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.
Nvidia vowed its Shield Tablet would be one of the first Android soldiers to load itself with 5.0 Lollipop, and next week, the GPU and SoC maker will be delivering on that promise. Impressive turnaround for a device manufacturer with little to no experience in the field, and no special relationship with Google.
Perhaps the best part of any new Android version announcement has little to do with the actual intro, going down in the days, weeks and months following the formal unveil. It’s this general, overpowering sense of wholeness, as each and every player in the game goes the extra mile to rapidly skin, modify, customize and finally release over-the-air software updates.
It’s the ultimate on-the-go gaming machine. No, it’s an all-purpose top-of-the-line Android tablet. Actually, it’s both. An exquisite device for mobile gaming, but equally as impressive when used to browse the web, listen to music, play movies and video clips and even take handwritten notes and create works of art.
Nvidia has launched it’s own gaming tablet dubbed as Nvidia Shield. Currently, the tablet is only available as a WiFi version, but it seems we may get to see the 4G LTE compatible Nvidia Shield tablet in the coming weeks. Recently, we heard about the Nvidia Shield tablet with 4G connectivity with 32GB storage on board. If it turns out to be real, it should be compatible with AT&T 4G and HSPA+ network in the US.
Making good on their last week’s promise, Nvidia has begun shipping the powerhouse gaming-centric Shield Tablet to tech-savvy consumers in the United States and Canada. Meanwhile, Europeans can pre-order the beefy Android-based 8 incher via “many top e-tailers”, with an ETA allegedly set for August 24.
We’ve been warned, and teased, and warned again. At long last, Nvidia’s Shield Tablet has gone official, unfortunately a couple of days too late to surprise in any way. But regardless of the mystery being shattered to pieces prematurely, you have to admit the chip maker’s sophomore gaming device effort improves last year’s hesitant rookie stab at the tricky market by leaps and bounds.
Nvidia entered the Android device manufacturing scene quite abruptly last year, taking us all by surprise with a pioneering Shield handheld game console design and pretty bold Tegra Note tablet.
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.
Nvidia’s stubbornness to go after the Android tablet veterans and continue its road-opening gaming-focused efforts have been thoroughly documented of late, with benchmark test results and FCC certifications. But if you needed extra proof the chip maker means business, here it is.
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.