Overview of NVIDIA Shield. Play while young

Published on January 26, 2015

Overview of NVIDIA Shield. Play while young

    Cross the gamepad, tablet and console. Who could have thought of this? No, not Apple, and the controls are not virtual. This, of course, is about NVIDIA SHIELD: the first truly gaming console based on OS Android.



    The device is very niche, and at the same time, it has serious competitors. On the one hand, there are conventional portable consoles - PSP and Vita, the Nintendo DS family. On the other hand, the smart Chinese have already managed to spawn plenty of Android consoles in PSP format. All of them are clumsy in different ways (some have outdated iron, others have a disgusting screen), but among these products you can find powerful, bright and fast devices with a good battery and good build quality. On the third hand, oddly enough, Yabloko and their iOS devices, to which vendors have come up with various trailed gamepads, joysticks, and touch control, usually in iOS games, is more or less sane.



    In conditions of such fierce competition, Nvidia needed to create something really impressive, so as not to look against the background of alternatives with a gray mouse. Did it work out?

    Appearance and Usability


    For the appearance of the console, I must say thanks to the “three whales”. The first is the first-generation Sony Playstation console, the creators of which gave the world one of the most popular gamepads - DualShock.



    Its form and capabilities with minor improvements have been around for nearly two decades. Two analog “sticks”, crosspiece, four buttons, one “trigger” on each side + one “trigger”. Well, of course, vibration motors. The modern version of Dualshock 4 went even further, and there are even more features in it, but today we are not talking about it.





    The second whale was XBox - the name of the buttons, the Xinput standard, the approach to the console as a universal device for entertainment and a home media center directly influenced both the design of accessories and the overall control system.



    The third whale - portable consoles. The developer took into account all the capabilities of competitors and worked hard to make it really comfortable to play. And most importantly - that there was something to play.

    Several types of plastic are used as materials: ordinary black / gray for the case, semi-gloss for buttons, rubberized in those places where you will hold onto the device. Despite the glossy inserts, the device turned out to be very resistant to the appearance of fingerprints (and with such gadgets, hands sweat like that!).

    The screen is designed as a hinged cover: the console is protected from dust and dirt on the road, and the display itself will not be scratched. The full tilt angle is 180 degrees, but if desired, you can customize it "for yourself."

    image

    On the back side are all the connectors and ports, of which there are substantially more than we are used to seeing in mobile devices.



    In hand


    Now let's talk about ease of management. The console itself weighs a decent 500 grams: thanks to the batteries at 7350 mAh (28.8 W / h), a fairly large case and well-developed controls. On the one hand, such weight and solidity cause only approval, on the other hand, holding the device for a long time will be somewhat problematic. However, we are talking about the "standing" position (for example, in the subway) - if there is where to put our hands (table, knees), then the problem will disappear.



    The sticks are quite soft and accurate, all buttons are in the usual places. The manufacturer also took care of the additional controls for controlling the Android OS system and games, for which he has a plus in karma: for example, the right stick moves the cursor on the screen, while the left stick jumps separately on the screen elements. Everything is pressed easily and confidently, analog controls are also made on a solid five.

    In general, with the design and ease of use, everything is great and it is already pleasing. Let's move on to the filling.

    Iron


    As a "fiery heart" in the console, a proprietary Nvidia Tegra 4 chip is installed. It was developed specifically for such devices and allows you to display a picture comparable to large consoles of the past generation. The list of characteristics from the manufacturer is as follows:
    CPU NVIDIA Tegra 4 (1900 MHz, 4 cores)
    GPU NVIDIA Tegra 4 (72 Streaming GeForce Processors)
    Display 5-inch multi-touch display with a resolution of 1280 × 720 (294 PPI)
    Audio Built-in stereo speakers with integrated microphone
    Data storage 2 GB RAM, 16 GB for data storage
    Wireless connection 802.11n (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands) with Mimo 2x2 technology ; Bluetooth 4.0 GPS
    Interfaces miniHDMI, microUSB (USB OTG), microSD card slot (up to 128 GB), 3.5mm minijack for headphones with microphone connection
    Motion sensors 3-axis gyroscope, 3-axis accelerometer
    As you can see, the manufacturer did not stint on a full-fledged set of gaming hardware. A picture is displayed on a five-inch touch screen with a resolution of 1280x720 pixels, the matrix of which is made using IPS technology: viewing angles and color gamut are more than sufficient for this class of devices. But if you wish, the picture can be displayed on an external screen - when you connect a large screen via an HDMI cable, of course, the weight of the console increases slightly, but you don’t feel much discomfort, and in the heat of battle you quickly forget about the additional load.

