Back in May, NVIDIA announced their SHIELD gaming and streaming handheld would be priced at $349. Now, before launch, that’s being lowered to $299.
When the Tegra 4-based SHIELD was first demoed at this year’s CES, many were intrigued by its ability to stream games over WiFi while also acting as a portable gaming device. Based on the Android ecosystem, SHIELD isn’t meant to compete against the like of Sony’s PS Vita or Nintendo’s DS. Rather, it strides a path less travelled by featuring a quickly expanding list of Android games, table-lit functionality, a high-grade input interface and an interface which is optimized for PC gaming anywhere in your house. SHIELD will also make use of NVIDIA’s GeForce GRID cloud gaming service.
While the concept originally won over many gamers who saw the value in a handheld gaming platform that was based around an open platform and had access to a massive library of pre-existing titles, SHIELD’s original price of $349 was a bit too much to stomach. With competing solutions from Sony and Nintendo costing significantly less and more portable options like Google’s Nexus 7 32GB WiFi and Apple’s iPad Mini in the same price category, the concerns were justified. However, NVIDIA has now announced SHIELD will launch at a more affordable $299 price point.
Anyone who has pre-ordered the device from NVIDIA, GameStop, Micro Center and Canada Computers will be charged this new price when their shiny new SHIELD ships out on June 27th.
With all of this in mind, it will be interesting to see if SHIELD really takes off or eventually becomes a novelty device that caters to a small niche market. From our short time with the device, it certainly has potential and will truly shine when the entire ecosystem is firmly in place.
You can see our hands on video from Computex below.