NVIDIA Shield Tablet – Gaming Experience

by: Joshua VergaraAugust 15, 2014

The successor to the NVIDIA Shield handheld gaming console takes on a more traditional form factor of an Android tablet. Nevertheless, one can argue that the primary purpose of the NVIDIA Shield Tablet is of course, gaming. As promised during the First Impressions video of the tablet, before we dive in to a comprehensive review, here is a closer at the gaming experience on the NVIDIA Shield Tablet. Let’s get started!

nvidia shield tablet first impressions (1 of 9)

To further explore the gaming experience possible, what we will be doing is a short comparison with another high-end tablet, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4, and talk a little bit about some of the games that are available only for the Shield Tablet. Also mentioned in the earlier video was the fact that the Shield wireless controller is hard to get at the moment, but more will become available soon. As ours is still on the way, I got really impatient and picked up the Nyko Playpad Pro Bluetooth controller, which did work quite well.

samsung galaxy tab s 8.4 review (13 of 27)

First up, I wanted to showcase gaming on the Shield Tablet, compared to another fantastic device, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4, which also features a display with a higher resolution. As good as the Samsung tablet is though, its processing package falls a little short when compared to the Tegra K1 processor of the Shield Tablet, especially with regards to graphics performance. As I found during my testing, this difference is quite evident.

shield tablet game1

Using Real Boxing as a basis for comparison, you’ll notice a slight slow down in the frame rate, with the overall performance not as smooth as what you get with the Shield Tablet. Moving on to Riptide GP 2, the Tegra K1 does a great job with the water graphics and the performance is smooth throughout, while there is a bit a slow down on the Galaxy Tab S, found mostly after performing a jump or a stunt. Granted, the higher resolution of the display could be a partial cause for this, but having the right processing package, to render everything properly, does make a big difference.

This is, of course, just a very quick look at the difference between these two tablets, and a more detailed comparison between the Shield Tablet and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 will be coming up very shortly.

shield tablet game2

Moving on to what the NVIDIA Shield Tablet itself has to offer, there are quite a few games that are exclusive to the Shield family of devices. One such game is Trine 2, that comes pre-installed on the Shield Tablet, and will work only on devices powered by the Tegra K1 processor. As you can in the video above, it looks great on the Shield Tablet, and I’ve definitely had a lot of fun playing it. There are also a lot of PC and console games that are making their way to Android, and two of my favourite games in this category, Portal and Half Life 2, are also available solely for Shield devices. It’s also important to note that I’ve been using the Nyko Playpad Pro while playing these games, and it has been a breeze to use that controller.

shield tablet game3

Continuing with games and features available exclusively for the Shield Tablet, we take a look at NVIDIA Grid. This is NVIDIA’s own cloud-based gaming solution, which is currently only accessible to users in North America. What you’re able to do is connect to NVIDIA servers, allowing you to access a number of PC games being streamed directly to your tablet. This is still a beta version, so there will be some issues with lag, but I did have a good time playing another of favourite games, Super Street Fighter 4.

It has to be mentioned that you do need a very fast internet connection to use Grid, but even with that, the very nature of streaming games from the cloud means that the latency may not be at its best. Some of your controller presses might not go through perfectly, and might not be good enough for anyone trying to play these games competitively.


So there you have it, a quick look at the gaming experience on the NVIDIA Shield Tablet! As always, stay tuned with Android Authority as we bring you a comprehensive review of the Shield Tablet, as well as a few comparisons with other high-end Android tablets currently available in the market.

  • bakakun028

    Gaming on a mobile is one thing I’ll never understand…

    • Techgeek

      Yet Google and Apple make millions.

    • Faraday

      wait till you grow up a bit, got jobs and married, and no longer have time to play games on living room.

      • bakakun028

        Makes sense. I didnt think of it that way..

        • mobilemann

          he’s totally right. Just don’t grow up. It’s a trap (your 30s)

    • Da Fuq

      So what do you do in public transportation?

      • bakakun028

        Listen to music. If not play simple puzzle games that could be easily run on a phone from 3 years ago

  • Mozaik

    Is it thicker than nexus 7.

  • Balraj

    Which game is that?
    Fifth image? Name the game for me pls

    • M3D1T8R

      There’s Portal, and then Super Street Fighter 4.

      • Balraj


  • rex

    yo yo fuck nvidia nice vid though aa

  • Asher

    Nice video AA! I might be interested in tablets again. This chip is a fucking beast!

  • eterna

    Any emulator playable on Shield Tablet?
    I’d like to know if this beast able to play FF Type 0 full speed

    • renz

      AFAIK even PPSSPP work just fine with Tegra Note 7. so i think PPSSPP will work just fine on Shield Tablet. also Shield tablet could be the only tablet capable of handling dolphin at reasonable speed.

  • JayMars84

    I really want this but what’s holding me back is the impending HTC Nexus and the Wi-Fi and cracking issues I read about the Shield on their forums.

  • Gon

    I would wait for the next version with 64bit compatibility and upgraded specs.

    • mustbepbs

      The SHIELD tablet just came out a few weeks ago….

    • Tjaldid

      I would wait for the k2 and 4Gb of ram version that will be coming next year. Although in what form is the question.

  • Vivek Rai

    I want that