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Shield

Fly Or Die: The Nvidia Shield

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In this decidedly dorky edition of Fly Or Die, yours truly and TC’s resident Canadian Darrell Etherington duke it out over Nvidia’s curious Shield game console and what it means for the future of Android gaming.

In a surprising twist (well, surprising if you haven’t already read his review), Darrell is absolutely smitten with the thing. Honestly, it’s a little hard not to be — we both agree that the Shield is a top-notch piece of kit, with hearty spec sheet, one of the best screens we’ve seen on a mobile device, and a level of fit and finish that puts most standalone Bluetooth controllers for smartphones to shame. Throw in the ability to stream full-blown PC games from computers with the prerequisite graphics cards, you’ve got yourself an awfully compelling little package.

Meanwhile, I’m a little more skeptical of the Shield’s chances. My main beef is that the Android ecosystem doesn’t yet play home to the sorts of games that make a $299 portable console like this worth owning. That’s not to say it isn’t going to get there — Android recently vaulted over more traditional rivals like Sony and Nintendo when it came to game revenue so there’s clearly a consumption shift in effect here, but I’d argue there isn’t much in the way of AAA Android games just yet.

In the end, we just had to agree to disagree: Darrell gives it a fly, I give it a die, and all’s right with the world.

A brief aside: as it turns out we couldn’t contain the full brunt of out Shield debate in this video, so the conversation spilled over into this week’s edition of the TechCrunch Droidcast. Tune in to hear us dissect each other’s argument in greater detail.