×

Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

$299 Android Gaming Tablet Reviewed

timothy posted about 3 months ago | from the is-$300-an-impulse-buy? dept.

Graphics 65

Vigile (99919) writes "Last week NVIDIA announced the SHIELD Tablet and SHIELD Controller, and reviews are finally appearing this morning. Based on the high performance Tegra K1 SoC that integrates 192 Kepler architecture CUDA cores, benchmarks reveal that that the SHIELD Tablet is basically unmatched by any other mobile device on the market when it comes to graphics performance — it is more than 2.5x the performance of the Apple A7 in some instances. With that power NVIDIA is able to showcase full OpenGL versions of games like Portal and Half-Life 2 running at 1080p locally on the 19:12 display or output to a TV in a "console mode." PC Perspective has impressions of that experience as well as using the NVIDIA Game Stream technology to play your PC games on the SHIELD Tablet and controller. To go even further down the rabbit hole, you can stream your PC games from your desktop to your tablet, output them to the TV in console mode, stream your game play to Twitch from the tablet while overlaying your image through the front facing camera AND record your sessions locally via ShadowPlay and using the Wi-Fi Direct powered controller to send and receive audio. It is incredibly impressive hardware but the question remains as to whether or not there is, or will be, a market for Android-based gaming devices, even those with the power and performance that NVIDIA has built."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

So? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 3 months ago | (#47557965)

Is it MARVELous this SHIELD?

Obligatory... (3, Funny)

NecroPuppy (222648) | about 3 months ago | (#47558025)

Hail HYDRA.

Re:Obligatory... (2)

Sockatume (732728) | about 3 months ago | (#47558123)

Put your arms down, you look like a cheerleader.

Re:Obligatory... (1)

damien_kane (519267) | about 3 months ago | (#47558563)

Put your arms down, you look like a cheerleader.

+1 This;
I thought chemical weapons/gas warfare were/are basically warcrimes nowadays, no?

Re:Obligatory... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47559179)

Put your arms down, you look like a cheerleader.

Although I'd imagine not too many cheerleaders have "cut one off, two will take it's place" in their cheer. And what's up with that pose that looks like an Indian goddess..

Engrish mush? (-1, Offtopic)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about 3 months ago | (#47558103)

>> reviews are finally hitting of the devices this morning

Anyone else read that as "...finally s***ting on the devices..."

Re:Engrish mush? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 3 months ago | (#47558131)

It's a pretty natural bit of elision if you think of it as spoken word: "Reviews are finally hitting, [that is, reviews] of the devices, this morning".

Was this dictated and not read?

Nvidia's support of Tegra has been abysmal (4, Insightful)

gweilo8888 (921799) | about 3 months ago | (#47558173)

Based on the bugginess of every Tegra device to date and Nvidia's near-total lack of support, you're nuts if you even consider buying this.

And that's the real review from an owner of multiple Tegra products from the first generation onwards. You're welcome.

Re:Nvidia's support of Tegra has been abysmal (1)

compro01 (777531) | about 3 months ago | (#47558667)

Does that include the Tegra Note tablet? The only bug of relevance I've found is the GPS is garbage and updates for it have been steady, with it sitting at Kitkat, with the announced intention to upgrade it to L when that comes out.

Re:Nvidia's support of Tegra has been abysmal (1)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about 3 months ago | (#47558735)

Considering the low price, I don't think any insanity is required to take a chance on it, and I've been burned buy Nvidia before with a $1000 piece of 3D hardware that they dropped support for soon after its release. At least with this, you still have an Android tablet if Nvidia abandons it.

Re:Nvidia's support of Tegra has been abysmal (1)

AvitarX (172628) | about 3 months ago | (#47560229)

Does it have Play on it though?

With Google moving the upgrades to android into services through Play, this is relevant to me.

I'd buy this to replace my broken Nexus 7 if it had the standard software.

Amazon Appstore (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 months ago | (#47560613)

I imagine that most major label games will also be made available through Amazon Appstore in order to reach Kindle users.

Re:Nvidia's support of Tegra has been abysmal (1)

damnbunni (1215350) | about 3 months ago | (#47561397)

The last Shield had Play, and also has its own curated app showplace - that just links to the Play Store to actually buy the games.

Re:Nvidia's support of Tegra has been abysmal (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47559227)

Bingo.

I don't see this device getting any tractioni without major gaming companies (eg EA) or Valve's Steam supporting it. By that time it will be obsolete.

