NVIDIA announces Project Shield, how does it compare to iOS and AirPlay?

Last night, during their CES 2013 press conference, graphics powerhouse NVIDIA announced their Project Shield gaming platform. It's running a close-to-stock version of Android, and will run Android apps. It's play Steam games (!!!). And you can play PC games using project shield as the controller.

Phil Nickinson from Android Central has already gone hands-on with Project Shield. The video is up top, and here's what he had to say:

It's hard not to get excited about NVIDIA's "Project Shield," the Android-based hand-held gaming system it unveiled this week at CES in Los Vegas. For one, it's really the biggest piece of news thus far. And for another -- it's just friggin' cool. NVIDIA has taken the traditional gaming-style controller, packed its brand-new Tegra 4 system inside of it, added a 5-inch, clamshell 720p display (NVIDIA's calling it "retinal") and added some truly astonishing gameplay.

Apple has the beaming stuff covered already with AirPlay, which lets anything on your iPhone and iPad stream video and apps to an Apple TV connected to a big-screen HDTV. Not everyone is thrilled with a flat piece of multitouch glass, even one with a gyro and accelerometer in it, as a controller.

We probably haven't heard the last of Apple's AirPlay and gaming plans, now that iOS 6 and Mountain Lion have begun converging their feature sets, but have we head enough yet to know where that future lies? What do you think of Project Shield as an alternative? Is it just a gimmick, a controller with a screen bolted on, that probably won't find appeal beyond a niche. Or will physical controls and the popularity of Steam and PC gaming be enough to make Project Shield a success?

Source: Android Central

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

NVIDIA announces Project Shield, how does it compare to iOS and AirPlay?


Airplay is fine, but iOS gaming can hardly be qualified as what is known as gaming. I've made this argument here before, the best iOS games are reminiscent of early 90's PC games at best. Infinity Blade, one of the best iOS games around, is little more than a proof of concept and cannot be compared to anything on a console, Mac or PC, same thing for the Avengers Initiative or any of the racing games. iOS gaming occupies a niche, heavily populated by Angry Birds and Bejeweled look-alikes, casual games that do not require joystick and buttons, nor a big screen to play. If NVIDIA builds a platform where you can play real games on, games that can be compared to Halo, Mass Effect or Skyrim, then there is no competition whatsoever from iOS and Airplay.

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I'm sure there'll be a lawsuit for the "retinal" display marketing . Other than that, I MIGHT get it if a) it works on Mac [so I can play Portal] and b) it doesn't have an outrageous price.

In my experience, AirPlay is not a gaming feature. AirPlay works fine when you directly stream a video feed to a bigger screen, but you can only stream a game by mirroring the whole device. When AirPlay is used to mirror a screen, there is way too much latency for gaming.

I agree with Intrepyd. I realized that Airplay isnt usable for gaming after trying to play Need For Speed over AppleTV. The reaction time is wayyyy too slow for games that require precise timing.

Am I the only smart person alive? Have we not known that people are not going to carry around a portable game system anymore, we want everything on a phone or tablet. This is a waste of money for Crapvidia.