Project Shield is easily the best thing to come out of CES 2013. The unique handheld gaming system features top of the line specs, vanilla Android, the ability to stream games from your PC gaming library right to the device and complete access to all Google apps and services. So how much is it gonna cost?
There’s a very popular way of selling products in the technology sector that game console manufacturers have taken full advantage of. Sell products at a loss upfront, make up the loss with software, services and games. Sell an Xbox at a loss, make up for it with game licenses. It’s how devices like the Nintendo DS and PlayStation Vita have been able to remain relatively affordable despite the rising cost of the high-quality bleeding-edge components that go inside. Since Project Shield is not a closed ecosystem platform, and Nvidia has nothing to sell other than hardware, they will not have that luxury.
In a blog post by Tony Tamasi on the Nvidia blog, it was made very clear that Nvidia will not be selling Project Shield at a loss. Which can only mean one thing: it’s not gonna be cheap. We admittedly have no idea what kind of price Project Shield will end up at. But you can bet it won’t come near the $200 other portable gaming devices are sold for. A $500 price tag should not come as a surprise.
Still, Project Shield has great potential. And as far as I’m concerned, it looks amazing. Will I buy it for $400-500-600? It’s going to take a lot of convincing, Nvidia. A lot of convincing.