I’m so excited about this.
Dan Harmon is back at Community.
Apparently the Nvidia Shield is going to retail for $349, which is roughly £229. I have to assume that they are struggling to make these things cheaply, as that is a very steep price. For context, you can get a Playstation Vita with WiFi and 3G for £198, and a Nintendo 3DS XL for £149. That is quite a premium over two handheld gaming machines, from two established players in the scene.
Now, that’s all well and good, if the Shield is offering an experience above and beyond these other handheld gaming systems. Though, if my experience is anything to go by, it certainly doesn’t meet that criteria at the moment.
I had a chance to get some hands-on time with the Nvidia Shield at PAX East. Safe to say, neither my friend, nor I, were at all impressed. In fact, both of our devices crashed and rebooted while we were playing games, loading us back in to the default Android home screen. The touchscreen was laggy, the menu was unintuitive, the controls weren’t exactly comfortable, and it certainly wasn’t the lightest. All this, and I haven’t even mentioned the games. Consoles/devices can have all the bells and whistles they want, but, in reality, they live and die by their game catalogue. In comparison to Nintendo and Playstation, the Shield does not have the back catalogue or invested developers to compete. It’s obvious where the smart money is regarding first- and third-party hits. I just cannot think of anything other than an incredibly niche market for this.
Yes, it can stream from your PC, and yadda, yadda. But those are side benefits of owning the device. Realistically, no-one is going to buy a ticket merely for the side attractions. The main purpose of the Shield, must also be it’s main selling point. However, in my first-hand experience, it’s main function just isn’t good enough.
I’ve been pretty much exclusively using the new Hangouts app since it’s release. Let me stress the fact that I do like it. Ubiquitous messaging really is a base requirement in the post-iMessage world.
As Stephen Hackett notes, it’s not that Google are ‘evil’, it’s just that they try so hard to present themselves as ‘The Good Guys’. They are the same as everyone else, but they pretend not to be. Gruber used the perfect word in the aforelinked article, it "rankles".
One thing that really bothers me, is that they haven’t implemented the x-callback-url ‘back button takes you back to the app you came from’ in Chrome for iOS. You’d think that at least they would make their own apps fully compatible with their other apps.
As reported by The Verge, BlackBerry Messenger will soon be available on competing platforms, including iOS. This really does smack of BlackBerry throwing everything at the wall, and praying that something, anything, sticks. In the consumer space, the only service I’ve seen keeping people loyal to their BlackBerrys is BBM. In my mind, the only likely result of this move, will be to ease the transition for some people from a BlackBerry, to an iPhone or Android device.
An interesting aside from Rene Ritchie at iMore, everyone else now makes apps for their competitors platforms, apart from Apple.
I was going to comment on the Facebook Home….fiasco(?), but this piece by Marco Arment really summed up my feelings on the home screen replacement/app launcher/thingy. It just looks like a demo. It’s a showcar, not something actually useful in every day life.
We lose another incredibly promising life much too young.
Please, read Cory Doctorow’s post here.
While we don’t know what caused him to take his own life, and probably never will, it’s unlikely that his battles with depression were not involved.
I’ve been meaning to link to this for a while, but here is a post from Wil Wheaton about depression. If you know anyone facing these problems, read it.
Please, let’s stop losing people to this.