NVIDIA has just unveiled Project SHIELD, its new handheld gaming device powered by the newly released Tegra 4 processor. Built on an open platform, the Shield runs on pure Android, giving it access to Google Play apps, the Tegra Zone, as well as PC games through WiFi streaming. It has an integrated 5-inch (1280 x 720) retinal multitouch display with 294 dpi, advanced sound processing systems, and an external microSD slot. With its 33Wh battery, the Shield delivers around five to ten hours of gameplay or a day of HD video playback.
The Shield not only has access to Android apps and Tegra Zone games, but it also has the ability to stream games from a nearby Windows PC running a GeForce GTX 650 (or higher) graphics card over WiFi, giving users access to their PC game library, including those in the Steam library. The company says that they will add support to stream content from the Shield itself to a television wirelessly.
The Shield itself sports a clamshell design, with the integrated screen folding over the buttons. At first glance it looks similar to an Xbox 360 controller, sporting the usual D-pad, two analog sticks, and the usual buttons.
NVIDIA hasn’t announced a price for Project Shield yet, though it says it will arrive in the US and Canada in the second quarter of the year. With the Nintendo WiiU and Project Shield moving to handheld devices with touchscreen displays, it will be an interesting year for gaming as we await the new releases by Sony and Microsoft at the upcoming E3.