Nvidia announces release date for Shield handheld

Chipmaker Nvidia has revealed plans for the Shield handheld´s eagerly anticipated launch

15 May 2013


Nvidia left us totally stoked at CES when it unveiled its Shield games console - and now the US chipmaker has revealed plans for the handheld's eagerly anticipated launch.

3) The Nvidia Project Sheild Handheld Andriod Games Console Can Connect To The Cloud While You 're Out And About

Shield garnered plenty of headlines and hype amid the smoke-and-mirrors of the Las Vegas convention centre, but we now know it will be launched in the US in June for 349 US dollars.

The handheld features a five-inch screen which displays 720p high definition video. The screen is attached to what looks like a full-size gaming controller.

Shield - a showcase for Tegra 4?

Shield is powered by Android with Nvidia's Tegra 4 chip under the hood. The Tegra 4 is Nvidia's top-end processor, which it says is an alternative to the Snapdragon from Qualcomm - the processor used in many high-end smartphones.

Experts have suggested Shield is a showcase for the graphics and wireless video streaming capabilities of the Tegra 4 chip.

Tegra 4 Chip

Shield promises "rich graphics and unbeatable performance"

One analyst suggested Shield will appeal to a "niche audience" but if you're among those itching to own one, you can look forward to "rich graphics and unbeatable performance", according to its maker.

Nvidia attributes this to 72 graphic processing unit (GPU) cores and four central processing unit (CPU) cores.

The Shield was first unveiled at the International CES in Las Vegas, where it was named among the show's best gadgets by sites such as IGN and TechnoBuffalo. After CES we wrote about it here.


Stream games from your PC

Gamers opting for the Shield will also be able to stream games from their Nvidia GPU-equipped PC or laptop and send the video card output to the handheld console. This means gamers can play their favourite titles wherever they are in the home.

Games can be streamed from Google Play and Tegrazone Android as well as Valve's Steam platform.

Ben Parfitt, online editor at games industry trade magazine MCV, told the BBC that streaming games to a handheld was a "great feature", however he added it requires a graphics card in your PC.

Nvidia says Shield represents "an amazing new open platform gaming portable".

The specs are undoubtedly impressive, but Parfitt asked whether there is a market for a dedicated Android device.

The Shield is more expensive than both the PlayStation Vita and Nintendo's 3DS XL. However, Shield has features which are unique among handheld consoles.

Pre-orders on Shield open on May 20.