Nvidia's Shield Android-powered portable gaming console has been serving a dual purpose for the graphics chipset developer over the past year, on one hand serving as a showcase for Nvidia's push into mobile devices as a chipmaker in its own right while also serving as an example of how powerful Android as a gaming platform can be in terms of performance and capability while also being able to feature surprising power efficiency.
While initially being pitched as a secondary device meant to stream PC games for playing on the device with increased convenience, the focus is shifting to featuring a slate of Android games that make full use of the console's power and the emphasis on game streaming from PCs has been downplayed in recent months. Now, the company hopes to draw even more attention to the current version of the console by announcing two more exclusive titles in Portal and the previously unannounced Half-Life 2, which were developed specifically for the Shield and its Tegra-based chipset.
The games are the same as the ones on PC in terms of content, though the graphics have been optimized for the console, meaning you won't be able to tweak resolutions, texture detail or framerate, but the games do showcase what the console is capable in its own right, which is impressive judging by the screenshots for the respective games.
Both games are available now from Google Play for $9.99, but as I mentioned before they're exclusive to the console, so most everyone will get an app incompatibility error if you try to buy either game without one. If you have tried out or own one, what do you think of the hardware and the idea? Can these games sell the console or is it just not compelling enough on its own without more games from familiar franchises?