Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Nvidia's New Shield Gaming Controller

Gratuitous Tech are big fans of the Nvidia Shield. With the launch of their new tablet they are attempting to expand their gaming audience. This new tablet form factor is a universally accepted form factor that could allow for adoption of their new mobile chips by even non gamers.

Along side the launch of the Shield Tablet they launched the Shield Controller. It features WiFi Direct connectivity. This should  allow for lower latency (faster) controls and decrease reaction time. Along with WiFi Direct it also includes a microphone, touchpad for cursor movement, volume buttons (which can also mute/unmute), a headset jack, and the standard Android home
and back buttons. The Shield controller closely resembles the base on the newly relabeled “Shield Portable”, including the console quality feel.

The app created to pair the controller walks you through a simple 2 step process to connect. Once connected the app remains in the status bar to show your current battery percentage.

The controller is pricey but, it is the best Android controller you can buy. One problem though… it only works on the Shield Tablet and the Shield Portable right now. Luckily Nvidia’s gaming consoles are exceptional enough to warrant spending the money on these controllers. Hopefully, Nvidia will open up their app to allow these controllers to work on any Android device… Given that Nvidia’s motivation is to push sales of their new Processors it is unlikely we would see that shift any time soon though.

The images we have for you today are of the Shield Controller and its packaging. Nvidia really did a good job making the package feel like opening a birthday present. The craftsmanship is superb! The only issue that I can see is that the touchpad is a bit small and the volume buttons build quality doesn’t match the quality construction of rest of the controller. The buttons all have the appropriate amount of click and the triggers are smooth and consistent. The triggers are actually shaped in a way that they fit your pistol grip nicely. They actually feel nicer than the Xbox triggers.

Stay tuned for a follow up post that will show the Shield controller compared to the following controllers:

  • Xbox 360
  • Playstation 4
  • Shield Portable
  • Wii U
  • Wii U Tablet

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