Tuesday, January 08, 2013

NVIDIA's Project Shield: An Android-powered mobile gaming console with a Tegra 4

It wasn't enough for NVIDIA to unveil its latest mobile processor, the Tegra 4 on Monday. Also on Monday, the company revealed its own branded gaming device, the NVIDIA Shield, which sports its brand-new 4-plus-1 core Tegra 4 processor.

Project Shield is smaller than a Wii U controller, and is both a controller and a console in one. The device is still in the prototype stage, the company said at CES on Monday, and the final name and design are still fluid. The product is expected to reach market in as soon as in a few months.

The system comes with 38-watt lithium-ion batteries, good for somewhere between five to 10 hours of gaming, NVIDIA said (which is sort of a broad range). Users can also get up to 24 hours of HD viewing out of the Shield, which also includes an audio system "on par with" jamboxes, as well as a full Android gaming experience.

That's right, it's standard Android, as NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang said during the introduction.

Not only can NVIDIA's Shield connect to the cloud to play Android games, and TegraZone games, it can be a controller for PC games, as well. In fact, NVIDIA said that, via NVIDIA's GeForce Experience software, an end user can stream games from a PC powered by NVIDIA GeForce GTX GPUs to Project Shield over their LAN.

In a press release, NVIDIA's co-founder and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang said:
Project SHIELD was created by NVIDIA engineers who love to game and imagined a new way to play. 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. We imagined a device that would do for games what the iPod and Kindle have done for music and books, letting us play in a cool new way. We hope other gamers love SHIELD as much as we do.
The device is wi-fi only, at least for now, and currently run Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean). That, of course, could change by the time it ships. NVIDIA didn't have a price available, but said Project Shield should ship in Q2 of this year.

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