While the video game world is primarily focusing on the upcoming iteration of the console wars--PS4!!! No!!! XBox One!!!!--some other companies that are making moves of their own, all in effort to bring PC/mobile gaming to additional outlets. One such entry, the Nvidia SHIELD, is primarily focused on attracting Android gamers. That, however, does not mean Nvidia has forgotten about PC gamers, otherwise known as the demographic that helped make the Nvidia brand enough capital to attempt something like the SHIELD.
Before that, however, the news of day concerning the upcoming handheld/home entertainment alternative to Sony/Microsoft has to do with the announced price drop. When the SHIELD was first announced, the suggested retail prices was $350. That is until the following post showed up on Nvidia's Facebook page:
We’ve heard from thousands of gamers that if SHIELD’s price was $299, we’d have a home run. So we’re changing the price to $299. If you’ve already pre-ordered SHIELD, you’ll be charged the new, lower price. You will only be charged when the product ships.
As for device's appeal for PC gamers, a quick look at the information page Nvidia established reveals the SHIELD certainly has something to offer for those who may want to leave the security of the computer monitor: owners can stream some of their PC games to the handheld device. While the service will still be in beta when the SHIELD is shipped, the concept certainly has potential:
Play your favorite PC games on a full-size controller with ultra-low latency thanks to SHIELD's game-speed Wi-Fi and the fast performance of GeForce GTX GPUs.
Of course, some PC gamers may not be comfortable with leaving their mouse/keyboard setup for something resembling a traditional handheld gaming device, but the idea of seamless stream of some favorite PC games to the palm of a player's hand is also very attractive. In order to access SHIELD's PC streaming capabilities, potential owners must have the following under the hood of their gaming rig:
System Requirements for PC Game Streaming:
> GPU: GeForce GTX 650 or higher desktop GPU (Notebook GPUs are not supported at this time)
> CPU: Intel Core i3-2100 3.1GHz or AMD Athlon II X4 630 2.8GHz or higher
> System Memory: 4GB or higher
> Software: GeForce Experience™ application and latest GeForce drivers
> OS: Windows 8 or Windows 7
> Routers: 802.11a/g router (minimum). 802.11n dual band router (recommended). A list of recommended routers will be provided at launch.
While the majority of that is standard for many gamers, the fact that you have to have a higher end Nvidia graphics card may deter some potential buyers, especially if they are buying it to stream their PC games. If some consumers have to spend another $150 or so to access that particular feature, they could abandon their potential purchase. Currently, Nvidia has a list of featured games on their information page. They include:
Batman: Arkham City
Metro: Last Light
Resident Evil 6
Considering the infancy of the SHIELD, it makes sense that there are a limited number of PC games, however, that is quite an impressive launch list. For more about the SHIELD, check Nvidia's demonstration video: