Nvidia Announces "Project SHIELD" Portable Gaming Device

Nvidia Announces "Project SHIELD" Portable Gaming Device

Project SHIELD has a big screen, a full-sized controller, and can even play some PC games.

Graphics giant Nvidia has announced a new entry in the handheld gaming arena. It's called "Project SHIELD", and it's an Android-based portable gaming unit that can play PC games and stream content to HDTV.

The Nvidia-branded device will feature a 5" 720p multi-touch flip screen, which is attached to a controller with a D-pad, dual analog sticks, four face buttons, shoulder buttons, and triggers. It also has 802.11n wireless connectivity and integrated speakers (or a "bass-reflex, tuned port audio system", if you will). Pixels will be pushed along by a custom 72-core Nvidia Tegra 4 processor, and it'll all be running on Android Jelly Bean.

The handheld features an HDMI port for video output to an HDTV, as well as micro USB and microSD slots. The Tegra 4 processor also supports streaming from an Nvidia Kepler-based GPU, which means that you can play supported PC games on the handheld in a separate room (provided that your PC meets the minimum specifications). Standalone games for the device will be served by Google Play and Nvidia's TegraZone.

The company has yet to disclose an RRP on the device. A tech analyst at Forbes suggests that Project SHIELD will be priced "more like the iPod Touch, with an initial higher price point", but it's speculation until an official figure is released.

Nvidia CEO and co-founder Jen-Hsun Huang said that Project SHIELD's engineers were inspired by the rapid growth of mobile and cloud technologies, allowing gamers to play away from fixed boxes. "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."

Project SHIELD is expected to be available in the US in "Q2 2013".

Sources: Project SHIELD Official Site, Nvidia Newsroom
Images: Project SHIELD Official Site

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There wasn't really anything I was looking forward to in the way of tech until this was announced. Not sure if it will pan out like intended but it will be very interesting to see how it goes.

I wonder how this will turn out. It is definitely good for the gaming market that Android is used more and more, makes it more viable for game developers as a platform.

Hmmm. After the storm on Kickstarter, it'll be interesting to see how a full-grown corporation fares at making a console.

Then again, this isn't really a console, is it? This is a microcomputer tailored to play games and do nothing else and while gaming computers have existed for a long time, this'll probably be the first one that folks wouldn't be tempted to run OpenOffice on.

The times they are a changin'...

A Table PC is more justifiable than this piece of shit. Hell, it's even more 'portable' and you don't even need to carry a miniature nuclear reactor with you just to run it.

I can see this being encouraging for people who develop games for Google Play. Hell if it's cheap enough I'd use it just as an emulation box.

The concept is very nice and I like the idea of having the ability to play PC games on the run. But Nvidia, please consider redesigning it. It's ugly and looks uncomfortable to play with. I certainly hope the screen is super lightweight too because with a flip design like that it looks like it would cause my wrist to ache after a long session.

Also would be cool if they could make a deal with Steam. If I could take my Steam library with me on the run, I'll almost certainly get one.

Timothy Chang:
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

Just found this statement absolutely hilarious. We've had devices like this for decades. My first was called a GameBoy.

So it's trying to be the next Vita?
When will they realize that the handheld market doesn't survive on console/pc titles? A handheld needs to be a bit more unique than a "naked PC" in order to succeed.

The problem, for me at least, is I've yet to find an android game that I've wanted to play for more than five minutes at a time.

The biggest problem I have with the current concept, is that while it would be able run some PC games, it seems like it won't support Steam or even retail copies of games, which means I'll have to buy these games again to play them.

Also, I like it better when the left stick and D-Pad are swapped, like in the X-box controller.

I don't expect it to be very good, but I do wonder how it will end up.

So, in the 8th Generation, Alone, we have the WiiU and 3DS from Nintendo, the Eventual PS4 and the PSVita from Sony, the eventual Xbox 720 from Microsoft, 2 Android Consoles, the Steam Box, and now a Nvidia console? It feels like my fears are coming true: We're entering a new "Everyone can enter the Console race!" era. We all know how well that worked out the last time...

Mr.Mattress:
So, in the 8th Generation, Alone, we have the WiiU and 3DS from Nintendo, the Eventual PS4 and the PSVita from Sony, the eventual Xbox 720 from Microsoft, 2 Android Consoles, the Steam Box, and now a Nvidia console? It feels like my fears are coming true: We're entering a new "Everyone can enter the Console race!" era. We all know how well that worked out the last time...

