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$299 Android Gaming Tablet Reviewed 65

Posted by timothy
from the is-$300-an-impulse-buy? dept.
Vigile (99919) writes "Last week NVIDIA announced the SHIELD Tablet and SHIELD Controller, and reviews are finally appearing this morning. Based on the high performance Tegra K1 SoC that integrates 192 Kepler architecture CUDA cores, benchmarks reveal that that the SHIELD Tablet is basically unmatched by any other mobile device on the market when it comes to graphics performance — it is more than 2.5x the performance of the Apple A7 in some instances. With that power NVIDIA is able to showcase full OpenGL versions of games like Portal and Half-Life 2 running at 1080p locally on the 19:12 display or output to a TV in a "console mode." PC Perspective has impressions of that experience as well as using the NVIDIA Game Stream technology to play your PC games on the SHIELD Tablet and controller. To go even further down the rabbit hole, you can stream your PC games from your desktop to your tablet, output them to the TV in console mode, stream your game play to Twitch from the tablet while overlaying your image through the front facing camera AND record your sessions locally via ShadowPlay and using the Wi-Fi Direct powered controller to send and receive audio. It is incredibly impressive hardware but the question remains as to whether or not there is, or will be, a market for Android-based gaming devices, even those with the power and performance that NVIDIA has built."
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$299 Android Gaming Tablet Reviewed

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  • by gstoddart (321705)

    Is it MARVELous this SHIELD?

  • by NecroPuppy (222648) on Tuesday July 29, 2014 @10:43AM (#47558025) Homepage

    Hail HYDRA.

    • by Sockatume (732728)

      Put your arms down, you look like a cheerleader.

      • Put your arms down, you look like a cheerleader.

        +1 This;
        I thought chemical weapons/gas warfare were/are basically warcrimes nowadays, no?

  • by gweilo8888 (921799) on Tuesday July 29, 2014 @11:00AM (#47558173)
    Based on the bugginess of every Tegra device to date and Nvidia's near-total lack of support, you're nuts if you even consider buying this.

    And that's the real review from an owner of multiple Tegra products from the first generation onwards. You're welcome.
    • by compro01 (777531)

      Does that include the Tegra Note tablet? The only bug of relevance I've found is the GPS is garbage and updates for it have been steady, with it sitting at Kitkat, with the announced intention to upgrade it to L when that comes out.

    • Considering the low price, I don't think any insanity is required to take a chance on it, and I've been burned buy Nvidia before with a $1000 piece of 3D hardware that they dropped support for soon after its release. At least with this, you still have an Android tablet if Nvidia abandons it.
      • by AvitarX (172628)

        Does it have Play on it though?

        With Google moving the upgrades to android into services through Play, this is relevant to me.

        I'd buy this to replace my broken Nexus 7 if it had the standard software.

        • I imagine that most major label games will also be made available through Amazon Appstore in order to reach Kindle users.
        • The last Shield had Play, and also has its own curated app showplace - that just links to the Play Store to actually buy the games.

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Bingo.

      I don't see this device getting any tractioni without major gaming companies (eg EA) or Valve's Steam supporting it. By that time it will be obsolete.

      Also, to repeat every single time someone mentions Android:

      Nobody wants to develop on Android, it's a nightmare. If Google jettisons the Java-Dalvik and switches to straight C/C++/OBJC, then you'll see more developers willing to build software on it. But as it is, the entire Java-like parts of it cripple the devices, and damn near everyone just puts up w

    • Based on the bugginess of every Tegra device to date and Nvidia's near-total lack of support, you're nuts if you even consider buying this. And that's the real review from an owner of multiple Tegra products from the first generation onwards. You're welcome.

      That and they compare it to Apple's A7 chip, when the A8 (or A7x at least) is less than 2 months away and has likely improved itself.

  • Yes, I need all the juice to play angry birds.
  • by wiggles (30088) on Tuesday July 29, 2014 @11:09AM (#47558265)

    You'd think Slashdot was populated only by AMD employees.

