NVIDIA promises to change mobile gaming with the Shield -- a handheld console that's pure Android and pure fun

Think back to CES this past January, and chances are you'll remember NVIDIA's Project Shield. It sort of stole the whole show, and it's finally here. In case you missed all the hub-bub surrounding the device, think of a 5-inch, 720p multi-touch display, paired with a full game controller powered by NVIDIA's Tegra 4 chip. It's plenty powerful to play console-grade games, and the best part -- it runs Android so it launches with a full compliment of optimized titles to put it all to use.

It doesn't stop there, either. Using an NVIDIA graphics card in your gaming desktop (GeForce GTX 650 or higher) you'll also be streaming titles using Steam, getting a cross platform experience like no other. The Shield promises to bring your gaming to a whole new level. And of course, we expect things to work quite nicely between the Shield and NVIDIA's new Grid platform.

To get you started, there are two great titles pre-loaded -- Sonic 4 Episode II, and Expendable: Rearmed. You'll also have all the great games in Google Play available, including Tegra 4 optimized titles like Dead Trigger and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. In addition, NVIDIA has five new titles all lined up to make the most of the great hardware the Shield has on-board: Broken Age and Costume Quest from Double Fine, Flyhunter: Origins from Steel Wool Games, Skiing Fred from Dedalord Games and Chuck's Challenge from Niffler. Look for these titles to come soon.

It all sounds pretty exciting, but the big questions are when, where and how much? We're going to detail the full availability, including how preorders will work, but know that general preorders start May 20, and the Shield will have a retail price of $349 when it ships this June. We're expecting this to be a whole lot of fun, and we can't wait to get units into our own hands. In the meantime, the forums are open for all the discussion you would ever want about the Shield, and the press release is after the break.

More: NVIDIA Shield forums

Be Among the First to Wield SHIELD: Taking Pre-Orders Now

A console-grade controller. A high-definition, 720p HD retinal display. The rich graphics and blazing performance of Tegra 4 – the world’s fastest mobile processor.

These pieces, put together by a company full of gaming fanatics, add up to an amazing new open platform gaming portable. It’s the best way to play Android games. And because it’s an Android device, it works with both Tegra-optimized and regular Android games – as well as Android apps.

Project SHIELD is now, officially, SHIELD. The price is $349. Newegg, GameStop, Micro Center and Canada Computers will all carry SHIELD. It ships in June.

Pre-order will go live on May 20th for the general public on shield.nvidia.com. Fans who have signed up to receive SHIELD updates by clicking “Notify Me” on the SHIELD website will have an exclusive opportunity to pre-order starting today.

If you’re an Android gamer, this will fit into your life the moment you open the box.

SHIELD is the one device that taps into the planet’s largest ecosystem of games — spanning NVIDIA TegraZone, Google Play and Steam. Rediscover your Android games with the mobility, control and performance of SHIELD. Connect to your Google Play account to enjoy your favorite movies, music and apps.

And GeForce game streaming, launching as a beta feature, will give SHIELD the power to access your NVIDIA GeForce GTX GPU-powered computer from the comfort of your couch. We’re working on streaming your favorite PC games to SHIELD, including great titles from Steam.

Here’s what you’ll get:

  • Tegra 4 – The world’s fastest mobile processor delivers rich graphics and unbeatable performance thanks to 72 GPU cores, four CPU cores and 2GB of RAM
  • Console-grade controller – Precise control thanks to dual analog joysticks, a full-sized D-Pad, left and right analog triggers, full-sized bumpers and A/B/X/Y buttons
  • Multi-touch display – 5-inch, 720p retinal multi-touch display for high-fidelity visuals
  • Integrated speakers – Custom, bass reflex, tuned port audio system – we think this is SHIELD’s sleeper feature
  • Wi-Fi – 802.11n 2X2 MIMO game-speed Wi-Fi for seamless game streaming
  • Pure Android – Latest Android Jelly Bean operating system from Google, for access to Android games and apps
  • There’s more – We put into SHIELD everything we would want in a premium mobile gaming device: 16 GB memory, GPS, Bluetooth 3.0, a mini-HDMI output, micro-USB 2.0, a microSD storage slot, a 3.5-mm stereo headphone jack. See the full spec sheet, here.

To everyone who’s been following SHIELD, thank you. This is going to be fun.


Reader comments

'Project' no more: NVIDIA Shield preorders start May 20 for $349, ships in June


Apples and oranges comparison. The Shield should make for a great emulation handheld with little potential as a commercial gaming device. The Vita is a locked down piece of crap that is virtually worthless.

Exactly. They're both great for playing games while you're on a plane or whatever, but that's where the similarity ends. There wouldn't even be any common games to compare between the two, I wouldn't think.

It's not apples and oranges. If someone wants a portable gaming device, they'll probably be tossing up between the Vita, 3DS and Project Shield. There's different games on all three devices (and Shield will also run apps) but that doesn't mean they shouldn't be compared.

on its own i don't think it has any more potential as a commercial gaming device than a achos gamepad but you're missing the bigger picture android is only one half of this device the ability to stream hd gameplay from your computer directly to the handheld will make for a great gaming experience far beyond that, that either the ps vita or 3ds could ever achieve granted you need a relatively high spec computer and a reliable internet connection but given you have these things it should make for a very useful bit of kit

I don't want to squint at this screen for gaming, I'd rather play Android games on a 7" or larger 1080p screen. This is also why I never bothered getting a Vita. If I really want a gamepad that much there are already gamepad controllers available for android tablets

Just upgraded my desktop GPU to a GTX 670 so my eyes as well as my wallet are set. It is an awesome concept but I would never buy it. I don't game that much to do so. I do love Nvidia tho!

while this does look awesome (especially with the PC game streaming) I have to say my perfect setup would be an updated nexus 7 with 1080p and a controller that snaps around it kinda like that POS archos gamepad thing. The thing about shield that I don't really care for is it's really not useful for anything but gaming.

Pre-order only US & Canada... again more potential market outside US always on second place.
The weird thing is gadgets in US always cheaper then other country, but people in US much selective then others. So why producers always put crowded and selective market first? as if they want to suicide. I bought NEXUS 7 3G for around $360. It is cheapest price I got here, which $60 more then on US market. Lots of people want to buy NEXUS 7, but it is not easy to buy, even we want pay more.

I will pay $350 for Nvidia SHIELD. It is reasonable price for me, as long as it available for me to buy.

Lots of gadget producers always put US as no.1 target market, but then they failed to compete. Such Palm only sold their product on US and Europe which market already fierce. If they sold WebOS devices in Asia immediately when they launched, I bet they will survived till now.

I hope NVidia not forget that Asia is the biggest consumer market. And they need to make SHIELD available for them too. ASAP!

Why people always bitching on blogs every time a device doesn't come to their country of choice? Why not write manufacturer instead?

manufacturer never read email or any consumer comment. They do what they do as they want. Bitching on blogs always happened, because it is the purpose of blog or same kind of site like Android Central. Without any comment (good one or bad one) what they will be? dead silence articles?

Got mine on the way! The way I feel about its if it pans out to be Powerful phone with a over priced keyboard I will toss it on eBay while others try to get one. 350 is a drop in the bucket compared to full price on a non subsidized GalaxyS4 or htc one plus controller. Both that I own. Htc has amazing speakers and screen. But running gs4 as primary device.