With the public release of NVIDIA’s SHIELD just around the corner the company has added a new video to its YouTube channel showcasing the Android side of the gaming console. In case you have been living on Mars for the last few weeks and don’t know about SHIELD, it is NVIDIA’s Android based portable gaming device powered by the TEGRA 4 quad-core Cortex-A15 processor.
Since the device includes a 5 inch 720p touch screen it is possible to use it as a standard Android device. It is running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean which means you get access to all your favorite games and apps just as you would on a large screen phone. Since it also includes GPS it is actually possible to use Google Maps or even a turn-by-turn navigation app.
As it is a gaming device the SHIELD comes with a built-in PlayStation like controller complete with two joysticks and the A,B,X,Y buttons. When using SHIELD as just an Android device the left joystick can be used to pan around on web pages while the right joystick can be used as a mouse controller, reminiscent of the TrackPoint controllers on the IBM ThinkPads.
The ability to access other Android apps rather than just games will be a useful feature for some, but for hardcore gamers (which I guess are those most likely to buy SHIELD) it might only be a minor benefit. However being able to watch movies or listen to music stored on the external SD card is certainly going to be of interest to most potential SHIELD owners.
Having said all that, NVIDIA try just a little too hard to convince us that the SHIELD delivers a pure Android experience. I challenge anyone to watch the video below and not laugh (or groan) when the presenter Will fires up a spreadsheet on the SHIELD and talks about how you can use the mouse to select a cell. Watch out for it at around the 1 minute 10 second mark.
Spreadsheets aside, the Android capabilities of the SHIELD look very impressive and getting all that Android goodness means that the device is certainly more than just a handheld gaming device.
Did you laugh at the spreadsheet?