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E3 2013: Nvidia Shield hands-on

E3 2013Hardware

The Nvidia Shield is an Android-based handheld game console that can also stream games from your PC. I don’t know whether it’s a dumb idea, poorly implemented, or a clever idea, poorly implemented. I suspect the former.

Within five minutes of playing on the Shield, its flaws become immediately apparent. This is an awkward, eye straining and wrist fatiguing experience.

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“A number of disadvantages”As you can see from the images, the unit is split into two halves, a gamepad and an attached screen. This has a number of disadvantages which aren’t apparent until you use it.

Because you’re holding the controller and not the screen itself like you would a phone or tablet, the Shield’s screen is further away from your face. This means that smaller details in games are difficult to pick out. Text is hard to read, enemies troublesome to spot and so on.

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Playing Max Payne and GTA: Vice City as I did at the Nvidia booth is surprisingly difficult and the weight and awkward proportions of the controller mean that it quickly becomes an uncomfortable experience.

Being able to use proper triggers and thumbsticks is great, but as good as that is, you can’t wait to put it down. Apple, Nintendo and Sony have nothing to worry about.

The author of this fine article

is the Editor at Thunderbolt, having joined in November 2000. Get in touch on Twitter @PhilipMorton.

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