Last summer, I bought an iPad 3. I convinced myself I’d use it for everything: showing off wedding photos, reading all those neglected articles I save to Pocket, and as a second monitor for my laptop.

The only time I actually pick up the iPad, sadly, is to play video games. Perhaps the saddest part is that my iPad isn’t a very good game system. It’s bulky, the touchscreen controls are pretty crappy for navigating 3D worlds, and the graphics are merely okay. But where “real” game systems like the PlayStation Vita are struggling to build a library of game titles, the iTunes App Store continually tempts me with addictive, artsy new games. I wanted the best of both: the physical controls to explore immersive worlds, and a store to convince developers to build them. I wanted the equivalent of a PlayStation Vita running iOS.

Then, the next best thing came along: Nvidia announced the Shield at CES. For $299, the graphics giant promised the most powerful hardware we’d ever seen in a portable console, running stock Android, with what basically amounted to a built-in Xbox 360 controller at the helm. Nvidia even promised it would stream games from my home gaming PC. I was jazzed. Six months later, the Shield showed up on my doorstep.