Nvidia’s Shield mobile gaming console has two powerful new titles under its belt today – Half-Life 2 and Portal, both from celebrated developer turned platform creator Valve, and both appearing for the first time on Android. Nvidia worked on these ports with the guidance and blessing of Valve, so they’re understandably exclusive to the graphics company’s unique Shield gaming handset for now, but earlier announcements suggested Portal at least might make it to other Android devices eventually, so the Shield-less can hold out hope.
Or you pay the $199 for the Nvidia Shield, which is a steep discount from its original price tag, and a good deal for a device that is making a case for itself as the most powerful and versatile mobile gaming device out there. While critics are clamouring for Nintendo to bring its mobile IP to mobile operating systems like Android and iOS, Nvidia is quietly but consistently building out the library of titles available to its Android-based device, and answering criticism that an Android console comes with too many compromises.
Half-Life 2 and Portal are perfect titles to sell the console, as they’re no less fun to play than when they were originally released, and can appeal both to gamers new to the series or to fans of Valve’s later work who missed the boat on the initial launch of either. Both are just $10 on the Google Play store now. Next up, let’s see a Shield console original exclusive that starts a franchise, and then Nvidia will really have a platform on their hands.