Nvidia unveils its Project Shield handheld console

first_imgGaming on mobile hardware, be it tablets or smartphones, hasn’t gotten any better in the last few years. The hardware has grown more powerful, and the video game developers have put their best foot forward with graphically intense titles, but playing games in an all touch environment hasn’t really improved any. Some have resorted to third party controllers that connect via Bluetooth, or using the USB Host mode in Android to just connect an Xbox 360 controller. In an attempt to fill what is soon to become an obvious gap, Nvidia has decided to release its own video game console that pulls from the PC gaming, console gaming, and mobile gaming industries simultaneously.With mobile gaming making its way to televisions with the help of things like OUYA, and third party controllers for phones and tablets becoming increasingly common, it only makes sense that someone would meet these two groups in the middle. Project Shield takes a console quality controller, combines it with Nvidia’s latest hardware, and sticks a 5-inch screen on top. The end result is a portable gaming console that can play Tegra Zone games, access the entire Android ecosystem, and use HDMI out to stream this same experience in HD to any television.Project Shield is a Tegra 4 based console with a Micro SD card slot, a full sized HDMI port, and a MicroUSB port at the back of the controller. As a standalone portable system, Shield offers a 38Wh battery with claims of up to 10 hours of gameplay and 24 hours of streaming video. The speakers on the face of the controller use a custom bass reflex to deliver an audio experience that Nvidia claims is comparable to a Beats Audio Jambox. The screen on Project Shield is flexible, but also features a removable plate to personalize your console. Shield will be running stock Android with the Tegra Zone pre-loaded. Nvidia didn’t specify which version of Android, but the demonstrations looked to be at least Android 4.1.Coupled with the Tegra Zone is the new ability to connect to your desktop PC and stream games from the PC to Shield, and also from Shield to your television. Any Nvidia optimized titles can be played from Shield, streaming the gameplay right to your television. If you have Steam on your PC, you’ll have access to your Steam library and be able to take advantage of Steam’s Big Picture stylings through the console controller. All you need in order for this to work is a network connected PC and the ability to run HDMI from where you normally sit in your living room to your television.We don’t have any pricing or availability for Project Shield yet, and really at this point those are the only things that would keep something like this from flying off the shelves. Project Shield is every geek’s dream when it comes to having one device to play all your games, be it from the smartphone universe or the console market, and the additional Android features allows the console to take advantage of being a full-fledged digital content system as well.last_img

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