Mobile gaming enthusiasts must have thought their Thanksgiving present this year was an impressively timely Android 5.0 Lollipop update for Nvidia’s Shield Tablet. But the Santa Clara-based chip maker extraordinaire has at least one more surprise in store for the holidays.
With a much beefier follow-up right around the corner, you’ll probably understand Nvidia’s desperation to get rid of remaining first-generation Shield inventory. Then again, the chip makers have been throwing discounts, updates and various deal sweeteners at potential Shield buyers for months now, so the latest promotion is just another day at the office for them.
It’s no big secret that Nvidia doesn’t know the meaning of the word failure and is thus set on following up the fizzling Shield handheld game console with an upgraded second-gen gizmo. But apparently, there might be more on the horizon for the chip maker as far as gaming devices are concerned.
For better or worse, Nvidia’s Shield experiment is praise-worthy, regardless of sluggish sales and overall middling critical reception. Granted, the handheld console is years away from revolutionizing the mobile game market, as Nvidia probably envisioned, but a sequel is in the works and leaked info makes it look pretty amazing. As long as it’s legit.
Valve has pushed back the expected release date for its Steam Machine consoles and the Steam controllers from 2014 to 2015. A post on the Steam blog from Valve’s Eric Hope explains that the company has made the decision to extend the development period primarily to fix issues with the Steam controller, suggesting that the actual Steam Machines are good to go.
Microsoft will likely end up being the first foreign gaming company to release its products in China since a ban on consoles and games was put in place, but new reports state that Sony is set to enter the market as well.
Ubisoft is apparently quite happy with Microsoft’s decision to come out with a cheaper Xbox One that excludes the Kinect. During a post-earnings financial call Friday, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said that he is happy with the price cut as it means both the PS4 and Xbox One are affordable and, of course, more Xbox One sales means more Ubisoft game sales.
Sony is one again expecting to post a financial loss for the current fiscal year following a $1.25 billion net loss in 2013. Sales have recently been picking up for the company thanks to smartphones and the very successful PS4 but once this fiscal year ends, Sony expects that it will have lost $489 million, its second consecutive lost.
Nvidia did its damnedest to turn the Shield handheld game console from a tech oddity into a box-office hit and trend-setter, but at the end of the day, all the discounts and software updates were simply not enough.
Basically acknowledging there were a couple of things wrong with the Shield handheld game console and its age made it an impractical buy at $250, Nvidia rolled out a series of extra features to the gizmo, also shaving a cool $50 off its list price.
The Year 2013 ended with us knowing that Sony sold 2.1 million PlayStation 4 units only within two weeks of launch. After almost three months, the gaming console is Number 1 again in the United States.
We already predicted the Sony PS4 would be more popular than the Xbox One. Sony’s goal last year was to sell five million PlayStation 4 units before the fiscal year ends and as of February 8, 5.3 million PS4s have been sold around the world. This is even before it launches in Japan.