nVidia announces handheld gaming device

Posted on Jan 7 2013 - 10:45am by Christopher Allega

NVIDIA today announced Project SHIELD, a gaming portable for open platforms, designed for gamers who yearn to play when, where and how they want. Created with the philosophy that gaming should be open and flexible, Project SHIELD flawlessly plays both Android and PC titles. When announced the Shield, Jen-Hsun Huang slipped up and introduced it as “Project Thor”, but quickly corrected himself. He provided no indication of what ‘Project Thor’ could be, but it got many people talking.

The device is powered by the Tegra 4 that has 72 GPU cores and four A15 CPU cores. NVIDIA says this is the “World’s fastest mobile processor” and it runs on Android.  As a pure Android device, it gives access to any game on Google Play. And as a wireless receiver and controller, it can stream games from a PC powered by NVIDIA GeForce GTX GPUs, accessing titles on its STEAM game library from anywhere in the home.

The Shield is designed to be as small as possible, so it’s roughly the size of standalone controllers. NVIDIA Shield features a 5-inch, 1,280 x 720 multitouch display that is said to be a ‘Retina Display’ for stunning visuals. The Tegra 4 powered device has several batteries for a combined 38 watt hours of battery power, which NVIDIA says is good for for up to 24 hours of high definition video playback.

One of the nice things about Project SHIELD is that it doesn’t have any proprietary interfaces, so you’ll find an HDMI, micro-USB, microSD slot, and 3.5mm audio jack  on the device. You can even customize the SHIELD with removable back panels, which is pretty cool.  NVIDIA certainly shocked us with the SHIELD and we can’t wait to see how much it costs and how it performs. Here is a quick video on Project SHIELD.

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