The NVIDIA SHIELD is without a doubt one of the coolest mobile gaming devices out there! When you couple the NVIDIA SHIELD capabilities before the OTA update, with the added features from the latest update the SHIELD only got better. When the SHIELD first came out, I was on the fence about it. You could game on it while at your own place streaming from your computer. If you’re at home, I don’t see any reason to not game at your computer if it’s there. Now that I can stream the games from my computer to the SHIELD while I’m out and about as long as I have a solid internet connection definitely tips the scales of epicness in favor of the SHIELD! Once I had connected the NVIDIA SHIELD to my PC through GameStream and the PIN was entered, I simply had to choose my machine and I would have access to my games regardless of the network I was on.
I’ll be totally honest, the NVIDIA SHIELD took some getting used to. It’s been a number of years since I’ve played games on a console with this type of controller, I’ve been a WASD gamer for the last 15 years or so. That’s not to say that I haven’t used a controller, but the last console that I used on a regular basis was the Playstation 2. Since then there has been very little time spent with consoles. The first few games I played on the NVIDIA SHIELD was a bit of a disaster, I just couldn’t get used to the contoller, this was by far the biggest hurdle I had to overcome with the SHIELD. Once I was able to eliminate my awkwardness (most of it at least), the gaming got far better.
Stepping away from the gaming performance, the NVIDIA SHIELD was extremely dominant when it came to the overall performance of the android benchmarks. At the heart of the NVIDIA SHIELD is an impressive Tegra 4 quad core processor running at 1.9GHz. Only a handful of devices use the Tegra 4 processor, and most of those devices are more of the all in one style design and more expensive. On the flip side, the NVIDIA SHIELD isn’t quite as easy to tuck away as a true tablet is, nor is it as light weighing in at 1.28 pounds (579 grams)
One of the features I enjoyed the most, and will likely continue to enjoy is the NVIDIA Grid. Right now there is only 14 games on the Grid and the only cloud server is located in California which is a bit of a hike from Chicago. Fortunately I have a pretty rock solid Internet connection here and didn’t experience any stuttering or lag streaming the games I tried.
Despite being a pretty avid WASD gamer, I wasn’t ever able to do to well trying out Super Street Fighter IV Arcade edition on my machine with a keyboard and mouse. When I saw the Street Fighter was available on the grid, I had to fire it up. This is one of those games that really does need a controller like the SHIELD offers to play it. While I don’t have the full specs of the Grid server, we can see that it takes advantage of an Intel Xeon E5-2670 processor, and an NVIDIA GRID K520 GPU. Surprisingly it only shows 4Gb of RAM though, though I’m betting that’s all that’s dedicated to my session.
Pretty much everything I tried to do with the SHIELD went off without a hitch. Though I was surprised that the SHIELD didn’t come with a mini HDMI to HDMI cable. This is needed to make the Console mode work, fortunately they aren’t to expensive on Amazon.com, I ordered a basic six foot cable for only $6.99. While this was a little bit of an inconvenience, it was easily overcome with a couple bucks and a couple days of waiting on the shipment.
The only other issue I ran into, and this was more because of early access to the update. I updated the drivers in my system to the latest from NVIDIA, at the time it was 335.23. While that worked fine during my testing prior to the update, it wouldn’t work with the update. Once I got in touch with NVIDIA about this, they sent me over the newest drivers, 337.50. Once I installed that I was back up and streaming to the SHIELD from my rig. The moral of this story, make sure you update to the latest drivers from NVIDIA once you have the OTA update installed!
When the NVIDIA SHIELD was initially released, it was retailing for $299 and has since dropped to the realm of $249. For a limited time, in celebration of the latest OTA update for the SHIELD NVIDIA has lowered the price tag to only $199! At $199 the shield is hard to beat after this latest update!
Legit Bottom Line: If you’re looking for gaming on the go, the NVIDIA SHIELD is one of the coolest mobile devices I’ve ever used! The latest OTA (Over The Air) update lets us play your PC games from your GeForce enabled PC and any decent web connection!