The PS Vita isn’t doing very well, and the Wii U shapes up to be a downright fiasco. With smartphones and tablets becoming the go-to gaming devices for millions of users, there’s nothing but gloom in the future of portable gaming consoles.
That won’t stop Nvidia from trying its hand though – the Santa Clara company announced the Shield project in January at CES, and is now ready to start shipping it.
Nvidia announced today that the Tegra 4-powered Shield will ship to those who pre-ordered on June 27. Even better, the Shield will be cheaper than initially expected, as Nvidia cut its final retail price from $349 to $299. If you pre-ordered the Shield, don’t worry, you will only be charged $299.
The price cut is said to be the result of the feedback offered by gamers:
“We've heard from thousands of gamers that if the price was $299, we'd have a home run.”
But something tells me that market research and focus groups had more to do with it than the opinion of gamers.
Nvidia has its work cut out with the Shield. Console gaming is facing a period of uncertainty, and portable consoles more so. Many potential customers can’t justify paying good money for a new portable console when an old Android or iPhone does mostly the same thing.
At $350, the Shield would have been just $50 cheaper than the starting version of the upcoming PlayStation 4. Faced with a choice between a new full-blown console for $400 and a portable console for $350, many a parent would choose the former for their kids. At $300, the Shield is still pricey, but at least it stands a fighting chance.