Ever since the announcement of NVIDIA's SHIELD at the International CES, gamers have anticipated putting their hands on the device and playing on-the-go in a new way. Unfortunately, five weeks ago NVIDIA said there was mechanical issues that prevented the launch of the product last month. Regardless of the actual reasons behind the delay, the good news is that the SHIELD is now available.
At the $299 price point, the NVIDIA SHIELD hit shelves this week at GameStop, Micro Center and Canada Computers and is also available through Newegg and NVIDIA's websites and is the company's first attempt at a gaming device. Slightly reminiscent of Sony's PSP, here's what NVIDIA says makes their handheld stand out in the crowd:
Take on the latest console-quality Android games with true HD 720p graphics, booming stereo sound, and the precise, familiar performance of a console-grade game controller. And stream your PC games over Wi-Fi to play anywhere in the house. With always-on access to Google Play and NVIDIA TegraZone libraries, SHIELD is great gaming, where and when you want it. Google Play is music, books, magazines, movies, TV shows, and apps, available anywhere you go.
SHIELD puts a complete multimedia theater in the palm of your hands. Get lost in the hottest movies, your favorite music, or the latest e-book with a stunning 5" retinal-quality multi-touch display and custom tuned bass reflex audio. Watch Hulu. Surf the web. Check email. Even update your Facebook status. SHIELD makes it easy to stay connected to everything you love.
What kills is for me, sadly, is the fact that it's all about Android, just like the rest of the mobile gaming startups we're seeing as of late. Considering that, it really doesn't appeal to anyone with a higher-end tablet that one might already own. Also, the SHIELD has had mostly positive reviews from several different types of users and sites, but many have said there's no real reason to switch from a Vita or 3DS, should a consumer already have one of those as well.
Did you already pick up your SHIELD? Do you have any reservations? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.