Monday, January 7, 2013

NVIDIA's Shield pounces on the Vita's weaknesses

Nvidia has built the handheld gaming device that Sony probably wanted to, but couldn't. Project Shield is due out later this year and is powered by Nvidia's new Tegra 4 which will easily out-power the Vita. But more importantly, it plays full Android games as well as your PC titles (via streaming) AND it can output them it a 5" display or your HDTV for portable or home gaming.

Sony couldn't do that because it can't afford to damage PS3 or PS4 sales, so there is no video out on the Vita. And, while Sony has tried to build PlayStation Mobile to encourage Android-like gaming, this is the full thing with thousands of games available instead of less-than-50.

While the model shown off at CES looks a little bulky, it packs in decent speakers for quality audio out, all the buttons and triggers you'll need and has easy, cheap, memory storage through MicroSD. Frankly, I'll buy one of these happily just to try it out and play my Steam PC games on TV without needing the laptop next to the set.

Sony has room and time to respond through an app offering full Android access (I think a future 4G Vita might have a full Android phone mode), releasing Gaikai games streaming as a proper service (not the half-assed beast I suspect Sony is planning) and opening up Vita development with an easy Android-to-Vita code converter.

Watch live video from nvidiaofficial on

Are you interested in one of these? The keynote replay will be going live sometime soon.

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