Shield handheld outsells Vita in North America, Nvidia ramping up production

Nvidia Project Shield handheld gaming console shipped streaming Borderlands 2 by Gearbox Software and 2K Games gameplay screenshot August 2013 PGRLast month, we promised you that first sales data for Nvidia Shield Android-powered handheld gaming console should be out in the near future, and while the Silicon Valley’s giant is still diligently hiding the exact numbers, we’ve managed to gather some clues based on the comment that one of the company’s officials recently made.

Specifically, Nvidia’s senior director of investor relations Chris Evenden described the sales of the Shield portable system as “great”, adding that the company already managed to sell every shipped unit and that they’re now ramping up the production.

As you can see, Vita is now selling less than 5,000 units in the US. (Source: VGChartz)

As you can see, Vita is currently selling less than 5,000 units per week in the US. (Source: VGChartz)

Now, before we jump to any conclusions, note that Nvidia has only four retail partners for Shield:  Newegg, GameStop, Micro Center, and Canada Computers, none of which received a batch larger than 5,000 units. Of course, Nvidia is also selling the Shield portable console directly, but other than several thousand of confirmed pre-orders, it’s currently unlikely that their direct sales will significantly affect the system’s first official sales numbers. Still, for a handheld device that’s targeting such a niche audience, around 20,000 of sold units in the first two weeks in North America alone is a respectable number, especially considering that PlayStation Vita is currently selling just a little over 5,000 units per week on the same market, despite the fact that it’s both a cheaper portable console and that it has a much more established selection of exclusive games, given that Shield has none.

It’s yet to be seen whether the worries we expressed in June regarding the problems surrounding Shield will significantly affect the device’s sales, but all in all – this is a solid start for the system. We’ll be sure to let you know when the portable console’s first official sales numbers emerge, and in the meantime, check out our picks of top 10 best Nvidia Shield-ready games, or if you don’t trust our judgment, you can also take a look at the complete list of mobile games optimized for Shield’s physical controls and take your pick(s). Oh, and as for the system’s release date for Europe, Asia, Australia, and possibly South America, there’s still no news on that front, so be patient for a little while longer.

  • porkChop

    Those are pretty poor sales. The Vita sold a few hundred thousand units in its first few weeks in North America. So if the Shield is only managing 20,000 in 2 weeks that is nothing to brag about at all. For a more accurate comparison you should have used the Vitas debut sales, because there is nothing to say that the Shield’s sales won’t also drop off even below Vita’s current numbers.

    • Fez Ketchup

      I don’t think Vita is a direct competitor to Vita, I mean it’s basically your normal tablet with physical controls for more demanding mobile gamers. With that in mind, these are good numbers, not to mention the $50 difference in price in favour to Vita.

      Oh, and my unut arrived last week and it’s much sturdier than I expected. Still, I have no dellusions that it’ll sell better than Vita but like the article says, for such a niche device it’s so far so good.

      • jdp12

        assume you meant shield not vita?

        • Fez Ketchup

          ya, edited

          thx :)