Also, to repeat every single time someone mentions Android:

Nobody wants to develop on Android, it's a nightmare. If Google jettisons the Java-Dalvik and switches to straight C/C++/OBJC, then you'll see more developers willing to build software on it. But as it is, the entire Java-like parts of it cripple the devices, and damn near everyone just puts up with the Java bits enough so they can write native apps. For example Unity utilizes mostly C# , not Java. But for it to work on an Android device, there are entire kludges just to get past that part.

If you download an x86 Android image and then load Intel's ARM translator on it, you can run Unity Android games faster than an actual device, but the translator introduces latency and bugs, but is still faster than Bluestacks.

The end result is that there STILL IS NOT a usable development environment, and testing on Android is basically guesswork. It's not like Windows (which has a native x86 image that runs in a VM) or OSX/iOS devices (which run native on the x86 OS) where the simulator/emulator environments run at the same speed as the device they are supposed to be with some minor caveats (eg the simulated device doesn't run out of memory since the host OS can page out.) Meanwhile compiling x86 Android apps to test is not even an easy feat and isn't even supplied out of the box (It's supplied by Intel), and the performance characteristics are not reflective of the real devices.

Adding the nVidia option requires an entire new set of tests. There's three types of compressed openglES textures out there. In order to make a game work on the widest variety of hardware you need to neuter your app so that only uses one CPU core, and only uses uncompressed textures, OR supply three different compressed textures. None of the OpenGLES textures are supported by all hardware, and this becomes readily apparent when the textures are software-decompressed (Unity3D will use ATI's texture compression and PowerVR's texture compression... in the same game. Where as on iOS, they only use the PowerVR textures.)

The end result, really is that Android is not a viable games platform. It's like we learned nothing from the 8-bit console era.

Apple Appsore needs more Apps (4, Informative)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 3 months ago | (#47559385)

Nobody wants to develop on Android

iOS Active / 1.2 million+ apps (As of June 2014) vs Google Play Active / 1.3+ million apps (as of July 2014)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A... [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G... [wikipedia.org]

You could not be more wrong

Re:Apple Appsore needs more Apps (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47561099)

I took the comment to mean that no one wants to (likes to) develop on Android, but do it while hating every moment of it because $$$.

Not wanting to doesn't imply that they don't.

Re:Apple Appsore needs more Apps (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47564681)

Because clearly the raw amount of useless fart apps and terrible shovelware wrappered web pages goes a long way to platform viability.

That argument cuts both ways, by the way - there's tons of terrible useless apps for both platforms. So stop quoting total numbers because they mean nothing.

Re:Nvidia's support of Tegra has been abysmal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47561795)

>Nobody wants to develop on Android, it's a nightmare.

You're a fucking idiot, but you knew that.

I disagree (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47559817)

I have an Asus tablet using a Tegra chipset and I never had a single problem with it.

Re:Nvidia's support of Tegra has been abysmal (1)

Grizzley9 (1407005) | about 3 months ago | (#47560265)

Based on the bugginess of every Tegra device to date and Nvidia's near-total lack of support, you're nuts if you even consider buying this. And that's the real review from an owner of multiple Tegra products from the first generation onwards. You're welcome.

That and they compare it to Apple's A7 chip, when the A8 (or A7x at least) is less than 2 months away and has likely improved itself.

Re:Nvidia's support of Tegra has been abysmal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47564693)

I see what you're saying, but you have to compare to what you have data for. Only Apple and their manufacturing partners know what the next A-series chip is.

Your point stands that they are comparing against a chip that is 10+ months old though, but most of the Android guys can't even measure up to that yet.

I'm thinkinng... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47558223)

Three minutes of battery life with all 192 GPU cores running?

How's the Android emulation scene? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47558227)

Do Android emulators take advantage of hardware acceleration well yet? Is there good later generation emulation support (N64 / GameCube / Etc)?

Re:How's the Android emulation scene? (2)

ledow (319597) | about 3 months ago | (#47558697)

Well, unless someone sits and writes specific modules for each possible underlying instruction set, probably not.

Remember, Android is Java - sure, you CAN execute ARM (or in some hardware Intel) instructions - but those are always of the processor-specific modules. Go download the MoboPlayer app, which has specific modules to accelerate video for each type of device.

Can't see that happening for an emulator, especially when 99% of the time, the performance in Java would be fine anyway. Thus, you're really asking if someone is going to bother to write, say, an emulator for a cutting-edge device that a PC would struggle to emulate, plus specific ARM modules to make it run at feasible speeds. And the answer is probably no, especially when the market moves this fast.