    image

    I did not disassemble the device, but I was very interested in how it is arranged inside. A beautiful tutorial on disassembling NVIDIA SHIELD was found on the site of our colleagues in the workshop - I quote a few images from there:







    Software


    The console is running a modified OS Android 4.4.2 KitKat. Updating to 5.0 is most likely not planned, and it is not particularly required - smartphone features of our set-top box are useless, and you can enable the ART runtime in the settings. Talking about the capabilities of the OS does not make sense: the manufacturer did not cut anything and did not bite, everything that works on any ordinary Android tablet will start on Shield. The key difference in the software is NVIDIA's proprietary services: the Tegra Zone game store, services for streaming games from PCs and NVIDIA servers via the Internet.



    Inside the Tegra Zone service are games and applications that are fully optimized for the capabilities of your device: improved graphics, full support for all controller capabilities with the correct display of control tips during the game, additional content and other premium buns for owners of such a cool thing. By downloading the game from the Tegra Zone, you can be sure that everything will work just like on classic consoles in the best sense of the term: out of the box, without problems, with maximum settings, without brakes , the control will be licked, network features - work as they should.

    List of games
    Alice: Madness Returns
    Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs
    ARMA 3
    Assassin's Creed 3
    Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
    Assassins Creed Liberation HD
    Assassins Creed: Unity
    Audition
    Bastion
    Batman: Arkham Asylum
    Batman: Arkham City
    Batman: Arkham Origins
    Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate
    Battlefield 4
    Bionic Commando Rearmed
    Bioshock 2
    Bioshock: Infinite
    Blade and Soul
    Borderlands 2
    Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel
    Broforce
    Brothers — A Tale of Two Sons
    Brutal Legend
    Bulletstorm
    Burnout: Paradise
    Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
    Call of Duty: Black Ops 2
    Call of Duty: Ghosts
    Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
    Call of Juarez: Gunslinger
    Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2
    Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate HD
    Child of Light
    Chivalry: Medieval Warfare
    Civilization V
    Company of Heroes 2
    Counter Strike Online
    Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
    Crossfire
    Crysis 3
    Darksiders 2
    Dark Souls
    Dark Souls 2
    Daylight
    DayZ
    Dead Island
    Dead Island: Riptide
    Dead Rising 3
    Dead Space 2
    Dead Space 3
    Defense Grid: The Awakening
    Deus Ex: Human Revolution
    Devil May Cry (DMC 5)
    Diablo III
    DIRT 3
    Dirt Showdown
    Dishonored
    DNF
    DOTA 2
    Dou Zhan Shen
    Dragon Age: Inquisition
    Driver: San Francisco
    DuckTales Remastered
    Dungeons & Dragons: Neverwinter
    Euro Truck Simulator 2
    F1 2012
    F1 2013
    F1 2014
    F1 Race Stars
    Fable 3
    Fallout 3
    Fallout: New Vegas
    Fantasy Westward Journey
    FarCry 3
    FarCry 3 — Blood Dragon
    Far Cry 4
    FEZ
    FIFA 13
    FIFA 14
    FIFA 15
    FIFA Online 3
    Final Fantasy XIV Online
    Freestyle
    Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams
    Grand Theft Auto 4
    Grand Theft Auto 4: Episodes From Liberty City
    GRID 2
    Gu Jian Qi Tan 2
    Guild Wars 2
    Hawken
    Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
    Hitman: Absolution
    Huan Xiang Shen Yu
