Nvidia unveils Android-based gaming handheld Project Shield

Physical controller meets game streaming

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