at the dollar store, and with only the Android gaming market to choose from, the public was not impressed.
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The Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus seem aimed at the virtual reality crowd, but the concept might not be more than a passing phase. The headset covers your field of vision, so unless you’re extremely familiar with the buttons or keyboard, you’ll end up blindly fighting the controls just to make any progress.
The Nvidia Shield 2 doesn’t try anything unusual on the physical level, and instead works with what we know, putting what is basically a next gen console in an Android tablet. The device supports 1080p resolution on an eight inch display, and comes with the ability to be propped up so you can use a separately-sold wireless controller (retailing for around $60). Early hands-on impressions claim that it runs Unreal Engine 4 with minimal issues, and if your WiFi can handle it, you can play even the faster paced titles like Titanfall.
Yes, the controller is a separate entity this time.
The operating system is 4.4 KitKat, it has an expansion slot for up to 128 GB of storage, and its two-way five megapixel camera will make it handy for those of you who just want to capture the world on the go. Using the Nvidia Tegra K1, 192-core chip, it might just measure up to what Microsoft, Sony, or even Nintendo have available. For gamers who want their device to do more than just play the latest games, the Nvidia Shield 2 seems to be a solid buy.
PC gamers will be happy to know that the device will also stream the latest titles using GameStream and your computer’s Nvidia GTX 6xx or higher card. With a WiFi controller which appears to be derived from the Xbox One with “precision, low latency and ergonomics that committed gamers demand,” Nvidia seems to be poised to take the PC gaming route with an all-in-one Android tablet which practically acts like a console.
The 16 GB WiFi-only basic edition of the Nvidia Shield 2 will only cost you around $300, a hundred less than the latest next gen consoles, and could be worth looking into.
[image via technobuffalo]