Re:How's the Android emulation scene? (4, Interesting)

Psykechan (255694) | about 3 months ago | (#47558915)

Dolphin [slashdot.org] has made some significant progress. See this [youtube.com] for yourself.

Mind you, the real consoles cost a lot less than this tablet so it's still novelty.

andry birds (1)

beefoot (2250164) | about 3 months ago | (#47558235)

Yes, I need all the juice to play angry birds.

So much hate here (2)

wiggles (30088) | about 3 months ago | (#47558265)

You'd think Slashdot was populated only by AMD employees.

Seriously, though - the specs are really nice - I'm looking forward to seeing this in production.

Re:So much hate here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47558793)

The hate and paranoia here is a general thing, not specifically aimed at Nvidia products.

Anybody have it? Can you play Civ V in Tablet mode (1)

netsavior (627338) | about 3 months ago | (#47558271)

I just want a tablet that will run modern versions of Civilization (preferably in tablet mode, which is civilization's windows 8 killer feature).
I don't care if it is streamed or run locally or whatever.

This is the only thing keeping me from buying a shield tablet, the other games I can easily see how they will work, and they are a "bonus" for me, I can and will run emulators on anything, so the seamless controller will be nice, but it keeps coming back to Civ.
I know Civ V (and eventually Civ Beyond Earth) can be played on the Surfac, and that is literally the biggest draw for me, every other feature the surface has, I can work around. I will probably spend 500 hours playing Beyond Earth, and I would love for it to not require buying a 2 piece laptop from Microsoft.

Re:Anybody have it? Can you play Civ V in Tablet m (1)

willthiswork89 (2885827) | about 3 months ago | (#47558513)

I actually have been trying to figure this out my self. I've been using RDP on my Surface RT to play civ for quite some time now, it works but its not the best with lag response. I would love a way to stream civ reasonably but havnt had any luck...

Re:Anybody have it? Can you play Civ V in Tablet m (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 3 months ago | (#47558619)

Idea - Add the game to Steam, then stream it from the tablet. Pretty sure you can do that with non-Steam games now, and in my experience it's pretty darn fast.

Re:Anybody have it? Can you play Civ V in Tablet m (1)

wiggles (30088) | about 3 months ago | (#47559267)

Yeah, but I thing GP was looking to use a touchscreen interface with Civ. Not sure if you could get that with streaming.

Re:Anybody have it? Can you play Civ V in Tablet m (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 3 months ago | (#47559363)

Fair point, haven't tried it on a touchscreen device.

Cellular cap (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 months ago | (#47560667)

Add the game to Steam, then stream it from the tablet.

It'd work fine over Wi-Fi within a house. But how many megabytes per hour would it use over cellular?

Re:Cellular cap (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 3 months ago | (#47560843)

Probably a shit load, although I couldn't say if it would use more data than OP's current method.

Of course, if it did use more data, but the experience was better (ie no lag), the question becomes "would it be worth the tradeoff?"

Re:Anybody have it? Can you play Civ V in Tablet m (1)

willthiswork89 (2885827) | about 4 months ago | (#47568769)

RT Tablets dont support steam ifaik. If they did this would work perfectly. Civ 5 DOES HAVE windows 8 touch mode. They pretty much just blew the UI up by about 20%. It works well enough.

Re:Anybody have it? Can you play Civ V in Tablet m (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 4 months ago | (#47568975)

RT Tablets dont support steam ifaik.

Bummer.

Virtual machine maybe?

What's the market for this? (4, Insightful)

Joe Gillian (3683399) | about 3 months ago | (#47558285)

What I don't get is what the market for this is. The gaming aspect of it seems to be based on streaming games from a PC, and buying a PC good enough to do that costs a fair bit of money assuming you don't already have one. Game streaming also requires wireless internet access, which means you're probably not going to be taking it out of your home. There's also the issue of what you're going to do with it outside of game streaming - if you want something that can browse the internet when you're away from home, you'd be better off with a 4G phone than a wifi-based tablet.

The real gaming crowd is going to stick to physical PCs because of the superior experience they offer. The casual gaming crowd, who want to play games specifically released for iOS/Android, have cheaper options for accessing those games. Who is the target market?

Re:What's the market for this? (4, Interesting)

netsavior (627338) | about 3 months ago | (#47558331)

I play lots of casual games in addition to less casual ones. I would love to have a tablet that can run my steam games while I sit on the couch "watching" tv dramas with my wife. I already have a gaming rig... I should not have to buy a $1200 MS Surface to accomplish this.

