NVIDIA Shield 2: Reaching new heights of mobile gaming

NVIDIA’s previous handheld Android gaming device brought about a whole new metamorphosis to the mobile gaming industry. With its superior specifications and its 5 inch screen size attached to a gaming controller, the leading provider of graphic cards and peripherals had displayed once again why it’s ahead of the curve in graphics technology. On this occasion, the company has taken the successor of the NVIDIA Shield gaming device to a whole new stratum; only this time, the device will not be shipped out in the form of a portable handheld gaming controller. It will be shipped in the form of gaming tablet. Let us review the NVIDIA Shield 2 and see why the device will yet again dominate the year 2014 for the mobile gaming industry.

1. 8 inch display instead of a 5 inch one

NVIDIA has omitted a handheld controller from the successor of the Shield product. Though this will reduce the level of satisfaction from the gaming experience, the company has decided to make a few changes to the NVIDIA Shield 2. First and foremost, the screen size has increased from 5 inches to 8 inches which is a welcome sight for most gamers as a 5 inch screen size would end up being an encumbrance for most gamers thanks to its limited size. Even though there is an absence of a gaming controller, NVIDIA has stated that the gaming controller will be sold separately for a price of $59.99. Now, we all know there isn’t much gaming to be done without a controller but attaching a price tag to a controller is not what some gamers will enjoy paying for, when they know that they can get one for free (the first NVIDIA Shield). Nonetheless, there were several tradeoffs that had to be made. By sacrificing a bundled gaming controller for which you now have to pay a price for, you will get the following benefits.

  • Larger screen size
  • Crispier resolution
  • Better gaming performance
  • 10 hours of battery life (according to NVIDIA)
  • microSD support upto 128 GB
  • Dual band functionality

Sacrificing one head and getting six in return; that sounds like a pretty sweet deal, if gamers were to sit down and assess about a situation sensibly. As for the resolution, the NVIDIA Shield 2 will have a 1080p resolution, compared to the 720p resolution present in its predecessor.

2. Superior gaming performance

Now, you have all heard about NVIDIA’s Tegra K1 processor found inside the NVIDIA Shield 2 gaming tablet. Given below are the technical specifications of the Tegra K1 processor.

  • GPU Architecture: NVIDIA Kepler
  • Number of cores: 192 NVIDIA CUDA Cores
  • CPU Cores and Architecture: NVIDIA 4 Plus 1 Quad Core ARM Cortex A15 “r3” Max Clock Speed 2.3 GHz
  • Memory Type:  DDR3L and LPDDR3
  • Max Memory Size 8 GB (with 40 bit address extension)
  • Display: LCD 3840 x 2160, HDMI 4K (UltraHD, 4096 x 2160)

Coming to the NVIDIA Shield 2 specifications; its Tegra K1 possesses a 2.2 GHz quad core processor with 2 GB of RAM. The NVIDIA Shield 2 comes in 2 storage variants. Interested gamers can pre-order the 16 GB Wi-Fi only version at the moment and in the near future, there will be a 32 GB version with 4G LTE connectivity available. With all the specifications laid out in front of you, you should have a brief picture visualized in your head regarding how powerful this device is. Just a little hint for you; it can overcome the processing capabilities of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 805 chipset with ease.

3. Other features that will make you drool over this device

If you’re looking to get the most out of your Shield Tablet, you will be required to purchase the controller. This is because the gaming controller features a touch pad, an integrated mic for voice commands, as well as quick access to buttons for controlling volume or navigating the Android operating system. When the gaming tablet is concerned, gamers will have flexibility while playing. This is because the user can plug the tablet into their TV and switch to console mode; which allows the user to pair up to 4 controllers for the ultimate mobile gaming multiplayer experience. Furthermore; the NVIDIA Shield 2 possesses a feature that no Android tablet possesses so far; the ability to play PC gaming titles such as BioShock Infinite and TitanFall.

In order to start getting immersed in these games, the user will need to use Nvidia’s GameStream technology to stream the games from their gaming PC to the tablet. This can only work if gamers have a powerful gaming computer and if that gaming computer comprises of an NVIDIA graphics card. Nonetheless, it’s a great feature to have. It doesn’t end here. The unique thing about the Shield 2 tablet is the ability to easily broadcast both gameplay and video to Twitch. Stream to Twitch is a feature that lets the user utilize the Shield Tablet’s front-facing camera to broadcast both the user and their gameplay in real time. After the broadcast has been recorded, you can move on to sharing it on various social networking mediums, where YouTube will serve as the ideal place to share such gameplay videos.

4. The price

The 16 GB Wi-Fi only version will come with a price tag of $299 plus the price of the controller ($59.99) will give it a total cost of $358.99. There is also a Shield tablet cover coming with a price tag of $39.99 that will allow the thin tablet to be set up in an upright position. The position can be altered according to the player’s choosing.

Final words

Next generation consoles are coming with a price tag of $399 and above. The price factor is alone for mobile gamers to turn their attention towards the enticing offer that consoles present. However, when the portability factor is also taken in to account, it is the NVIDIA Shield 2 that triumphs. Additionally, consoles cannot stream PC gaming titles to the user’s television sets so that gives you another reason to purchase the NVIDIA Shield 2. If you can muster up enough patience and cash, you can also procure the 32 GB version that comes with 4G LTE connectivity.   

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