Nvidia is stepping up its Android gaming efforts. Bringing Grand Theft Auto and Max Payne to the Nvidia Shield gaming console was just the first step and the fledgling console now finally has some really nice games to offer. Valve, the creator of Half Life and Steam is now offering Half Life 2 and Portal exclusively for the Shield console.
Back at the GPU developer's conference in February, Nvidia teased Portal for Shield, but they kept quiet about Half Life 2 that also debuted for Shield users. Earlier this week the company said the games are coming on May 12. Both games are available at the Google Play Store right now and each will set you back $9.99 which can be considered steep but reasonable.
Golden oldies for handhelds
The only reason we think it’s steep is that Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas sells for $6.99 while Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Theft Auto III are selling for reasonable for $4.99. Needless to say all these titles used to cost a lot more in the PC universe. As for Android games, they tend to cost a bit less.
Portal is a popular multiplayer first person multi-level platform shooter and it has a chance to be really popular among Shield players. Despite the fact that the game is from 2007 and that Half Life 4 debuted in 2004, it is impressive to see these games running smooth on a handheld gaming console.
Nvidia Shield is selling now for a rather reasonable $199 and for the price it is a well balanced gaming console. However, Google Play store still lacks good titles that can take advantage of Android gaming consoles. It turns out that the current way things are going is that companies are porting their successful games from years gone by and offering them on Google Play for a new generation of gamers, or nostalgic veterans like us.
Keep in mind that many young Shield owners, especially teens the tablet generation probably did not grow up as PC gamers and it is possible that some do not even game on the PC at all. This gives companies such as Valve and Rockstar a chance to reintroduce these games for the new platforms and make some cash in the process. Millenials who grew up playing these titles are another obvious market.
The fact that Nvidia Shield supports GameStream and lets you play your PC games on the go is clear indication of where things should be going in the future. You just need to have a good wireless connection to get things smooth, but this is the biggest problem of the world of online gaming or streaming and many companies are working hard to resolve it.
Many industry figures strongly believe that Android might become quite important gaming platform for serious games beyond Angry Birds and Candy Crush. Games like Half life 2, Portal and the GTA franchise can make a huge difference. Android and iOS are no longer reserved for casual games and this is where Nvidia sees its opportunity.