Nvidia Corp. on Tuesday announced that it has begun to take orders onto its Google Android-based video game console that will also be able to stream games from personal computers. The Shield consoles will cost $349 and will be shipped starting from late June. The product will be the very first device based on Nvidia’s Tegra 4 system-on-chip.
As a pure Android device, Nvidia Shield gives access to any game on Google Play. And as a wireless receiver and controller, it can stream select number of supported games from Steam from a PC powered by Nvidia GeForce GTX GPUs, accessing titles on its Steam game library from anywhere in the home. Nvidia Shield is based on Nvidia Tegra 4 system-on-chip (four ARM Cortex-A15 cores, Nvidia GeForce graphics adapter with 72 stream processors), is equipped with a 5” capacitive touch-screen with 1280*720 resolution (294ppi) and features 802.11n Wi-Fi technology with 2*2 MIMO antennas to stream PC games. Project Shield's ergonomic controller was built for the gamer who wants ultimate control and precision. The portable device also has integrated high-quality speakers. Nvidia Shield runs Google Android (4.0) Jelly Bean OS.
Pre-order will go live on May 20th from Newegg, GameStop, Micro Center and Canada Computers and on shield.nvidia.com. Select gamers who receive updates regarding Nvidia Shield have an exclusive opportunity to pre-order starting today. The price of the console is $349 and it will ship in June.
In many ways, Nvidia’s project Shield is an experiment for the company, which wants to expand its business beyond traditional PCs and smartphones/tablets. Shield will make select PC games more mobile than they are today, but only within one’s home and with a number of constraints, including small size screen and low resolution. Presently, Shield is primarily a game console with Android operating system and some additional capabilities. As a result, it is hard to expect Nvidia’s first-generation Shield to become a success in general: there are few hardcore gamers with interest in playing Android titles using D-pad and analogue stick and playing only select PC games on a 720p screen does not sound like something extraordinary.
Nonetheless, as technologies become more advanced, future generations of Shield should enable gamers to play their PC titles wherever they are, not just in their homes. That will in many ways be a revolution as it was never before possible to play advanced titles without a powerful PC. There are chances that future Nvidia Shield-like devices will be able to compete against portable game consoles from Nintendo and Sony.