    Injustice: Gods Among Us
    Just Cause 2
    JX Online 3
    L.A. Noire
    League of Legends
    LEGO Batman 2 DC Super Heroes
    LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
    LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures
    LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues
    LEGO Marvel Super Heroes
    LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars
    LEGO The Lord of the Rings
    LIMBO
    Lords of the Fallen
    Lost Planet 3
    Max Payne 3
    Medal of Honor: Warfighter
    Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
    Metro 2033
    Metro: Last Light
    Metro: Redux
    Minecraft
    Mirror's Edge
    Monaco: What's Yours Is Mine
    Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition
    Murdered: Soul Suspect
    Nail'd
    Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 Full Burst
    NASCAR 2014
    NBA 2K Online
    NBA 2K13
    NBA 2K14
    Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit
    Need For Speed: Most Wanted
    Need for Speed: Rivals
    Need For Speed: Shift
    New Xiyou Online 2
    Orcs Must Die! 2
    Path of Exile
    Payday 2
    Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare
    Pressure
    Qian Nv You Hun
    Qiang Shen Ji
    QQ Dance
    QQ Dance 2
    QQ Speed
    Racing World
    Rayman: Legends
    Remember Me
    Renegade Ops
    Resident Evil 4 HD Ultimate Edition
    Resident Evil 5
    Resident Evil 6
    Resident Evil: Revelations
    Rogue Legacy
    Saints Row 3
    Saints Row 4
    Sanctum 2
    Shen Wu
    Shift 2 Unleashed
    Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth
    Sleeping Dogs
    Sniper Elite 3
    Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2
    South Park: The Stick of Truth
    Spelunky
    Star Trek
    Street Fighter X Tekken
    Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition
    Tera
    The Adventures of Shuggy
    The Bureau: XCOM Declassified
    The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
    The Elder Scrolls Online
    The Evil Within
    The LEGO Movie — Videogame
    The Stanley Parable
    The Witcher 2: Assassins Of Kings
    Thief
    Tian Long Ba Bu
    Tian Xia III
    Titanfall
    Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist
    Tomb Raider 2013
    Train Simulator 2014
    Trine: Enchanted Edition
    Trine 2
    Ultra Street Fighter IV
    Wang Pai Dui Jue
    WarCraft III: Frozen Throne
    War Thunder
    Watch Dogs
    Wen Dao
    World of Tanks
    World Of Warcraft
    XCOM: Enemy Unknown
    Yu Long Zai Tian
    Zhengtu Online

    Список Android-игр, оптимизированных разработчиками или компанией NVIDIA для приставки:

    Asphalt 8 — Airborne
    Arma Tactics
    Auralux
    AVP Evolution
    Beach Buggy Blitz
    Blood Sword: Sword of Ruin THD
    Burn Zombie Burn!
    Choplifter
    Chuck’s Challenge
    CODEX the Warrior: Chain of Nemesis THD
    Dead on Arrival 2 THD
    Dead Trigger
    Dungeon Hunter 4
    Expendable: Rearmed
    Grand Theft Auto III
    Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
    Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
    Great Battles Medieval
    Half-Life 2
    Hamilton’s Great Adventure THD
    Hockey Nations 2011 THD
    Jett Tailfin Racers
    Max Payne
    Portal
    Puddle THD
    Real Boxing
    Renaissance Blood THD
    Riptide GP
    Riptide GP 2
    RU Golf THD
    Shadowgun THD
    Shadowgun: Deadzone
    Shine Runner THD
    Skiing Fred
    Sonic 4: Episode II THD
    Soulcraft THD
    Space Ark
    Star Wars Pinball
    Tainted Keep
    The Bard’s Tale
    The Cave
    The Conduit
    The Walking Dead: The Game
    The Walking Dead: Season Two
    Zen Pinball THD
    Zombie Driver THD

    Полный список тут. А ещё тут.

