The capabilities of the Nvidia Shield never cease to amaze me, of course the same can be said about a few high-powered Android devices, as much of the credit here goes to the underlying hardware in the Nvidia Tegra 4 graphics processor. I’ve already reviewed the Nvidia Shield (which you can read here) where I tested the limits of its Android performance, then I’ve also covered its ability to stream your PC games to the device (which you can read here) and now with the addition of emulation performance, the Nvidia Shield is starting to define its self as one of the most versatile gaming devices on the market.
The thing I love the most is that I can play all these games on the go, sure you can do the same on your smartphone, but mobile battery life doesn’t hold up as well as that of the Shield. Then you have the issue with touch screen controls, often not the best way to emulate games designed to be played with an analogue controller; the Nvidia shield has a fully remappable dual analogue controller, with gyroscope and one of the best touch screens around, so you’re unlikely to find anything better for mobile gaming anyway. The real magic comes with the Shields console mode, hook up an HDMI cable and you can close the lid on the device and pop it under your TV, pair up some Bluetooth controllers, or a USB hub and a couple of Xbox 360 controllers and you can play all the games on the big screen. This means you can still enjoy multiplayer games from your emulation software.
Sure you can emulate games on your PC, but you can’t take them out with you on the bus, train, plane or to work with you to enjoy on your break. Sure you can hook your PC up to a big screen TV and play games that way, but with the Shield you can take it with you and plug it into any HDMI compatible TV where ever you go. Of course you can also emulate games on devices such as the Vita and PSP, but this often requires modification of the hardware to allow it to perform functions it wasn’t designed to do, the Shield is just an Android device, so adding emulation functionality is as simple as downloading the required apps from the Google Play Store, something that won’t void your warranty.
There are plenty of options for those wanting to emulate their games, but the Shield is easily my favourite so far. Sure I can enjoy more recent emulation stuff such as PlayStation 2 games via my PC, but with a huge catalogue of titles available that are compatible with the Shield hardware, I don’t think I’ll be getting bored of it anytime soon.