Re:What's the market for this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47558545)

What if the ultimate goal of the design concept was not stream from a PC, but stream over the internet from a datacenter using many Tesla or other high-end nVidia GPU's in a datacenter? Think about it... the client hardware becomes thin (most importantly less expensive) and the heavy lifting is done on the server-side in the cloud. By the way, now the costs for hardware are passed onto the game publisher rather than the end-user. Transitioning from a end-user component designer to a complete game system solution provider may be very viable for nVidia's future. Gaming is where nVidia is strong, why doesn't this make sense to develop the IP for future markets and opportunities? After all, if Google or other large companies force a faster better stronger Internet fabric...we may actually see end to end latencies drop low enough and bandwidth to be high enough to do this well. Sounds like a smart plan to me.

Re:What's the market for this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47559711)

GaaS. I thought the cloud couldn't get any worse.

Re:What's the market for this? (2)

sexconker (1179573) | about 3 months ago | (#47560287)

What if the ultimate goal of the design concept was not stream from a PC, but stream over the internet from a datacenter using many Tesla or other high-end nVidia GPU's in a datacenter? Think about it... the client hardware becomes thin (most importantly less expensive) and the heavy lifting is done on the server-side in the cloud. By the way, now the costs for hardware are passed onto the game publisher rather than the end-user. Transitioning from a end-user component designer to a complete game system solution provider may be very viable for nVidia's future. Gaming is where nVidia is strong, why doesn't this make sense to develop the IP for future markets and opportunities? After all, if Google or other large companies force a faster better stronger Internet fabric...we may actually see end to end latencies drop low enough and bandwidth to be high enough to do this well. Sounds like a smart plan to me.

Welcome to 3 years ago with OnLive and Gaikai.
The compression and latency make it a fucking terrible experience.

Re: What's the market for this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47560705)

Except that this is already a thing and people love it: http://shield.nvidia.com/grid/

Latency and monthly caps (2)

tepples (727027) | about 3 months ago | (#47560703)

By the way, now the costs for hardware are passed onto the game publisher rather than the end-user.

Something like OnLive stops working so well once ISPs start charging per GB, at which point the end user has to pay both the ISP and the game publisher. What will the market bear? [slashdot.org] And I'm told such streaming fails for twitchier genres that rely on eye-blink reactions.

Re:What's the market for this? (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 3 months ago | (#47558669)

Angry birds... IN 3D!!

Re:What's the market for this? (1)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about 3 months ago | (#47558813)

>. Who is the target market?

People who don't live alone, and have to let others use their home theater at times, but still want to use the gaming PC that's in the theater.

There's more to it than just that (2)

default luser (529332) | about 3 months ago | (#47560515)

You have to want a better streaming experience than Valve's Steam already offers for free (and you can buy a Windows Tablet for the same price, and Valve is expected to support Android and iOS soon). You can use whatever system and whatever video card you want to stream the game to and from - even go wired ethernet to get around the inevitable problems you get streaming games over wireless.

If you go Shield, the tablet price is just the beginning: you have to have a mid-range GeForce card purchased in at least the last 2 years ($120+ if you don't already have one), the controller + stand ($100), and of course a suitable dual-band router runs at least $70 (most people use the crap one that came with their internet install).

In all, you could be on the hook for anywhere from $400 all the way up to $600. That's getting DANGEROUSLY close to the same price as an entry-level gaming PC, so again the need just doesn't present itself there.

Re:What's the market for this? (1)

SQL Error (16383) | about 3 months ago | (#47558819)

It's a good question. I really want a take-anywhere tablet in the 7-8" range, with 2GB RAM, at least 32GB onboard storage, micro SD support, LTE, a 1920x1200 or better display, and a stylus.

This actually has all that, but it sacrifices weight and battery life to provide terrific graphics performance - which I don't really care about at all. (I play games on Android, but mostly Kairosoft games and Final Fantasy, which are not particularly taxing.)

But it's by no means a bad device, and if Nvidia can refine it through another couple of iterations, and get it to a point where the extra graphics performance doesn't cost much in terms of weight/battery life/dollars, then they might really have something.

The Future Past (3, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 3 months ago | (#47558397)

The SHIELD Tablet... is able to showcase full OpenGL versions of games like Portal and Half-Life 2 running at 1080p

So, the future of gaming is... the past of gaming, but at higher resolution!

Seriously, you want to impress me, do it with a game that's not older than the current 2nd-term Presidency.

Re:The Future Past (1)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 3 months ago | (#47558463)

So, the future of gaming is... the past of gaming, but at higher resolution!

When has that not been the case?

Re:The Future Past (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 3 months ago | (#47558599)

Oh, it's probably about 50/50. After all, you can't have much of a past if you don't come up with new ideas now and again.

