Jan 08 AT 7:45 PM Dustin Earley 41 Comments

Nvidia: Don’t expect Project Shield to be cheap


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.

Source: Nvidia

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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  • Meister_Li

    At that price, I might as well buy a Transformer Tablet and stick a Controller onto it. It’s a nice device, but it’s not really worth it like that. Especially since I’d also need a new Graphics card in my PC to make that streaming thing work and thus have to invest even more Money into Nvidia.

    • oddball

      Isn’t that the point? At least from nvidia’s perspective. They are hardware manufacturers. The more pieces they sell you with their processors inside the happier they are. I have to admit this device holds little interest to me but that is mostly because I find most of this tech vastly overpriced.

      • SGB101

        I just can’t get excited by this, even at £100 I wouldn’t, Never mind that price

        I think this will be a massive fail.

      • zerosix

        No. Manufacturers should think about their future. If I were Nvidia, I’d better sell a lot of cheap Shields now, just to make people think that gaming=nvidia, so that in future they would buy a Tegra device just to get the best gaming expirience ever.

    • Admir Hodzic

      I would rather get the psvita at at 250 than this plus its supported by sony so you know you’ll get some great games

      • Agret

        Ehhh maybe, the Vita software library isn’t too fantastic at the moment. Better than the 3DS for sure but still not great. Just look at how stagnant the PSP was. I think buying any handheld console is a waste at the moment, phones will replace them all.

        • bear831

          I have a vita and while I will agree the 3DS library eclipses that of the vita I still feel it was a good purchase. With the PS4 coming this year with the ability to play any PS4 game (goal as stated by Sony) on it, I would rather have that than the Shield. I won’t have to upgrade to a new graphics card or buy an unsubsidized device which combined would most likely be more than a PS4 even if I did not already own the vita.
          The biggest reason I love my Vita as a gaming device and won’t be replacing with the device in my pocket comes down to physical controls. While this does not apply to everybody or even the majority of consumers I enjoy the tactile feedback of a dedicated gaming device. This will be the case until I can reliably reproduce that on a mobile device without having to carry a full sized controller with me (if Google were to standardize a hardware and software implementation I would be very interested in that).

  • Chad

    People to Nvidia: Then don’t expect us to buy it

    • Nicko01

      I know it sucks, but you can’t expect every manufacturer to sell at a loss or find a way to subsidize what you want.
      They made a portable, powerful Android game console that’s going to be more hackable and tweakable than any other game console currently on the market.

      You get what you pay for.

      • kazahani

        If you want mobile pc gaming then buy a Windows 8 tablet. That plus your Android phone can do everything this does.

  • scubabum

    A $500 price tag will drive most people away. There are lots of competitions out there.

  • http://genesischess.com/ MJM128

    I just can’t see spending that much money for the device, even though I love the concept!

  • Alex

    500 is kinda low in my opinion. I’m thinking more like 600-800. It’s what a brand new phone costs so it should be similar if not more.

    • dommafia

      Hi there Nvidia rep!

  • Ardrid

    That price point will kill any chance of a successful uptake, though one has to wonder if NVIDIA intended this to be anything other than a proof of concept for other OEMs. It’s a shame because I was really looking forward to checking Shield out; I don’t think I can justify it for $500 though, not when next-gen consoles will likely come in under that.

  • Deon Davis

    I think everybody is of base here. This will be $299 or less maybe even $249. The parts cost is $200 at most.

    • Deon Davis


      • Benno Z

        I would be shocked if Nvidia’s bill of materials for this exceeded $125 – $175. They will be able to sell it for $249.99 to $299.99 and still profit handsomely.

  • BigCiX

    Sticking with my 360

  • frmorrison

    At 399, it will sell some units. But I suspect it will cost more.

  • jamal adam

    Talk about breaking the bank.

  • hurracayne

    Spend top money on this or save my money for a steam box.

  • MisterLee

    another $100 and i could buy a new PC to play my pc games lol… I really wanted that thing but 5 Hundo?! thats not even realistic if they want any type of success.

    • kazahani

      This is exactly why open gaming platforms tend to not gain any traction in the market. For the price they are talking about here, you could buy a PS3 AND an Xbox. The up-front loss that the closed platforms can absorb will price this out of the market.

  • donger

    Yeah it does have great specs but wouldn’t it be dated/ obsolete after a year? Tegra 5?

  • David Sumner

    Nvidia is setting them selves up to fail from the start… There are way to many competitors out there for them to even attempt a price point like this.

  • Rovex

    Cant see this selling frankly. Nvidia is a nobody to the general public who have no clue who they are. They arent Nintendo, Sony or Microsoft. A price point like $500+ will kill this stone dead.

  • ld

    500+ hmm…pass.

  • How Android

    Excellent post about android. Android is a Linux-based operating system designed primarily for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers.Thanks.
    Android Phone Forum

  • mike

    why on earth would i want to stream from my PC to this tiny thing
    You obviously have to be in vicinity of PC to stream properly if that’s the case ill just play on my big screen PC

  • Wayne Winkler

    Yeah, sorry NVIDIA. I don’t see myself dishing out $500 dollars for this when I can go get a low end PC, a high end gaming console, a high end android tablet or phone or two high end portable devices from other manufactures for this price.

    Especially and here’s the kicker, the games that will be on this thing are most likely going to be the same 10 – 15 minute attention holding games that are currently out for Android and iOS.

    I don’t think I’m interested unless they can wow me with something.

    • Agret

      > the games that will be on this thing are most likely going to be the same 10 — 15 minute attention holding games that are currently out for Android and iOS.

      Seeing as how it runs Android i’d say yes that’s highly likely. Although they seem to be trying to push Unreal Engine games, they said Hawken will run on it which is pretty cool!

  • uknowme

    Um sorry but not at that price. I’ll just wait until it bombs and goes on fire sale. It’s a shame because I really liked the concept. It does make sense though from a business perspective.

  • hurric

    I don’t think the price is even going to be the main deterring factor. I just don’t see how carrying around a large controller and a small screen is appealing. Most people can just play on their games and store the phone/tablet back or if they have a controller can just use PC or PS3/XBOX.

  • Nicko01

    I really want one of these, but I know I wouldn’t have enough of a use for it.

  • Frank

    No way I am paying more for this thing than a next gen XBox.


    I am quite excited with the project shield. It looks great and from the demo, appears to be quite a powerful system as well. I wonder can this actually be a replacement for both portable and console

  • Ichi_Bear

    That’s way too expensive for a new handheld device. I’ll keep an eye on the development though.

  • jumbojet747

    It looks like a reasonable investment so long as there are worthwhile, optimised games…

  • Burnd

    This is gonna be too expensive, which is why it’s doomed to fail.

  • croker

    Nexus 7.7 comes in with 5.0 key lime pie os and tegra 4, with a pricetag of $299. They cant expect a inflated price of double that for a smaller screen, HDMI, with a controller stuck to it!!!