So the dust has settled a little on NVIDIA’s groundbreaking announcement at CES 2013, in which the company unveiled Project Shield – a new Android based portable system that will offer consumers a high quality handheld alternative which is powered by a new Tegra 4 processor and a 72-core NVIDIA GeForce® GPU among other things. Naturally, there are going to be immediate comparisons with Sony’s PS Vita handheld and early skeptics may be fearing that the PS Vita could get blown away with the differences in performance, with consumers obviously wanting to choose a handheld that offers the best experience out of the box.
We first told you about Project Shield in an previous article here. To recap, Project Shield is a portable system that combines an oversized controller with a built-in touchscreen – all in one unit and with the ability to open and close like a case. The display screen is a 5-inch multi-touch display which NVIDIA claims will offer 720p HD quality visuals and low-latency whilst playing online games thanks to ‘ultra fast’ WiFi connectivity – although the main catch is that you’ll need an NVIDIA powered GeForce PC in order to make this possible.
One of the main differences compared with the PS Vita, is that Project Shield is Android based, and will run on Jelly Bean upon release, meaning that you’ll be able to access all of your Android features as you choose, and play any Android game from Google Play that you normally would on your smartphone.
The main highlight though that Project Shield has is the capability to play full PC games on the go, a service that the PS Vita will not be able to compete with. According to the Project Shield website, users will need to have minimum PC requirements such as an NVIDIA Kepler-based GeForce GTX 650 or a GTX 660M or higher graphics card if you’re using a Notebook. You’ll also need an Intel Core i5 processor or better, but if you have them at the ready – you’ll be treated to a breathtaking library of supported games that only PS Vita users can drool about.
We’re talking about the likes of Battlefield 3, Skyrim, Assassin’s Creed 3, Dishonored and more. It looks very impressive at the moment, but gamers will obviously be fearing that such high tech will be priced very high – an advantage that may swing back in the PS Vita’s favor.
It will be interesting to see how Sony responds to their new rival, and it’s clear that something big needs to happen to the PS Vita in 2013 to keep it a topic of interest. Sony may deny that Project Shield isn’t a rival, but we think it definitely is. It wasn’t good at all to be talking about a lack of good quality PS Vita games throughout most of 2012, so we personally would like to see the library boosted in 2013 with games that are really on par with what is coming out on consoles at the moment.
Final Fantasy X HD is a game that has the potential to do that – but where is it Square-Enix? Black Ops: Declassified obviously hasn’t delivered to the extent that PS Vita owners would have liked, so everyone really is still waiting for that one killer game that will make consumers go out and buy a Vita if they didn’t have one. A GTA game in 2013 would also be a great addition.
What are your initial impressions of Project Shield? Do you think Sony will struggle to compete against it with their Vita or do you think the Vita will be fine as long as we see a lot more quality games released?