Nvidia is breaking into the handheld console market with a new gaming system called the Shield. Announced Sunday at CES in Las Vegas, the Shield is equipped with the also newly announced Tegra 4 processor and plays Android games or will stream games from home PCs equipped with a GeForce graphics card.
The Shield is a clamshell design with a PS3/Xbox 360-hybrid controller on the bottom featuring a D-pad, two analog stick, four face buttons, two triggers and two bumper buttons. The top portion of the handheld sports a 5" retina display that is capable of 720p video and also doubles as a multi-touch touchscreen.
The handheld also features a HDMI out port on the back that allows owners to hook it up directly to a TV or monitor. Nvidia claims that the Shield is capable of pushing 4K resolution video to external displays thanks to the Tegra 4 processor and its custom 72-core GeForce GPU. It also comes with a micro-SD card expansion slot and a 33Wh battery that runs five to ten hours while gaming or 24 hours playing HD movies or TV shows.
While the Shield comes with the Jellybean version of Android, the most interesting feature is the ability to stream PC games to the controller. Users will be able to play the games directly on the controller or output them to the TV. This includes support for Steam thanks to the recent release of the service's Big Picture mode which makes navigating with a controller easier.
Nvidia also announced a new Grid Cloud Gaming platform that the Shield will also be able to connect with.
The Shield is expected to launch in the second quarter of 2013 but a price was not mentioned by Nvidia. The company is already claiming support from publishers and developers such as Ubisoft, Epic Games, Madfinger Games, OneQ Soft, Ravn Studio AS, Recoil Games and Tick Tock Games.
Via: Press Release, Nvidia