The original Nvidia Shield Portable, which was released all the way back in 2013
Pawn shops are a bit like casinos — 99 percent of the time there's nothing to be gained from being a patron, but that one other percent is the reason why such establishments exist in the first place. And the following story is a classic take on the old "person unknowingly buys something which turns out to be rare and valuable" story.
You may remember the Nvidia Shield Portable (also known as the Nvidia Shield before it got renamed) as one of the results of the early '10s smartphone gaming craze that also brought us failures like the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play and the Ouya. And at one point there were rumors of a successor to the Portable flying around, with the device showing up on the FCC's website as recently as this January.
But while most of the people out there who're in desperate need of a new Android gaming tablet with an unwieldy clamshell design will never get to touch the Shield Portable 2, one lucky Reddit user seems to have accidentally stumbled upon one in — you guessed it — a pawn shop. And what's even more impressive about this story is its location: the user in question, /u/FwrigginRwootbeer, claims the discovery was made in a shop in "a small Canadian city."
Nvidia Shield Portable 2 prototype
As for the device itself, it looks much more impressive than its predecessor, with an updated button layout, a larger and brighter screen, and upgraded internals. In fact, the device seems to be the same prototype as the one that made it to the FCC, down to the Tegra X1 processor found inside.
And that last part is important, as the Shield Portable 2 uses nearly the same hardware as Nintendo's latest gaming console, the Switch — so it's not exactly a stretch to say the partnership between the Nintendo and Nvidia was the reason the device never actually got released.
Plus, the Shield Portable wasn't exactly a mainstream product, so we can't imagine a successor would do considerably well on the market anyway. So while we may never see this particular tablet/console hybrid hit the shelves, those mourning its unfortunate death at least have these pictures to ease the pain now. Yay?