NVIDIA’s Shield Priced To Not Move

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Remember NVIDIA’s Project Shield? That horrendous looking Android handheld that can also stream Steam games finally has a price: it can be yours for just $349.99.

That’s $100 more than a PlayStation Vita and $150 more than a Nintendo 3DS. It is cheaper than a spec comparable smartphone or tablet but that’s not something I would want to bring out in public.

So what does $349.99 get you? A handheld that can play the “hottest” Android games powered by one of the fastest (if not the fastest) SoC on the market today. If Android games doesn’t float your boat, there’s always a plethora of PC games that you can stream via your NVIDIA GeForce GTX video card.

This is one hell of a niche product for that price.

For those who have cash burning in their wallets, pre-orders open May 20th.

So there was an Apple event today

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apple-logo.pngToday’s Apple event was chalk full of new products and even contained a couple of genuine surprises.

Let’s start from the top.

13″ Macbook Pro w/ Retina Display

The rumors were right, Apple were planning to announce a 13″ version of their expensive (yet pretty) “next generation” Macbook in the autumn. Starting $1699 may seem reasonable in comparison to the $2199 15″ version but it’s still very pricey when you consider the underlying hardware.

The lack of a quad-core CPU is tolerable but the lack of a dedicated GPU solution is baffling to me. Intel’s HD4000 integrated graphics aren’t going to fare so well at the native resolution of 2560 x 1600. And what’s with the paltry 128GB SSD? Couldn’t they just throw in a 256GB drive for that price?

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Apple WWDC 2012 Impressions

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apple-logo.pngThis year’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference yielded so many news items that I dreaded writing up a round-up post of it. So instead I’ll send you over to Tested’s round up of Mountain Lion & iOS 6 and Apple’s own website for the new MacBook Pro.

MacBook Pro w/ Retina Display

A new line of Macbook Pros — both classic and Retina enabled — got the party started. The specifications are incredible. It’s as I envisioned it would be — a pure flash experience packed with the latest I/O ports and a kick ass display. I didn’t expect Apple to only debut a 15″ version though. It makes sense considering the potential manufacturing constraints of a the new screen and thin profile, but I would have liked to have seen a cheaper 13″ version. Perhaps next year?

The starting $2229 CAD price tag is hefty. Is it unreasonable? Perhaps not. Not when I examine the tech and craftsmanship crammed into that unibody.

Mountain Lion

$19.99 to upgrade all the Macs in my home? At what point do you give us these things for free, Apple?

iOS 6

Selfishly I only really care about Siri for iPad, the new Maps app and a handful of other features that they went over. I’m a fan of Siri — even if when she fumbles things up. So to see Siri integrated with sports and deeper into iOS guts pleases me.

Apple’s Maps application seems very complete for their first iteration. They finally included turn-by-turn navigation and even got Siri in there as well. I hope it all works as advertised because Google needs that kind of competition. After all, their maps have fallen behind in quality compared to other solutions like Bing Maps. But what can Bing Maps do to Google Maps? It takes someone like Apple to smack the search giant into action.

PS Vita Pricing Details for Games & Accessories

The PlayStation Vita won’t arrive for a few months, but Sony has given prospective buyers the amount of money they’ll need to stash away in order to fully enjoy their next generation handhelds.

Games will range from $9.99 all the way to $49.99. They will all be available on store shelves and on the PSN Store for digital consumption.

Memory cards — which are practically required to use the device to its full potential — range from $19.99 for a 4GB stick all the way to $99.99 for the 32GB version.

(You can find out what the launch lineup and the cost of all the accessories over at the PlayStation.Blog post.)

I wish to comment on the pricing of the games. Capping at $49.99 is a little high. $39.99? Acceptable. But raising the price of handheld games in a market where people who are looking at dedicated handhelds like they’re print magazines is stupid.

The memory card pricing may be less than expected, but it’s still absurd to charge $100 for 32GB worth of storage. I don’t care if its the size of a thumbnail — it’s still expensive.

With pricing in mind, the reportedly poor 3 – 5 hour battery life and the general lack of interest in the available launch games keeps it out of my online shopping carts.


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