    Seriously, though - the specs are really nice - I'm looking forward to seeing this in production.

  • I just want a tablet that will run modern versions of Civilization (preferably in tablet mode, which is civilization's windows 8 killer feature).
    I don't care if it is streamed or run locally or whatever.

    This is the only thing keeping me from buying a shield tablet, the other games I can easily see how they will work, and they are a "bonus" for me, I can and will run emulators on anything, so the seamless controller will be nice, but it keeps coming back to Civ.
    I know Civ V (and eventually Civ Beyond Ear
    • I actually have been trying to figure this out my self. I've been using RDP on my Surface RT to play civ for quite some time now, it works but its not the best with lag response. I would love a way to stream civ reasonably but havnt had any luck...
      • Idea - Add the game to Steam, then stream it from the tablet. Pretty sure you can do that with non-Steam games now, and in my experience it's pretty darn fast.

        • by wiggles (30088)

          Yeah, but I thing GP was looking to use a touchscreen interface with Civ. Not sure if you could get that with streaming.

        • Add the game to Steam, then stream it from the tablet.

          It'd work fine over Wi-Fi within a house. But how many megabytes per hour would it use over cellular?

          • Probably a shit load, although I couldn't say if it would use more data than OP's current method.

            Of course, if it did use more data, but the experience was better (ie no lag), the question becomes "would it be worth the tradeoff?"

        • RT Tablets dont support steam ifaik. If they did this would work perfectly. Civ 5 DOES HAVE windows 8 touch mode. They pretty much just blew the UI up by about 20%. It works well enough.
  • by Joe Gillian (3683399) on Tuesday July 29, 2014 @11:11AM (#47558285)

    What I don't get is what the market for this is. The gaming aspect of it seems to be based on streaming games from a PC, and buying a PC good enough to do that costs a fair bit of money assuming you don't already have one. Game streaming also requires wireless internet access, which means you're probably not going to be taking it out of your home. There's also the issue of what you're going to do with it outside of game streaming - if you want something that can browse the internet when you're away from home, you'd be better off with a 4G phone than a wifi-based tablet.

    The real gaming crowd is going to stick to physical PCs because of the superior experience they offer. The casual gaming crowd, who want to play games specifically released for iOS/Android, have cheaper options for accessing those games. Who is the target market?

    • by netsavior (627338) on Tuesday July 29, 2014 @11:17AM (#47558331)
      I play lots of casual games in addition to less casual ones. I would love to have a tablet that can run my steam games while I sit on the couch "watching" tv dramas with my wife. I already have a gaming rig... I should not have to buy a $1200 MS Surface to accomplish this.
    • Angry birds... IN 3D!!
    • >. Who is the target market?

      People who don't live alone, and have to let others use their home theater at times, but still want to use the gaming PC that's in the theater.
      • You have to want a better streaming experience than Valve's Steam already offers for free (and you can buy a Windows Tablet for the same price, and Valve is expected to support Android and iOS soon). You can use whatever system and whatever video card you want to stream the game to and from - even go wired ethernet to get around the inevitable problems you get streaming games over wireless.

        If you go Shield, the tablet price is just the beginning: you have to have a mid-range GeForce card purchased in at le

    • by SQL Error (16383)

      It's a good question. I really want a take-anywhere tablet in the 7-8" range, with 2GB RAM, at least 32GB onboard storage, micro SD support, LTE, a 1920x1200 or better display, and a stylus.

      This actually has all that, but it sacrifices weight and battery life to provide terrific graphics performance - which I don't really care about at all. (I play games on Android, but mostly Kairosoft games and Final Fantasy, which are not particularly taxing.)

      But it's by no means a bad device, and if Nvidia can refine

  • The Future Past (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Tuesday July 29, 2014 @11:25AM (#47558397) Homepage Journal

    The SHIELD Tablet... is able to showcase full OpenGL versions of games like Portal and Half-Life 2 running at 1080p

    So, the future of gaming is... the past of gaming, but at higher resolution!

