NVIDIA enters handheld gaming market with Project Shield

NVIDIA enters handheld gaming market with Project Shield
Things are heating up at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, with NVIDIA announcing an 'open and flexible' gaming handheld that plays both Android and PC titles.

Project Shield conso#17EFE9
CES 2013 kicks off with NVIDIA introducing Project Shield, an Android-based portable gaming device that combines a 5 inch HD display with a 'console grade' controller. The handheld will not only play the latest Android titles thanks to the new and powerful Tegra 4 processor, but it can also stream Windows PC games using Steam.

Nvidia, a company that is largely known as a chipmaker for smartphones, tablets and desktop computers, set Consumer Electronics Show ablaze with news that it is entering dedicated gaming handheld market. The product, currently dubbed as Project Shield, is based on a clamshell design, and incorporates similar kind of thumbsticks, triggers and bumpers you can find in traditional console controllers.

Project Shield console top

The handheld is powered by Nvidia's next-gen Tegra 4 mobile processor, which is said to have 6 times the graphics processing performance of Tegra 3. This not only allows Project Shield to effortlessly play games on its 5 inch 720p multitouch display, but it's also capable of outputting video to an external display with up to 4k resolution through the built-in HDMI port. Other on-board connectivity features include Wi-fi, MicroSD car slot, micro USB and 3.5 mm standard headset jack. Speaking about audio, the portable handheld also features built-in bass-reflex speakers that, according to Nvidia, have twice the low-frequency output of high-end laptops.
Project Shield console back
Project Shield currently runs on 'pure' Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, which means users get unrestricted access to mobile games (and apps) in Google Play Store as well as in NVIDIA's own TegraZone™ game store. Probably the biggest boon for mobile gamers, however, is the ability to beam full-blown Windows PC Steam games to the handheld, including titles like Need For Speed Most Wanted, Skyrim or Assassin's Creed III. The caveat - your PC must be equipped with an NVIDIA GeForce graphics card (GTX 650 or higher).

Project Shield is currently under development (hence the name), which means that a lot of the technical details can change up till its planned launch in Q2 2013. More specifically, Project Shield could potentially boast LTE connectivity, which would bring NVIDIA's handheld console even closer to smartphones. NVIDIA, so it seems, has a more ambitious goal in mind, targeting in one fell swoop not just phones, but also tablets, handhelds and other gaming systems.

Do you think NVIDIA’s got a real winner on its hands?


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