Nvidia’s Project Shield: developers react

Project Shield

Nvidia Project Shield

Matt Cavanagh is managing director of Totem Games, and has also worked at Bizarre and Psygnosis:

“Firstly, I think it sits uncomfortably between a handheld and a console. You can’t really put it in your pocket as it’s quite big. What do you do if the controller breaks? An expensive replacement once it is out of warranty.

“As much as I love to tinker with the latest and fastest kit out there, the reality of the situation is that small developers like Totem need to reach as wide a market as possible to survive.

“It’s great that this has so much power under the hood, but it takes a lot of time and money to take advantage of this power and it’s too big a gamble for us to optimise for a platform such as this without an idea how many units are out there.

“Personally, I like my PC games to be played with mouse and keys – using a controller with a PC is like operating a keyboard while wearing oven gloves. More power for the mobile devices is inevitable, however trying to imitate console or PC experiences in a handheld rarely works.”

Project Shield: developers react

From left to right: Ben Murch; Stephen Cakebread; Matt Cavanagh; and Martin Linklater

Martin Linklater is director at Curly Rocket, founder of NWindies and formerly of Bizarre Creations and Sony Liverpool.

“It’s appealing because upon purchase you will have access to all your current PC games, plus the thousands of cheap or free Android games out there. It makes it a much better value proposition than Vita or 3DS.

“The main selling point will be the cost of the software – virtually zero. I don’t think consumers care what OS it runs as long as it feels good in your hands and has good software support. Market fragmentation is the cost of entry if you’re developing for Android. What Shield provides is more incentive in the form of a device which could deliver a superior experience.

“There’s certainly demand for more power in handhelds. Take a look at the latest big-budget iOS and Android titles.  Lack of power is no barrier to innovation, but it can be important for larger developers who want to push graphical quality and attract mainstream console gamers. I’m a single-person developer so current mobile power is more than enough to realise my ideas.”