NVIDIA SHIELD price dropped to $299, release date set for June 27th! Are you buying? [POLL]

The NVIDIA Shield is quite the exciting device, one we’ve been waiting to see make its way to the forefront ever since NVIDIA let us in on the juicy project back at CES 2013 (read our initial hands-on impressions). We’d heard the company would be targeting a late June launch, and we’re happy to say that NVIDIA kept its promise — the company has confirmed that SHIELD’s release date is set for Thursday, June 27th!

The good news train doesn’t stop rolling there, though. NVIDIA has also settled on the final price for the device, as the device has been dropped to a cool $299. Many gamers expressed that $350 was just a bit too much, and that $299 would be a more attractive cost of admission.

Thankfully, NVIDIA took heed to that suggestion and gave gamers what they asked for. Fret not if you’ve already pre-ordered while the price was $350, as NVIDIA promises all existing pre-orders will only be charged the new $299 price once it’s shipped.

NVIDIA SHIELD vs PS Vita and Nintendo 3DS XL

To put the price into perspective, a PlayStation Vita WiFi costs $250, and that doesn’t include the cost of memory — $50 for a 16GB stick to match up with the SHIELD’s internal storage. Consider the fact that the Vita is based on ARM Cortex-A9 quad-core architecture and has a 5-inch touchscreen with a resolution of 960 x 544 (as well as a rather unique touchpad on the back).

playstation-vita

The other big player in handheld, Nintendo, has its own interesting product. The Nintendo 3DS costs $170 for the base model and about $220 for an XL edition. This device has dual displays, with the bottom being touchscreen and the top being autostereoscopic 3D.

Processing power for the 3DS includes a dual-core ARM11 chipset with DMP’s single-core PICA200 graphics. Even going by the XL’s tale of the tape, the 3DS’ top display is 4.88 inches with 800 x 240 (400 x 240 for each eye when considering 3D mode) resolution, and 320 x 240 resolution on the smaller lower screen. Indeed, the 3DS is a unique experience, but it doesn’t quite come close to what the SHIELD (or the Vita, for that matter) can offer in terms of sheer performance.

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So how, exactly, does the SHIELD stack up for $299? It’s slated to be the first Tegra 4-equipped device in the world, with the company’s latest quad-core ARM Cortex-A15 silicon (complete with a 72-core GeForce GPU) also coming with a 5-inch 720p HD display, and 2GB of RAM. Other specs of the SHIELD include WiFi 802.11n with 2×2 MIMO for streaming PC games, Bluetooth 3.0, GPS, Mini-HDMI, a microSD card slot, and a battery rated at 28.8 Wh. Of course, it also runs Android Jelly Bean for those of you who don’t know that our beloved operating system is running the show behind the beautiful SHIELD interface.

Don’t forget this clamshell form factor means there’s a full gamepad for you to get your game on with. The SHIELD’s gamepad includes dual analog sticks, dual shoulder buttons with accompanying triggers, a full suite of face buttons, a d-pad, standard Android navigation buttons for home and back, as well as a start button. Considering all of that, it seems like quite the value.

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NVIDIA SHIELD vs Wikipad

NVIDIA’s SHIELD will also contend with the Wikipad, a gaming tablet that can be docked into a controller. This device, launched at the start of E3, is a 7-inch tablet for $250, and it’s fittingly powered by NVIDIA Tegra 3. That gives it a quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 chipset along with 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, a microSD card slot, HDMI, Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi, GPS, a 2 megapixel front camera and more.

The WikiPad’s flexibility as a full-fledged tablet might make it more valuable to some. It also has full access to the Google Play Store, as well as access to some of Sony’s titles as it’s part of the PlayStation Certified initiative. The unique controller dock features a nice mix of face buttons, a d-pad and dual analog sticks, and also has two triggers behind it (but no shoulder buttons / bumpers to go along with those).

Wikipad_4031_ROTATE_FIN

Are you buying?

NVIDIA has been listening to the feedback since CES and beyond, and have since tweaked the device to make it more enjoyable to use. Triggers have inched around to make them more easy to use, the analog thumb sticks feel more solid, buttons give better feedback and the software is more responsive.

To top all of that off, the hinge mechanic for opening and closing the device has been made even sturdier than it already was, which should quell fears of it feeling loose after hundreds or even thousands of openings and closings. It should all come together to make for an experience even better than what our fond memories from CES are allowing us to remember.

With that, we’re curious — are you buying the SHIELD? It’s $50 cheaper than originally anticipated, and outclasses most of the competition with ease. With support for Tegra-optimized Android games and the forthcoming ability to stream PC games using WiFi 2×2 MIMO, this is one hot device that could change the face of mobile gaming as we know it.

If you’re not buying it, we want to know why. Is the form factor not appealing? Are you worried about the amount of third-party development support it’ll get down the line? Is it still a bit too rich for your wallet? Whatever your concerns are, be sure to let us know in the comments section below, and drop a quick vote in the poll while you’re at it! And if you’re sold, be sure to order yours at NVIDIA’s website.

