Nvidia have been doing some very strange thing recently, not only have they decided to let AMD run amok in the next-gen console race, but they’ve also taken to market with their own, expensive, handheld gaming device, one that seems a little too obscure for many, but Nvidia seems to think they’re on the right path and what do I know, they’re the ones making millions of dollars from their ideas, not me.
The Nvidia Project Sheild will set you back $349, is powered by the Tegra 4 Soc and it will allow you to play high end mobile games on it’s snazzy little screen and controller, but it will also allow you to stream games rendered by your home PC to your mobile device, much like a PC edition of what Nintendo do with the Wii U tablet, or Sony are doing with their handhelds. There might not be much room in the market for this right now, but Nvidia is planning for the future, not just for a quick profit in today’s market.
Rob Csonger, the VP of Investor Relations for Nvidia was speaking at a recent investor event where he said that Shield cost Nvidia around $10 million, which is a bit of a bargain in this industry and that Nvidia can leverage its GPU R&D in the mobile SoC space, saying that if something doesn’t cost too much to develop then it’s worth a try for Nvidia. In other words they have the money to try brave new things. He was also quick to point out that a whopping 76% of revenue on Google Play is from gaming.
“The Android market is roughly 600 million gamers, any game and in addition to that you can have physical controls and you can project this and play it on your TVs, the second thing you can do it is you can stream from your PC,” he said. “The PC gaming market is 100 million users. So between those two, we believe this is something that we have an opportunity… We haven’t given any kind of guidance or revenue expectations for Shield, we just simply wanted to build this device and it leverages a lot of the work that we’re already doing.”
This is a promising idea from Nvidia, I for one am not sold on Project Sheild but it’s great to see someone trying to do something different and dare I say unique in the games market right now, whether or not this idea will pay off for Nvidia is a different story, but it seems likely they’ll and try again until they find something that does.
Are you an Android gamer, personally I own a Tegra 3 device and I have to admit I am impressed at how far mobile gaming is coming, but even I don’t know for certain if there is a bigger future ahead of that market.