Overall I am not entirely impressed with the device. Don’t get me wrong, its a rather neat idea, I just think its a little too much in several areas. The first thing you notice when playing the Shield is that its basically a full Xbox style controller with a screen attached. It’s just as bulky, if not more bulky, but sits in your hand rather well. Everything is adjusted right in terms of buttons, and there are plenty of buttons.
The problem is, imagine taking a Xbox controller with some added bulk to it (due to the screen and added size) and shoving that into your pocket. It’s not very “portable” to say the least. There were also tons of buttons on this thing, and your gamer instincts kick in at certain points. I wanted to press “start” several times and ended up hitting some home screen instead.
The screen was the most annoying aspect of the device for me. It isn’t positioned in the center of the controls like the Vita, and its rather distant and not close like the Xperia Play. Instead it was positioned above, and in some games you have to press the screen to do things. This requires taking your hand off and press it, instead of using your thumb or something. I wasn’t too impressed with the clarity of it or anything like I was when I first played a Vita, but this could be due to the games I was playing.
The home screens are rather nice and it is really easy to navigate to new games etc… If you have a Sony Xperia Play, then you will be familiar with the interface. You basically go to a “game store” and scroll through all the games you have. I wasn’t able to really mess with anything more than that as they wanted the devices to be playing specific games etc….
The game selection was one of my issues. It was what I feared as being basic styled smartphone games. There really wasn’t anything that stood out because of that. The ones I played were top down shooters that used maybe three buttons at most, and I can tell these games were not pushing the device at all. I would have loved to see it utilizing maybe something more extensive to show it competing with the Vita and showcasing its power, but there really was nothing that seemed to do that.
I don’t think the device is horrible, but in terms of being a portable gaming device is simply doesn’t seem to work. I would probably buy one to take along on vacations or something, but it wouldn’t sit in my pocket or replace any of my handheld gaming devices. Then again I don’t really see the purpose in that if you have a tablet or laptop with basic games on it.
I think if Nvidia gets some support with more in depth games and possibly does something more with it, the device will be neat. However, it really depends on the future because where it stands now, I’m not truly interested in it. I think its a great product coming from an amazing company, so lets just see where it goes. What are your thoughts? Are you interested in picking up a Shield?