Today’s guest post is brought to you by Monique Jones.
With the number of Android users growing daily, the Android OS-powered devices are becoming dime-a-dozen, ranging from your extremely affordable smartphones and tables, to the high-end flagships of the most recognizable brands in the market. But the more we get acquainted with the latest Jelly Bean Android operating system, the more we crave and desire from our devices. Aside from being used as a business phone, the Android smartphone is also used as a gaming device – many consumers are using their Android devices as an alternative to handheld systems like the Nintendo DS and PlayStation Vita. But the touch interface of the typical Android “gaming” phone or table is somewhat limiting to an average gamer, as these devices tend to lack the mobility offered by a physical controller with a joystick, and an emphatic, interactive experience delivered by mashing different control buttons.
This handheld gaming experience is what the Nvidia Shield brings to Android: it literally gives you something rigid to grasp, similarly to the controllers of full-fledged gaming consoles, all while retaining the ease and convenience of a mobile gaming OS. But before you rush to your car and speed to the nearest electronics store, there are important bits of information you need to know about the Nvidia Shield before you part ways with your hard-earned cash.
Android Mobile Gaming – No More, No Less
If you’re new to the Android gaming scene, it’s best to get acquainted with the system before choosing the Shield as an entertainment option. Try and see for yourself all that the Google Play store has to offer in terms of mobile games, and see if the options are in line with your current gaming habits. While there is a boatload of games available through Google, not everything is truly worth your time and money – just like any smartphone and the applications available for it. Some games are repetitive, while others are knockoffs of other successful titles. A great place to start is to take some time and skim through the “Editor’s Choice” along with the top apps that other users are downloading. Another avenue you should implore is to do some online research for the top Android games of the year. Though, it should be noted that many of these games are streamlined for mobile use, so the graphics and control won’t be the same as the ones you currently play on a traditional gaming console.
Can’t Find the Right Games? Emulate!
One way to circumvent the lack of “quality” game sis to download emulators and run games from older consoles on the Nvidia Shield. This method is done by Android gamers to make the most out of their devices, especially if they’ve exhausted all of their Google Play store options. Others may contest that the ability to emulate old console games shouldn’t be considered a plus for the Shield, but it is undoubtedly a great way to add more value to the $299 gaming device.
Handheld Gaming with a High-End Price
Yep, you read that right: the Nvidia Shield costs $299 – a significant price increase over the handheld PS Vita and Nintendo 3DS XL, both priced at $199. And even when they are cheaper, it could be argued that these two are the top choices in the handheld gaming community, and industry Android devices have yet to dominate. So with that premium price point, it’s difficult to convince gamers to switch from their old portable devices to the Shield. And that’s before you even get into the number of quality games available for both devices. These aren’t your typical pixelated, side-scrolling hack-and-slash style of games. Some of these titles are HD, open world RPGs and FPS games that are right on par with their console counterparts. Each of these devices carries exclusive titles, but they also offer thousands of games from third-party developers.
You’ve Been Warned
You may not be sold on the Nvidia Shield, not only because of its price, but also because of the better options available on the market. But the Shield, on its own, is a quality gaming device. It comes packed with the zippy NVIDIA Tegra, 1.9 GHz quad-core Cortex-A15, and 2 GB of RAM. These are high-end specs by traditional Android standards, capable of running even the most resource-demanding Android titles. The Shield also allows you to stream PC games, provided you have a GeForce GTX 650 or higher GPU on your computer. So, if you want to play Skyrim without being bunkered down at your desk, the Nvidia Shield is the best way to do it.
Monique J is an Engineer. She also is a Freelance Writer who concentrates on making articles about social networking, technology, business and general topics. On her leisure time, you can find Monique at her fashion boutique. Learn more about Monique on Google+.