Sony’s CEO Speaks Out About NVIDIA’s Project Shield; Handheld Gaming is “Not An Easy Business”

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Since NVIDIA announced Project Shield on Sunday night at CES, there have been a lot of skeptics. Along with a bunch of people excited for this device. Myself, I’ve been both skeptical and excited. Project Shield looks to be an awesome device running Android and powered by the Tegra 4. It also has quite a few titles already confirmed including the new Dead Trigger, Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II, among others that are available in the TegraZone. Today, Sony’s Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai had a warning for NVIDIA as they are eyeing the gaming space.

“It’s not an easy business to get into,” Hirai stated to The Wall Street Journal in an interview yesterday. He also stated that it’s too early to tell if NVIDIA can succeed in this hotly contested mobile-gaming space, also saying that the industry is littered with the remains of companies that have tried and failed. While that’s true, Sony also has an invested interest in the handheld gaming industry. As they have just released the Playstation Vita last year, and so far its done okay for sales. It’s not the hottest device out there, but it is rather popular.

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Lately, the handheld gaming scene has been very difficult for anyone not named Nintendo. As I stated above Sony has release the Playstation Vita, and it’s a great device but it’s still far behind the Nintendo Gameboy, DS and 3DS. While Hirai didn’t comment on sales figures of the Playstation Vita, he did say they are “on the low end of what we expected.”

But NVIDIA’s device is intriguing and different from the devices named above. For one it’s more powerful, games will be cheaper, larger screen, and best of all it’s running Android. It basically looks like an Xbox controller with a screen, it’s still a powerful device and powered by the brand new Tegra 4 processor. Project Shield will also support games from Steam which is a huge plus on NVIDIA’s side.

I still think the major factor in whether Shield will succeed or not will be the price tag and release date. Last night, Tom wrote up an editorial about how much we should be willing to pay for Project Shield and we shared it on Google+ like usual. Most of our commenters want to see it under $200. Which isn’t a huge surprise. Where the Playstation Vita is currently going for around $249-299 (depending on where you look), that’s what the Shield needs to compete with. Even though titles for Shield will be cheaper than for the Vita and 3DS.

So what do you think? Can Shield succeed in the handheld gaming industry? Hit up the comments below with your thoughts.

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