Nvidia unveils Android-based gaming handheld Project Shield

Nvidia unveils Android-based gaming handheld Project Shield
At a press conference in Las Vegas, Nvidia has unveiled an Android-based gaming handheld it's calling Project Shield.

The clamshell device boasts a five-inch touchscreen display, runs an unmodified Android Jelly Bean OS and features a built-in console-style controller.

Shield can also be used as a wireless receiver to stream games from any nearby PC equipped with a compatible Nvidia GPU.

Joining the party

The surprise announcement sees Nvidia transition from technology provider to device manufacturer.

While the company's Tegra chipset has proved popular with Android OEMs, it will be interesting to see whether Nvidia can appeal directly to consumers.

It's worth noting, too, that this isn't the only device looking to disrupt the state of Android gaming right now.

The big play

The Play MG, for instance, is another Android-based gaming handheld, while both the Ouya and the GameStick use Google's mobile OS to power diminutive home consoles.

Nvidia's one of several companies betting big on Android's potential to power a dedicated gaming device, then.

"We were inspired by a vision that the rise of mobile and cloud technologies will free us from our boxes, letting us game anywhere, on any screen" explained Nvidia co-founder and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang.

"We imagined a device that would do for games what the iPod and Kindle have done for music and books, letting us play in a cool new way. We hope other gamers love Shield as much as we do."

Staff Writer's news editor 2012-2013


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Dave Mitchell Founder at Two Tails
One word: DOA
Fraser Ross MacInnes Product/Design Director at Danke Games
Agree on the screen part - though I suppose having just one screen size to deal with (as opposed to any Android phone screen that could be mounted a la Moga) reduces some developer pain. It's really its TV ambitions that are more interesting to me though...
jon jordan
I bet it's not released in anything like commercial quantities. The controller aspect is interesting. The screen aspect is ridiculous when everyone has a phone already.

That's the part Nvidia will lose and end up with a product like the Moga controller.
Fraser Ross MacInnes Product/Design Director at Danke Games
I think the device is ugly and I imagine it's going to be a bit overpriced. But from a content paradigm point of view, this thing gets right what the VITA and to an extent the 3DS get wrong. Portable consoles are just not what the majority of us are going to use on the train anymore - they are used predominantly at home. This thing is perfect in that regard - it's a home gaming console you can play on the couch without disturbing those around you, but it's also a bridge to your TV.

That prime real-estate access combined with the open and democratic development power of Android is the reason that along with the OUYA and GameStick - Project Shield is part of THE most exciting device category to emerge since the tablet. I can't wait to see how the space pans out.
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