Apparently realizing that people enjoy paying less money for things, Nvidia is knocking the price of its Shield gaming handheld down to $299.
That’s $50 less than the original price for Shield, which launches on June 27. Those who already pre-ordered will also be charged the lower price.
Nvidia said it’s lowering the price in response to user feedback. “We’ve heard from thousands of gamers that if the price was $299, we’d have a home run,” the company said in a blog post. “We want to get SHIELD into the hands of as many gamers as possible.”
Nvidia Shield is a full-sized game controller attached to a 5-inch touchscreen, which flips open and shut like a clamshell. The device has an Nvidia Tegra 4 processor inside, and runs a full version of Android 4.2 for playing games from the Google Play Store. Shield can also play PC games over a local Wi-Fi network, as long as the user has a gaming PC with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 or higher graphics card. This feature will be in beta at launch, and may not work with all games.
As I’ve written before, Nvidia isn’t expecting to sell huge quantities of Shield, but hopes it will serve as a reference device of sorts. Nvidia has done a lot of work in getting game developers to support physical controllers, using Shield as an example of what’s possible. The company also wants to show gamers and hardware makers what kinds of experiences are possible with its desktop and mobile processors.
Even at $299, Nvidia Shield isn’t likely to rise above niche status, but it might help spread Nvidia’s Android-based gaming gospel just a little bit further.