    The second killerfic is the delivery of content “from the big brother” to the small LCD display. If your computer has a mobile or desktop graphics card of the GTX class (from GeForce GTX 650 and newer), a normal processor, 4 gig of RAM and the latest version of GeForce Expirience app installed - you can connect any available game and play it using the picture transfer capabilities from a computer to a mobile console. All that blows from you is a minimal set of up-to-date hardware, updated software and presence within the same local network.

    Well and to finish off competitors, Nvidia offers the third, ultimate aspen stake in the form of on-line streaming of games from own servers. This technology is called NVIDIA Grid.. The service, in fact, is an improved version of broadcasting games from a PC. In the world of business applications, the phenomenon of SaaS (Software as a Service) has become familiar and affordable, and now it has reached the games.

    Personal impressions


    I spent almost a week with this device, and two days (days off) literally didn’t let it out of my hands. There are no complaints about the Android component: everything works as usual. There is a browser, applications from Google Play are installed, all toys are launched and work. Some of them immediately understand the control from the gamepad, some require w3bsit3-dns.com and a little tambourine, but you still have a touch screen: no one bothers to grab the console “a little deeper” and play “the old way” - poking a finger at the display. Games from the Tegra Zone - full of pomp. The graphics are really amazing. Yes, I am aware that you can break the usual game on an ordinary powerful smartphone and turn on almost the same effects on ordinary devices like the Galaxy S4 or LG G2 (and on more powerful ones, respectively). But here everything is out of the box, and the management is much more convenient,

    But the best thing, nevertheless, cool is the ability to pick up a TV without any problems and drive Real Racing 3 or the same GTA San Andreas on the big screen. You see, after a couple of years, GTA4 will reach mobile phones, with some optimization, of course. That's only in GTA4 you can play Shied'e even now: launch it on your PC, send it to the console and go ahead, steal, kill, love pigeons in the most free city in the world.


    GTA IV on NVIDIA SHIELD. And here is the stream.

    The console is simply an absorber of free time. It is convenient to play it, sitting on a chair in front of the computer is not necessary, in racing and other arcades - this is it. In addition, no one bothers to put the emulator PSP or the old consoles and enjoy the eight-six-bit games from childhood - other consoles can only dream of this. If you are not confused by the game of shooters from the gamepad - everything is ok and with them. The only negative - RPG and Action-RPG are not very convenient to play. In the same Diablo3 on the PC, control from the gamepad was never implemented.

    As for the battery life - according to my subjective observations, it works for at least 6.5 hours in any way from fully charged to 0, and with a partial load - all 10.



    To summarize


    NVIDIA SHIELD has been around for almost a year now, and it never gives up. Powerful filling, excellent screen, convenient control. Streaming PC games and the Nvidia Grid service do their job. Communicating with the console is not only pleasant, but very pleasant.

    Pros and cons:
    + Easy to play!
    + Optimized games are even more convenient to play!
    + Grafon!
    + Gameplay!
    + PC games!
    + High capacity battery!
    + You can easily display a picture on a large screen !!!
    + Beautiful appearance
    - Price
    - This thing will gobble up all your free time

    I have not read the license agreement - perhaps the thing eats not only time, but also the soul.

    As a mobile game console, NVIDIA SHIELD is a unique Win. The high price (at the time of publication of the review - 11,100 in the Yulmart store ) is the consequence of currency fluctuations, but even this price is quite competitive. As for the prices for the games themselves, they are significantly lower than for the mobile consoles of the classic version, and we have Android on board, if you know what I mean.



    By the way, the Shield we reviewed today is now the penultimate generation of systems from NVIDIA, because the new SHIELD Tablet on the new K1 processor has appeared - it’s not such a universal, but no less interesting tablet. If you want to read about it, like the post;)



    » Another review of NVIDIA SHIELD on Habré

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    Good Game!