If you live in China and have an Nvidia Shield, now you can play fantastic Wii games like The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess – you do not need to have a Switch, a 3DS or even the console that ] Twilight Princess originally appeared in. All you need to enjoy one of the best games that Nintendo has created is a game console that is not built by Nintendo.
Image: Nintendo / Nvidia / Gizmodo
Nintendo, I hate you for this.
The company is slowly releasing its firm control over its own properties, starting with smart phone games. Popular properties like Mario, Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem have appeared, in some way, on Android and iOS devices. But this deal in China really takes the cake. As The Verge mentions, the collaboration was first noticed by Daniel Ahmad, an analyst at Niko Partners.
Here are some Twilight Princess games running on Nvidia Shield.
It is said to be running in HD (I'm not sure what that means exactly in terms of the port).
The Wii games in Shield will cost 68 RMB. pic.twitter.com/M84WfV9eWE
– Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) December 5, 2017
Since then Bloomberg has confirmed that Nvidia started selling the Shield decoder in China on December 5, with three pre-installed Nintendo games: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess New Super Mario Bros. Wii and Punch-Out !! . All three games were originally available for the Wii nearly a decade ago at a miserable 480p resolution. According to the Ahmad, now they run on the Shield much faster at a nice and crisp HD resolution, that is, 720p or 1080p.
That's not the 4K with which most televisions (and Shield) can play content, but it's superior to the Wii that could have been stored in a closet somewhere.
According to Bloomberg Nintendo issued a statement in Chinese that read: "We are very happy to have this opportunity to let our entertainment products bring joy to the vast body of Chinese players." The statement went on to say that more games would be released within the next year and that "due to Nvidia's excellent staff, these games will get high-resolution ports."
Games are likely to appear on the Nvidia Shield because these two companies have developed a strong working relationship. The super popular Nintendo Switch actually uses a modified version of the Tegra chip found in Shield, which means that Nintendo encoders are already familiar with the architecture that games would need to be ported.
Why Nintendo is releasing some of Are the best games in China instead of the USA? UU or other markets where the Shield has been available for years? Bloomberg spoke with analyst Hideki Yasuda of the Ace Research Institute, who he suspects is a Nintendo ploy to increase brand awareness in China. "For Nintendo, its main goal is likely to be that its intellectual property be recognized more in China."
If that's the case, it's unlikely that Shields in the West will see these games legally, which is a big personal disappointment to me, as the Nvidia Shield is still my favorite set-top box.
But remember, the Nvidia Shield runs on Android. That means that these games are ports for the Android operating system, so it's only a matter of time before someone tries to hack them and make them available to other regions or Android devices.
We communicated with Nintendo to comment but did not hear back at the time of writing.