The reality is that the what will work on one android console will work on all them. Ok you can say about different specs of androids but that is the same as the PC and PC gaming is viable. I doubt the the android will become a hardcore platform i.e the latests CoD game wont launch on it, but the number of android platforms out there means its a viable market. The only one which think is going to be a dead end is the Valve console, it rather depends on what OS goes on the box. The 70s/80s consoles were not compatible with each other.

Nice effort, really the idea is more than decent, but the whole design and the "portable-that-works-on-tv" thing just seems lost on me...

I imagine you'll be able to play it for about an hour before it explodes in your hands.

Ugh... who the fuck designed that thing? They've essentially taken the Duke controller from the original Xbox, one of the most ridiculed controllers of all time, and stuck an unwieldy looking screen on top of it.

Seriously, this isn't the 90s anymore. You can't get away with designing a contoller/console to be all harsh angles and pointy bits and stuck-on bits of grille plastic. Design has changed, and consumers expect some refinement in how their product are designed now. This looks like something you'd find in the back of a novelty arcade.

Also, what demographic are they targeting here? Anyone who's interested in an Android console has already probably got their eyes on an Ouya, which is ludicrously cheap. If not that, the Gamestick has also come along to provide a cheap alternative. What draw is this expensive alternative going to offer?

Mobility? Well then you get into the problem of why people then won't just buy a smartphone. If people want a dedicated portable console, Nintendo and Sony have already got all bases covered. If they want a portable android device, there are hundreds of smartphones and tablet to choose from. And all of them are designed better than this clunky piece of crap.

This thing has literally got the nichest of niche appeal. It's targeting a small demographic who are neither happy with a portable hand-held, an Android console or an existing Android phone/tablet, and is making that demographic even smaller by looking like absolute arse.

The other main worry is how much this could end up resembling the games industry right before the crash of 83. The one thing we don't want right now is crappy consoles flooding the market and turning consumers off the idea of gaming.

An oblong handheld that cannot be used outside the house, and likely requires massive amounts of power. What does this bring to the market place? I can see a use for this, were it done well. The form factor tells me it isn't. Who would jam an XBOX controller into their pants?

looks like a demolition man shell
image

"do for games what the iPod and Kindle have done for music and books?"
image
You think you're the only handheld consol in the world?

Doom972:
The biggest problem I have with the current concept, is that while it would be able run some PC games, it seems like it won't support Steam or even retail copies of games, which means I'll have to buy these games again to play them.

Also, I like it better when the left stick and D-Pad are swapped, like in the X-box controller.

I don't expect it to be very good, but I do wonder how it will end up.

Except that it will support Steam. During the CES presentation they debuted this in, the little guy ran Steam's Big Picture mode, both on the attached screen and on a connected 4K TV.

OT: I would love to pick this up, if it weren't for the fact that the streaming won't be supported by my non-Kepler NVIDIA card. I just can't justify putting up enough cash to both pick it up for however much they'll charge for it, along with an upgrade to my GTX 580, to play PC games away from home.

Please, please, PLEASE don' let it end up like the N-Gauge...

Wow..

This thing sounds so... uninteresting.
I thought the dedicated handheld fad had both come and was on its way out, what with phones taking over their roles left and right.

I don't think this will take off unless NV have huge developer support. It's one of those things that I'm really going to have to see to believe regarding its success.

The most interesting part of the whole thing is the Tegra 4 chipset. That thing is an utter beast based off the specs, and the re-programmable baseband modem is a stroke of pure genius, and a great helping hand for device makers wanting to make "world phones" (IE phones that can work on any telco/baseband across the world).

VanQQisH:
Also would be cool if they could make a deal with Steam. If I could take my Steam library with me on the run, I'll almost certainly get one.

Well it wouldn't do much good because the OS is Android Jelly Bean, so at best this will support local streaming and Android games, at worst not even those.
Really the best they can do at this point is team up with the OUYA guys and push for some proper Android games.

shado_temple:
to play PC games away from home

Sadly no, this will only work within a very limited range of your special hardware PC.

Mr.K.:

shado_temple:
to play PC games away from home

Sadly no, this will only work within a very limited range of your special hardware PC.

Well, that makes it slightly less fun. A cool idea, to be sure, but I was hoping for more of their GRID idea worked into just having the "server" be your gaming PC on a decent connection.

shado_temple:

Mr.K.:

shado_temple:
to play PC games away from home

Sadly no, this will only work within a very limited range of your special hardware PC.

