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".