NVIDIA unveils "Project Shield" portable console


January 7, 2013

Could Project Shield compete with Apple, Nintendo, and other Android devices?

Could Project Shield compete with Apple, Nintendo, and other Android devices?

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Taking to the stage at this year’s CES, graphics hardware giant NVIDIA has announced Project Shield: a portable gaming console that plays both Android games via Google Play and some PC titles – provided there’s a PC located on the local network to stream the game from.

While we haven’t yet been given a full rundown of Project Shield’s specs, it appears to be roughly the size of an Xbox 360 controller, and sports two analog sticks, a D-Pad and plenty of buttons. Under the hood, NVIDIA’s next-gen Tegra 4 processor is doing the heavy lifting, and this comprises a monster 72-core GeForce GPU, working alongside an ARM-based quad-core Cortex-A15 CPU.

Project Shield runs Android Jelly Bean, so it can launch standard Android apps like Netflix and Hulu

Project Shield also features WiFi, and a multitouch 5-inch 294 DPI "retinal" display with 1280 x 720 resolution. Audio is delivered via a custom bass reflex audio system which promises twice the low-frequency output compared to most high-end laptops. We've heard rumors of a reported 10 - 15 hour battery life, but this is unconfirmed for now and should be treated as such.

Android games will be available from Google Play, and if you have a PC equipped with an NVIDIA GeForce 650 GPU or better, Project Shield can also be used as a wireless game receiver to play your favorite Steam titles via the Steam Big Picture system through the local network. NVIDIA states that some non-Steam games are to be supported too, though we’ve no hard details on this yet – some kind of easily configurable open-source standard would certainly be a good sign.

"We were inspired by a vision that the rise of mobile and cloud technologies will free us from our boxes, letting us game anywhere, on any screen," said Jen-Hsun Huang, co-founder and chief executive officer at NVIDIA. "We imagined a device that would do for games what the iPod and Kindle have done for music and books."

The device is due for release sometime in the second quarter of 2013, at a price to be announced. Availability will initially be limited to the U.S. and Canada, with additional territories rolling out afterwards.

Source: NVIDIA

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Adam Williams Adam scours the globe from his home in North Wales in order to bring the best of innovative architecture and sustainable design to the pages of Gizmag. Most of his spare time is spent dabbling in music, tinkering with old Macintosh computers and trying to keep his even older VW bus on the road. All articles by Adam Williams

ehhh, it looks... 1980's

Alexander Mawson

I think it looks pretty cool, and I like that fact that the screen is protected when it's closed. People seemed to think for a while that the almighty phone was going gobble up the handheld gaming market, but time has proven that wrong, because of one simple thing...people like phones with nearly no buttons, but everybody prefers gaming WITH buttons.

2013 is going to be an exciting year for gamers. The WiiU recently came out, Xbox will release a new console late 2013 (likely November), Ouya is coming out with their small andoid based console, and GameStick (like the Ouya, was funded using Kickstarter) will come out later this year as well, and now this. Can't wait to give this thing a try, I'm not a big mobile gamer, but if it impresses me enough, it will get my money.

Derek Howe

It really is an unattractive console. :\ But since it's but Nvidia i'm sure they'll improve the design.

Elijah Sherv

unlike vain phone users, i think you'll find most game players will only care about playability and performance, looks are secondary. The fact that it looks perfect for a steady grip and great buttons/joystick make me think this is a huge leap forward. The main downside I can foresee is the small screen size in terms of PC game compatability, but cant judge until seen live.

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