Well, that makes it slightly less fun. A cool idea, to be sure, but I was hoping for more of their GRID idea worked into just having the "server" be your gaming PC on a decent connection.

Thats where they'd like to take it in the future, buth they are starting small.

THis looks more interesting than the OUYA in many ways, Higher spec, streams to the TV (at a higher resolution).

It will likely cost more, but that looks to be bringing quite a lot of extra function for that.

shado_temple:

Doom972:
The biggest problem I have with the current concept, is that while it would be able run some PC games, it seems like it won't support Steam or even retail copies of games, which means I'll have to buy these games again to play them.

Also, I like it better when the left stick and D-Pad are swapped, like in the X-box controller.

I don't expect it to be very good, but I do wonder how it will end up.

Except that it will support Steam. During the CES presentation they debuted this in, the little guy ran Steam's Big Picture mode, both on the attached screen and on a connected 4K TV.

OT: I would love to pick this up, if it weren't for the fact that the streaming won't be supported by my non-Kepler NVIDIA card. I just can't justify putting up enough cash to both pick it up for however much they'll charge for it, along with an upgrade to my GTX 580, to play PC games away from home.

Thanks, I missed that part. Now I'm kind of excited for it.

PreviouslyPwned:
The problem, for me at least, is I've yet to find an android game that I've wanted to play for more than five minutes at a time.

thats probably because basically every android game is designed from the ground up assuming that the player doesnt have a controller. im hopeful that all the wireless bluetooth controllers and things like this will encourage android and perhaps even ios developers to can the idea that a game for a touchscreen device needs to be made for touchscreen controls.

Mr.K.:

VanQQisH:
Also would be cool if they could make a deal with Steam. If I could take my Steam library with me on the run, I'll almost certainly get one.

Well it wouldn't do much good because the OS is Android Jelly Bean, so at best this will support local streaming and Android games, at worst not even those.

i dont see why it wouldnt support android games, it says standalone games will be served via google play, and im sure that nvidia will endeavor to make at least some of google plays library compatible, they would be silly not to. this would be great for emulators for example.

I'm really interested to see how this pans out. Also interesting is that it allows you to stream games wirelessly from your pc if you have an nvidia card, letting your comp do the actual processing. So, like the Wii U kinda I guess? The ability for someone else to use your comp while you enjoy crysis 3 at a decent fps in 720p? I can appreciate that.

What will make or break this thing for me is the battery life. Also, the article is a bit wrong, the GPU will be 72-core, the CPU will be quad core Tegra 4.

Mr.Mattress:
So, in the 8th Generation, Alone, we have the WiiU and 3DS from Nintendo, the Eventual PS4 and the PSVita from Sony, the eventual Xbox 720 from Microsoft, 2 Android Consoles, the Steam Box, and now a Nvidia console? It feels like my fears are coming true: We're entering a new "Everyone can enter the Console race!" era. We all know how well that worked out the last time...

To be fair, that also happened in the early 90s. We had the SNES and Genesis, but we also had whatever Atari shat out, the TurboGrafX, the CDI, and a few others.

Souplex:
To be fair, that also happened in the early 90s. We had the SNES and Genesis, but we also had whatever Atari shat out, the TurboGrafX, the CDI, and a few others.

True, but unlike the 90's, there were only 2/3 companies who could actually compete and most of these other consoles weren't really expected to be big sellers.

Unlike the 90's, every console I just listed is a real contender: The Ouya, that Controller Android Console, the Steam Box, and this are serious. With everyone's love of Valve, and the fact that the Ouya and CAC have proven themselves via Kickstarter, this is not in comparison to the 90's as it is a comparison to the 80's. Yes, Atari was on top in the 80's, but it still faced formidable foes from every company with a video game console (So much so that Atari launched a 2nd console to compete with these consoles as well as they're own). The 8th Generation Flood of Consoles could really be damaging to the Video Game Industry...

I think it could be cool, got to know what it can Actually do first for me to get really hyped though.

Option A: Curl up in bed & lose a few minutes of sleep playing a few before-bedtime casual games.

Option B: Get this & curl up in bed & lose hours of sleep with a few before-bedtime hardcore games.

Ouch! Sorry OUYA. Looks like someone else is bring an android console to market. And this one can both plug into your TV and is portable.

 

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