NVIDIA announces "Project Shield" portable Android console, also streams Steam games

At CES 2013 we all knew NVIDIA would unveil the Tegra 4 chipset, but no-one was expecting them to announce a portable gaming console. "Project Shield" is some sort of handheld Android gaming device with the Tegra 4 chipset inside, a full "console-grade" game controller, large battery life (they claim 5-10 hours of gaming from a 38 watt-hour battery), plus "Pure Android" without a skin.

The back panel comes with an HDMI port, microSD card slot for expanding the storage, 3.5mm headphone jack and microUSB. The display itself is 5-inches with a touchscreen, and we believe it's a 720p panel for HD quality gaming. The "Shield" part of the name is in reference to the customizable back panel of the display, which will allow various skins to be applied to personalize your device.

The device was seen pushing 4K video and games straight to an external display, and it looked like the Tegra 4 was more than capable of the intense workload required. It comes with both Google apps such as the Play Store, and it's loaded with NVIDIA's TegraZone app which will be the main place to get your games from.

Project Shield is also capable of connecting straight to your desktop gaming PC in your house - provided it has a GeForce GPU inside - allowing your main gaming PC to stream games straight to your new NVIDIA handheld console over your home network. These games come from your existing game library or through Steam and Big Picture Mode, and through the HDMI port you can connect up to your TV and easily play PC games on your TV without the PC being physically near the TV.

No word on pricing of this device, but it was mentioned that the device still needs some polishing before it hits the market in "Q2 2013".

Source: NVIDIA | Images via NVIDIA

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Huh? This is a Tegra 4. It's ARM. I should be angry because Valve chose not to compile their games for an OS? That's actually their loss.

"At CES 2013 we all knew NVIDIA ....
.....
No word on pricing of this device, but it was mentioned that the device still needs some polishing before it hits the market in "Q2 2012".

but, today is 2013.

I must say that does looks rather impressive! I wonder if it has a touchscreen too or if it comes with a stylus, that would add extra functionality to the device. My only possible problem is... will our thumbs actually reach those sticks easily, they seem quite a distance away.

With Steam bringing it's own console system I don't think it's smart to get something like this. Seems more like a niche for Nintendo enthusiasts IMO. We'll see.

Lucas said,
With Steam bringing it's own console system I don't think it's smart to get something like this. Seems more like a niche for Nintendo enthusiasts IMO. We'll see.

Its own console system...........but not its own handheld system.

This is the beginning for Steam/Value.

Lucas said,
With Steam bringing it's own console system I don't think it's smart to get something like this. Seems more like a niche for Nintendo enthusiasts IMO. We'll see.

Welcome to gaming device/console F R A G M E N T A T I O N 2013.

It's Linux gaming essentially isn't it? My GF games on her Nexus 10 quite a bit, I was surprised at how good some of the games were. New game development is moving forward at a pretty good pace too, not just Angry Birds type stuff either. She now uses a bluetooth app to connect her PS3 controller, which I think she would still prefer to this, but I could see this catching on...It's all very new, hope enough people buy to keep it moving.

Well, I own a Nvidia 660 Ti, so color me intrigued about being able to stream games from my PC to this little device. I very may be picking one up if it delivers on this promise smoothly.

DirtyLarry said,
Well, I own a Nvidia 660 Ti, so color me intrigued about being able to stream games from my PC to this little device. I very may be picking one up if it delivers on this promise smoothly.

ill be standing in that queue right next to ya mate! I think the steam streaming option a touch of genius tbh I like Android and can see why it was their choice. The 4k output is a future idea and quite stunning it can output comfortably to this, its the next big display thang in living rooms. sony, apple & MS should have tried this before now but again it takes Nvidia to be innovative and think along these lines and to "think different"

Fingers crossed next item they produce combines this tegra 4 into a Nvidia built phone/tablet or both! Id snap them up.

Edited by Mando, Jan 7 2013, 10:47pm :

Mando said,

ill be standing in that queue right next to ya mate! I think the steam streaming option a touch of genius tbh I like Android and can see why it was their choice. The 4k output is a future idea and quite stunning it can output comfortably to this, its the next big display thang in living rooms. sony, apple & MS should have tried this before now but again it takes Nvidia to be innovative and think along these lines and to "think different"

Fingers crossed next item they produce combines this tegra 4 into a Nvidia built phone/tablet or both! Id snap them up.

Confused about one of your statements... The 4K output is future... and Microsoft and Apple should have tried this before now.

How has Microsoft or Apple NOT tried this before? Microsoft was supporting 4K display technology a long time ago. Microsoft also supports addressing the full 10,12,16bpp color of some of the newer high end displays. (OS X and Linux do not, so the displays upscale the colors from 8bpp.)

ingramator said,
Please don't get technical with the blind Linux fanboys, they will never understand the difference between OpenGL and DirectX

Oh so true.

Its design reminds me of the Original xbox (even has an X in it). In terms of looks this could have been Microsoft's handheld to compete with the PSP and Original DS. Definatly has the 'weight' of the Original Xbox's controller.

Is anyone else noticing or watching a new generation of gaming fragmentation?

Even with just the Android products alone at CES, there is no universal common base hardware set or even Android functionality provided to ensure compatibility between systems. Beyond Angry Birds graphics quality, we are screwed.

So instead of Xbox, PC, PS3, Wii/U - we now have 50 different gaming type of consoles, and another several hundred when you add in the limited gaming features being installed in TVs and Cable boxes?

How does anyone think this will affect consumers?

If you were a developer, what systems or companies would you design games?

Android has managed to drag its fragmentation into a new realm of devices.

I'm sure a majority of these systems will fail or be relegated to specific uses, but until then, we have a problem.

I love how people turned this into an "I hate Android" argument. If you hate Android so much, why you even commenting on an article about an Android powered device? people seem never happy unless they are bitching and moaning about something (yes I know I'm a hypocrite but you know what I mean...)

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