Well, that was fast.
I've kind of come to terms with the fact that I may not be able to get around talking about Microsoft, which will probably be true even of this week, but for now I'm going to do my best to avoid the Xbox One where applicable. That being said, this post today doesn't involve Microsoft at all, but it does have a company that both Microsoft and Sony were interested in making partnerships with: Nvidia.
Of course, Nvidia decided (foolishly or not, as some may argue) that rather than helping out with consoles, that they would much rather get in on the action themselves. Not content with just creating gaming PC cards, they threw development behind the Nvidia Shield. The Shield is an Android based game system, although at the moment I'm not sure whether it's more appropriate to call it a console or a handheld.
The Shield certainly is handheld, but using some of the available technology it can play full fledged PC games using your PC as a conduit. Of course the argument can, and has, been made that if you're going to be gaming on a PC that you might as well use the nice big screen anyways.
Putting all of that (and some other comments that come to mind regarding a very haughty attitude regarding their position in comparison to consoles) aside, this article isn't going to be judging that, since I'm sure there are going to be plenty enough reviews to go around when it drops this week. What this article will talk about though, is the fact that before it even hits the streets the Shield has gotten a fifty dollar price cut.
I'll grant you that Nvidia is putting a spin on things, as companies are wont to do in this day and age: "We've heard from thousands of gamers that if the price was $299, we'd
have a home run. So we're changing the price of Shield to $299." Still, spending less money is never really a bad thing, right?
A part of me wonders what prompted this, it's no great secret that the Ouya is coming at at roughly the same time (two days earlier in fact), and with a scant $99 perhaps Nvidia thinks that lowering the price a little may put them in a better position, even though from what I've seen the two systems are trying to target wildly different demographics. Of course that being said everyone wants the whole pie, rather than just their share, so we'll see how this plays out.
I can't see myself picking up a Shield, personally. I'm fine with sticking to the actual PC I've got to play games, I paid enough money for the damned thing after all. That being said, I'm sure that Nvidia has pleased those that were already on board, and perhaps convinced a few to sign up as well. It's nothing mindblowing, but it is a nice gesture if nothing else.