    Seriously, you want to impress me, do it with a game that's not older than the current 2nd-term Presidency.

    • So, the future of gaming is... the past of gaming, but at higher resolution!

      When has that not been the case?

      • Oh, it's probably about 50/50. After all, you can't have much of a past if you don't come up with new ideas now and again.

        Otherwise the only games that would exist would be some variant of Pong and Conway's Game of Life.

        • But what new genres have launched in the past decade and a half? I can't think of any since Parappa the Rapper in the PS1 era.
          • Various flavors of Survival Horror; from Alan Wake, that Slenderman game, Rust, etc. Then you have your mobile games (remember cell-phone games from 15 years ago? Yea, me either) like Angry Birds, Punch Quest, etc.

            There's also CtOS Mobile, which allows mobile players to engage with console players, a fairly new concept.

            Mass Effect 3 had some novel elements, such as the option to skip the action portions and basically turn the game into an interactive movie.

            Oh, and Kerbal Space Program! Never played anything

            • Various flavors of Survival Horror; from Alan Wake, that Slenderman game, Rust, etc.

              I haven't played them. What do they add on top of the Alone in the Dark/Resident Evil/Silent Hill template?

              Angry Birds

              I played that back when it was called "Gorilla.bas".

              There's also CtOS Mobile, which allows mobile players to engage with console players, a fairly new concept.

              Apart from the fact that the whole concept of "console players" is an artifact of lockdown regimes, Pac-Man Vs. already did mobile vs. console.

              Mass Effect 3 had some novel elements, such as the option to skip the action portions and basically turn the game into an interactive movie.

              Isn't that what "FMV games" on Sega CD and 3DO did?

              Also, 'annoyance games,' my term, in which I would classify crap like Flappy Bird and F*uck This Game, which seem designed to irritate the shit out of you.

              Flappy Bird is a clone of Piou Piou, which is a clone of "Balloon Trip" in Balloon Fight, which is a clone of Joust. F*ck This Game is just WarioWare: each pl

              • Various flavors of Survival Horror; from Alan Wake, that Slenderman game, Rust, etc.

                I haven't played them. What do they add on top of the Alone in the Dark/Resident Evil/Silent Hill template?

                Play them, then you tell me.

                Regarding Rust, I don't recall ever having to build and defend a house in any of the games you mentioned.

                Oh, right, you're still obsessed with the concept that "not new genre == been there, done that." Nevermind that, even if a game fits an existing genre (like FPS), it can still have novel elements that make it uniquely different than previous iterations of said genre (like Minecraft).

                Also, I noticed you didn't mention KSP - is that because you missed it, or you couldn't think o

          • The fad has come and gone, but the Rock Band/Guitar Hero genre was pretty novel.

            • by tepples (727027)

              the Rock Band/Guitar Hero genre was pretty novel.

              They're also just Parappa with a plastic guitar.

              • Parappa was nothing but a bunch of quicktime events strung together. Total rip off of 1990's arcade hits like Die Hard: Arcade and Hologram Time Traveler.

                Rocksmith is... not that.

                A "game" where you connect an actual musical instrument (instead of a plastic toy), and learn rather than play? Sounds pretty novel to me.

  • by stewsters (1406737) on Tuesday July 29, 2014 @12:05PM (#47558737)
    "running at 1080p"
    Take that, Xbone.
  • It's nice it's a fast tablet, but IMHO it's just too damn small, it should be at least 10"...
  • by ZombieBraintrust (1685608) on Tuesday July 29, 2014 @02:40PM (#47560057)
    So I don't know how this is supposed to catch on when the first I hear abouts its release is on slashdot. The Wii U, Ouya, and Windows Phone had a lot more hype. I suppose it increase their chances at a a profit assuming they don't make many of them.

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