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Old 12-17-2014, 04:02 PM   #1
Devryn17
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nVidia Shield

I told myself that if that thing dropped below $150, I'd pick one up. Most places still have it for $179 to $199.

However, GameStop is selling it for $139 this week, so I'm picking one up after work.

I've been looking for a more powerful emulation device for some time. It's a role that my PSP currently serves, but this will be SO much better.

Remote playing from the desktop I built with a GTX 760 is a huge plus...

...And people have modified the Playstation app SDK from the XPeria Z3 to work on the Shield...And that controller will be SO much better than my Vita's.
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Old 12-18-2014, 11:00 AM   #2
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Quick impressions...I didn't have a whole lot of time to mess with it last night, but here are some of my initial impressions.

Opening:

Opening the the box on this thing was a treat. It's very well presented. So well, I almost want to leave the box open and store the device on the mount that it's resting on when you open it.

The overall build quality is also very nice. Not only is the device solid and well built, the USB cord and powerbrick are weighty and well constructed. Very good first impression.

Construction:

As stated, the device is very well constructed It's got a good weight to it and just feels very...solid...for lack of a better term. Only complaint thus far on the hardware is the placement of the headphone jack. I would prefer the jack on the bottom, but it's on the top of the controller portion behind the screen, which seems a little awkward. Also worth noting, and you probably already realize this, but I didn't think about it before I actually held the device, all of the controls are in a valley...Which is...Weird...but the device is surprisingly comfortable to hold.

Setup:

Setting up the device was a snap. The UI is good, and the screen is absolutely gorgeous. My unit only had 7% battery, so I plugged it in, got the latest updates downloading, and went to grab some dinner.

When I came back, I installed the updates. The update is absolutely essential as it installs the devices main UI for Grid, streaming and shield apps/games. Its much better than the UI out of the box.

I'm not going to go too far into the included games (Sonic and some Twin Stick Shooter). They're not great. That's all.

Emulation:

First things first, I looked around for what was considered a descent emulator. I downloaded and installed RetroArch (frickin cool app) and put some roms onto my SD Card. This is where I ran into my first problem.

Apparently, KitKat removed write functionality on the SD Card. Launching roms from a ZIP just crashes RetroArch...So...I'm DEFINITELY going to have to root this beast. That's just unacceptable.

I unzipped Super Mario World and wow...Seriously stunning emulation. It's pretty, the sound is right, the colors are bright, and it runs so smooth. That being said, the DPad on this thing is workable, but it's not what I would call good. It'll take some getting used to.

Grid:

Next order of business was checking out Grid. Now, when I launched it, it asked me to register and said it was a trial. It didn't say how long the trial was for, or what things would cost after the trial. I haven't looked it up to see.

Grid functioned atrociously. I have a great dual band router, and I was maybe 20 feet from it. I used both the 2.4ghz band and the 5 ghz band, and they were pretty much equal. The lag and stutter are just gamebreaking. I want to install the OnLive app and see if it works any better. Honestly, maybe nVidia should just think about buying OnLive outright. The Grid tech is that bad IMO.

PS4 Remote Play:

Next, I found the custom APK for running PS4 remote play on the Shield. I had originally downloaded it to my computer and then put it on my SD Card, but when I used file explorer to find it, it was greyed out. Couldn't do anything with it. I used the browser to find and launch it and it installed just fine. I got it paired with my PS4 and off I went.

First I tried DA:I, then I tried Destiny. The games stream VERY well. At least as well as my Vita. That said, the dead zones on the analogs are very different from the Vita and the PS4 controller, so that took some getting used to.

The MAJOR issues when using remote play with the PS4 is that the shields controller, currently, can't be mapped quite right. First, as far as I could tell, there is no support for the touchpad at all. Meaning in Destiny, you can't summon Dinklebot, and in DA:I you can't initiate your tactical view. The second major issue I had was with clicking the left stick. In DA:I this is used to ping and to run on the horse. While it functions like an analog stick on any other similar controller, in the PS4 app, you can't be moving forward AND click the stick to run or ping on the move. That's a deal breaker for me. You have to run all the time in Destiny...Pretty much a deal breaker...For now. It's such a shame because the sound from the speakers on the Shield is MUCH better (and not covered by your hands) than it is on the Vita.

Final thoughts:

So that's what I have so far. My wife was doing homework, so I didn't get a chance to stream from the PC. I'm going to go home tonight and work on rooting it to gain back the ability to write to the SD Card and hope that fixes the issue I have with launching and storing zipped roms on the SD Card.

I have a feeling with some tweaking and future updates from the community for things like the PS4 controller support, this will be one helluva solid device. For now, having fun tinkering.
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Momma didn't bronze my shoes, but when I turned 16 I inherited a lead foot.
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Old 12-18-2014, 11:02 AM   #3
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Dragon Age: Inquisition running from my PS4 onto my new Shield.
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Momma didn't bronze my shoes, but when I turned 16 I inherited a lead foot.
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Old 12-19-2014, 10:00 AM   #4
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I might have to stop by gamestop and see if they have one. I had the tablet for a little while, but battery life was way to bad for me.
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Old 12-19-2014, 10:59 AM   #5
Devryn17
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It's a fantastic emulation device. SNES games have never looked better. Still trying to get Reicast to work reliably. I've only tried 3 games, Crazi Taxi (froze after the refresh rate selection), Space Channel 5 (just boots to the cd player), and Hyrdro Thunder (runs WAY too fast)
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Momma didn't bronze my shoes, but when I turned 16 I inherited a lead foot.
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