Project Shield is either the most ingenious piece of gaming technology to date or the dumbest and on many levels people either hate it or love it. There is no telling as of yet whether it will thrive or die but Project Shield and Nvidia are going full steam ahead. Recently Qualcomm stated that they will not be releasing a rival hardware set up. Qualcomm is one of the largest chipset manufacturer’s in the world and they have the sway to be a contender against Project Shield but they have decided that the portable gaming console Project Shield is going to tank and they don’t want to spend the time or the resources on developing something they believe is worthless. The only problem with all of this is that there is certainly a market for these devices and if Nvidia can deliver on their promise of a high-end Android device that has both an amazing screen and full gaming controls than they may just surprise everyone…especially Qualcomm In my opinion I think that Quallcomm staying out of the race is a boon for Nvidia and foolish on behalf of Qualcomm’s management. Let me explain why I feel this way.
There has been an explosion in the mobile gaming market and developers are making money hand over fist. The only true problem with all of these portable devices; the controlling system on touchscreen devices is terrible in most cases and absolutely disastrous on the rest. The PS Vita has attempted to tap into this market but there was only one problem, a limit in games and applications, battery life and third part support. But, because Project Sheild is using the Android operating system users will instantly have access to the Play Store and that means access to hundreds of thousands of apps and games, making sure there is plenty to do with the Project Shield device. Unlike previous systems like the Nintendo 3Ds Models and the Playstation Vita (which is the first dual analog stick portable console that actually worked relatively well) the Project Shield doesn’t need any external parts to work unlike these devices which needed separate game cartridges and memory. This is going to be a huge draw for people, especially those who already own an Android device, mainly because they will be able to utilize all of the applications and games they have purchased in the past without having to spend more money. I know that Qualcomm has said they are out of the running before the device has hit the market, and here is what Raj Tulluri said about their feelings of the device in a recent interview with The Verge.
“I don’t need to make a box. I just need Moga to make a controller. I can’t see too much difference between that and the Project SHIELD. It seems to do everything the Tegra 4 one does!”
I can’t speak for Qualcomm and why they have chosen to go the route of announcing they will not be producing a rival to Nvidia’s hardware and we will have to wait and see where it goes from here. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Qualcomm go back on their decision though, especially if Project Shield takes off like I hope it does. In my eyes being able to transport a device and controller all in one, be able to plug one HDMI cable in and have the ability to play all my Android games on the big screen with console quality graphics and gameplay. That seems like a winning combo to me, especially with the included 5-inch touchscreen hi-res display built in! Not sure what Qualcomm is thinking but if I was them I would be trying to be Project Shield to the market because it has the potential to be a huge success, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see who’s right.