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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.