Nvidia Shield launching in June for $349
May 14, 2013 // 9:12 p.m.
Nvidia Shield, the company's handheld gaming device, will be available for pre-order on 20th May at a cost of $349.
Previously known as Project Shield, the portable games console is built around Google's Android operating system and taps into that platform's app marketplace (Play Store) for its games.
Powered by Nvidia's latest mobile processor, Tegra 4, Nvidia Shield incorporates a 5in popup screen and a full complement of game-controller controls.
As well as playing Android games it can stream games playing on your PC, if you have an Nvidia graphics card. Plus it can take advantage of internet streaming services like Nvidia Grid.
The device will be available to order through Nvidia's website and via retailers Newegg, Gamestop, Micro Center and Canada Computers - we're yet to confirm arrangements for the UK market.
Nvidia Shield Specs
Nvidia Shield is the first device to use Nvidia's new flagship mobile processor, Tegra 4. This new processor, which as with previous Tegra designs is based on ARM CPU technology, features four CPU cores and 72 graphics cores, and support resolutions up to 3,200 x 2,000 pixels - plenty enough for streaming Full HD games to your TV. A mini-HDMI socket on the back allows direct connection to a TV.
The portable games console runs Android 4.1 and has access to the full range of Android apps. However, with no cellular modem it will only be of use for a certain subset of apps.
Games can also be downloaded from Tegrazone, Nvidia's tailored app store that lists certified Tegra-optimised games. It currently includes 76 titles including Max Payne and GTA: Vice City.
Controls on Nvidia Shield consist of two joysticks, a D-pad, four main buttons and two rear triggers, giving it more than enough to control any mobile apps, and most console-compatible PC titles too.
Other hardware includes inbuilt 802.11n Wi-Fi, a microSD slot, 2GB RAM, Bluetooth and 16GB of storage. Nvidia anticipates the unit having around 10hrs battery life when watching video and around half that when playing games.
Nvidia Shield is priced relatively steeply for a dedicated mobile gaming console but considering the amount of hardware you're getting and that it can stream from your PC, it doesn't seem totally extortionate.
We recently got hands on with Nvidia Shield so will be posting our thoughts shortly. In the mean time, are you tempted by the green team's latest venture? Let us know in the forum.