Otherwise the only games that would exist would be some variant of Pong and Conway's Game of Life.

Recent genre launches (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 months ago | (#47560797)

But what new genres have launched in the past decade and a half? I can't think of any since Parappa the Rapper in the PS1 era.

Re:Recent genre launches (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 3 months ago | (#47560941)

Various flavors of Survival Horror; from Alan Wake, that Slenderman game, Rust, etc. Then you have your mobile games (remember cell-phone games from 15 years ago? Yea, me either) like Angry Birds, Punch Quest, etc.

There's also CtOS Mobile, which allows mobile players to engage with console players, a fairly new concept.

Mass Effect 3 had some novel elements, such as the option to skip the action portions and basically turn the game into an interactive movie.

Oh, and Kerbal Space Program! Never played anything quite like that one before.

Also, 'annoyance games,' my term, in which I would classify crap like Flappy Bird and F*uck This Game, which seem designed to irritate the shit out of you.

Of course, there's more to innovation than creating new genres.

Flappy Bird is Balloon Fight (1)

tepples (727027) | about 4 months ago | (#47562445)

Various flavors of Survival Horror; from Alan Wake, that Slenderman game, Rust, etc.

I haven't played them. What do they add on top of the Alone in the Dark/Resident Evil/Silent Hill template?

Angry Birds

I played that back when it was called "Gorilla.bas".

There's also CtOS Mobile, which allows mobile players to engage with console players, a fairly new concept.

Apart from the fact that the whole concept of "console players" is an artifact of lockdown regimes, Pac-Man Vs. already did mobile vs. console.

Mass Effect 3 had some novel elements, such as the option to skip the action portions and basically turn the game into an interactive movie.

Isn't that what "FMV games" on Sega CD and 3DO did?

Also, 'annoyance games,' my term, in which I would classify crap like Flappy Bird and F*uck This Game, which seem designed to irritate the shit out of you.

Flappy Bird is a clone of Piou Piou, which is a clone of "Balloon Trip" in Balloon Fight, which is a clone of Joust. F*ck This Game is just WarioWare: each player in a split screen plays a one-button microgame.

Re:Flappy Bird is Balloon Fight (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 4 months ago | (#47566429)

Various flavors of Survival Horror; from Alan Wake, that Slenderman game, Rust, etc.

I haven't played them. What do they add on top of the Alone in the Dark/Resident Evil/Silent Hill template?

Play them, then you tell me.

Regarding Rust, I don't recall ever having to build and defend a house in any of the games you mentioned.

Oh, right, you're still obsessed with the concept that "not new genre == been there, done that." Nevermind that, even if a game fits an existing genre (like FPS), it can still have novel elements that make it uniquely different than previous iterations of said genre (like Minecraft).

Also, I noticed you didn't mention KSP - is that because you missed it, or you couldn't think of a proper poo-poo for why that one isn't different enough to satisfy you?

Re:Recent genre launches (1)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 3 months ago | (#47561275)

The fad has come and gone, but the Rock Band/Guitar Hero genre was pretty novel.

Re:Recent genre launches (1)

tepples (727027) | about 4 months ago | (#47562361)

the Rock Band/Guitar Hero genre was pretty novel.

They're also just Parappa with a plastic guitar.

Re:Recent genre launches (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 4 months ago | (#47566637)

Parappa was nothing but a bunch of quicktime events strung together. Total rip off of 1990's arcade hits like Die Hard: Arcade and Hologram Time Traveler.

Rocksmith is... not that.

A "game" where you connect an actual musical instrument (instead of a plastic toy), and learn rather than play? Sounds pretty novel to me.

Re: Recent genre launches (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47564153)

I cant seem to recall anything quite like spaceteam

Re:Recent genre launches (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47564365)

What is Trauma Center?

running at 1080p (4, Funny)

stewsters (1406737) | about 3 months ago | (#47558737)

"running at 1080p"
Take that, Xbone.

too small... (1)

SuperDre (982372) | about 3 months ago | (#47559789)

It's nice it's a fast tablet, but IMHO it's just too damn small, it should be at least 10"...

Re:too small... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47559951)

That's what she said.

Hype (2)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | about 3 months ago | (#47560057)

So I don't know how this is supposed to catch on when the first I hear abouts its release is on slashdot. The Wii U, Ouya, and Windows Phone had a lot more hype. I suppose it increase their chances at a a profit assuming they don't make many of them.

SHIELD Tablet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47562527)

did not know about the SHIELD Tablet. thanks for posting the article.

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?