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  • reznorfan0

    I’ve got a rooted note 2, a ps3 controller, and a gameklip. While I would like one of these, anything more that $100 puts it out of reach for me…Especially when I have 3 next gen consoles to buy this year.

    • izzyt

      i know!!! when the ps3 and Xbox 360 come out i said, “ill wait for the next consoles” to my frigging surprise years later the release the new consoles!!! im not gonna miss out on these.

      • supremekizzle

        Wait… You waited 8 fricking years to buy a game console?

        • Nick Dion

          That Costed only 300$?! That guys crazy..

          • NIGHTSCOUT

            Or just dirt poor

  • MSined

    Price is way better, but the software features need to be refined.
    The fact that PC Streaming is BETA and requires some hardware that many people don’t have make this feel like a beta device.

    Maybe the next iteration, although that’s what was said about the Xperia Play.

    • http://www.colossaldamage.com/ SuperMarino

      Makes me sad, because I have the hardware to do the streaming, but.. I don’t have those games, and the ones I do, I’ve already played to the point of not needing more. I’m looking forward to it once they open it up, but it’s not worth it to me yet.

  • Sandy McArthur

    Is PC streaming for any game or just an approved list of games?

    Edit: Seems only select games. :-(
    “With a [...] a variety of supported PC games” [...] from http://shield.nvidia.com/play-pc-games

    • Aerospacesmith

      The initial launch will have the beta PC streaming. When NVIDIA feels it is ready, it will do the official PC streaming launch which only requires a software update. After the official launch, most Steam games will be stream-able and NVIDIA could also make the Geforce Experience program let you stream any games on your PC. Also you could use the NVIDIA GRID that will be launching later that can stream AAA games from the ‘cloud’ for probably a subscription.

    • dshearn

      I am trying to figure out is laptop cards can run the Video Stream…I have a m680

      • Aerospacesmith

        Right now, mobile cards are not supported. They should be included with the full official launch after the beta.

      • Sandy McArthur

        The current GeForce Experience app has a tab to tell you if your computer is compatible for streaming to a Shield. http://www.geforce.com/geforce-experience

  • idongacha

    For the price why not throw at least a front camera on it too? At 200 I’m sold.

  • Blkegk

    still too much for mobile gaming. I rather get the playstation vita and play my ps4 games when I’m away from the console. Sony is getting all my money this year.

    • CodyTaylor

      This ^^^^ Sony is sucking me in….

    • stucrmnx120fshwf

      It’s not too much for mobile gaming at 72 Nvidia cores, but yeah Sony’s 400 equivalent cores, 8 GB GDDR5, 8 compute cores, each 8 times as many transistors as the original Pentium MMX, running 8 times as fast, 8x8x8=512 P MMXs equivalent. With a billion transistor graphics, running heterogeneous computing, 2 terra flops a second.

  • earth

    WikiPad at 7″ looks more appealing and has better design but too bad it’s not Tegra 4.

  • Alan Shearer

    Does this shield have play store access? That is a make or break it deal for me. That alone makes it an awesome device or another wannabe.

    For me a perfect device would be the size of the vita or psp, (with physical conrolls, ie, dual sticks, trigger(s), etc), latest android, high res touch screen, and either tegra 4 or snapdragon 800 with google play store access. (or it could have the xperia play formfactor with a bigger higher res screen)

    • blueyedsoul1

      There was an article a little while back that it was going to be very close to a “Google Edition” device, so I would certainly assume it has access to the Play Store.

      • Montisaquadeis

        YEah basically a google edition device with the tegra zone along with Google Play and the google suite of apps. I doubt they would lock it down to where you wouldn’t be able to install the full suite of gapps if you want.

  • CodyTaylor

    I’d rather have a Vita and be able to play ps4 games on the go, and I can play just about every game that ever existed on my tablet with a ps3 controller. Just don’t see the value.

  • Kerbion

    No thanks, I like android and all, but really, I can’t stand most of the games on Android. I could not under any circumstance convince myself or my wife to part with $300 for something that pulls games from Google Play, I don’t care what games might come out specifically for it, just way too much.

    • C.Gully

      I think you’re missing the point. You can stream your PC games to it. From your PC. Because PC master race. Still in beta though. I’ll wait for the price drop :P

  • Dan

    I find the wikipad the most tempting, but the specs aren’t high enough and I fear it will be old news soon.

    On top of that, I’m planning on buying a Wii-U (Mario Kart won me) during the holidays so I can’t justify the cost with the wife lol.

  • Todd Turner

    I am so tempted, but haven’t decided to make the plunge yet. I am really excited for the next iteration of Shield with mobile Kepler and was hoping to either get that or wait and see if the price drops substantially. Given the drop to $300 already, I may just hold off a bit longer and see if it drops again.

    Besides, what I really need more right now is a new phone. I’m actually using an Xperia Play as my daily driver and intend to get a Sony Honami when it drops. As such, I may be able to do most of what I want the Shield for with the Honami, PS3 controller, and a Gameklip.

  • bob

    That’s what it DROPPED to?!?!

  • Del373

    When devices like the shield get enough 3rd party support that it has games I want to play, I’d consider buying it. The 3DS and Vita already have popular titles that I’d want to play, and at this point games on android just aren’t “there” yet.

  • WhoaManWtF

    I have a modern phone and a Moga Pro. When I’m done gaming I don’t have a useless device that has a huge controller attached to it instead I have a full functioning device that I can attach my controller to and game. If this could be removed from the controller and still function I might bite just for the specs and then it could be a media player and what not while not hooked to the giant controller but as is it is a monstrosity.

  • Dr. Droid

    I just don’t think it’s going to sell well. Handheld gaming devices hasn’t been that great of the hit for the past few years. Beside, if I already have a smartphone that can do what Shield does, why would I go out and spend $300? Beside, that’s almost as much as a mid-range laptop that I can play some awesome games that has been out.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001864892954 Nathan Aker

    I think ill stick with the MOGA, much more functional.

    • 91firebirder

      how is that? That’d be the only one I’d b interested in, just never heard any reviews.

  • james ortiz

    still too much that price range is for full gaming consoles. and its not even too portable looking.

  • supremekizzle

    PSP with custom software to play roms and Nintendo Dsi Xl with a flash cart to play roms is still way cheaper than this thing.

    • Montisaquadeis

      There are a number of emulators that the psp just does not have the power to emulate n64 emulation is quite a bit shaky on the psp still. I doubt either could handle the arm port of dolphin that is coming down the pipe. They are targeting devices with chips like the tegra4 since weaker chips wont have the power to handle it. So the shield running dolphin,N64,PSX, and even PSP emulators would be able to do more then the psp and NDS.

  • Shawn_Locke

    I’ll just stick with the MOGA Pro for the time being.

  • ChicagoBob

    Bad year for this. Two new consoles XBOX and PS4 and new Android tablets with meaner CPU’s due as well.
    This thing would have to BLOW the doors off everything else to make me drop the coin.
    PS4 is $399. If someone wants 299 it better be packed with games and totally awesome.
    I forgot to add the Nintendo was awesome because it fit in your pocket and was really a tuff little box. I expect the Shield can do neither.

    • stucrmnx120fshwf

      Maybe a little meaner on the CPU, but it is hard to beat 72 Nvidia common GPUs, mobile at that price, still it’s up against Snapdragon 800 with near as good graphics and LTE Advanced on 1080p screens. The consoles are pretty good too, see my comment above and yes the x86 CPUs are more powerful and getting more power efficient, but how many bucks will you have to lay out.

  • NIGHTSCOUT

    Just order an Alienware 17, so I cannot see myself buying the Shield. Besides, using a shield for FPS games, is an epic FAIL

    • João Pedro Santos

      i’m going to order an Alienware 18 and i agree ! xD

      • NIGHTSCOUT

        Ya i wanted the 18 as well, but don’t have the extra $500

        • João Pedro Santos

          i’m going for the 18 because of the screen size mainly but if i had less money i wouldn’t think twice about the 17.. they had a cut in the price that amazed me!

  • NIGHTSCOUT

    PRO TIP: If a product drops in price before launch, it will drop again after launch.

  • lolwut
  • renz

    Personally i’m much more interested with Tegra 4 tablets rather than Shield. The controller on the Shield make it nice to play games on android but personally i dont play much android games on my android device. To be honest i was hoping nvidia able to attract more developer to develop premium games on android though the problem is most people did not want to pay for the premium price for the games they play on phones and tablet

  • Bogeybum

    It looks a great device, however pointless for me as I already own a fairly powerful Android device (Sony Xperia S – not top of the range these days, but plenty powerful enough), and I can get a reasonable bluetooth controller for under £25. I imagine most people in a similar position to me would pass on the device.

    I’d rather put the money this would cost towards getting a PS4 or Xbox One.

  • Elronza Williams Jr.

    I’m buying a Shield! It is with out a doubt the best console for hardcore gamers period. It supports 4000k tv output which neither the xbox1 or ps4 even come close to.

  • Levi Urquhart

    I think the best hand held gaming experience isn’t about sheer performance. You won’t get the unique 3DS experience on any other console, nor the vast library of exclusive games.

  • XtremeMorph

    Reason i bought it it’s Tegra zone and Dead Trigger. lol. btw, i have PS Vita, 3DS XL, X360, PS3 and pre ordered PS4.

    Moga didn’t cut it for my Dead Trigger control, PS3 controller work so so after a lot of mapping test..

    Also i want to separate my GS4 from work and play. All play to be done on SHIELD while work happening on my GS4.