Nvidia’s handheld gaming device, Shield, will begin shipping late this month to those who have pre-ordered it, CEO Jen-Hsun Huang told IDG News Service at the ongoing Computex trade show today. It has a 5-inch fold-out display, runs on Android and has been up for pre-order since May 20. It costs $349 (approx Rs 19,118).
The device’s build also appears to have been overhauled—some of the controls and materials have changed for the better. Huang said the console now feels “more solid”. "The basic architecture is the same. Some of the industrial design was enhanced, it feels more solid. You can really fight it, it feels very rigid," he said.
Nvidia's Project SHIELD plays both Android and Windows games
Huang said pre-orders have been "limited" because Nvidia didn’t want to market it heavily unless it could manufacture and deliver it properly. The company might be taking it slow with the handheld as other players, such as Sony and Nintendo, already have a strong hold on the portable gaming market, and this is essentially new ground for Nvidia. Moreover, Shield can also act as a wireless receiver and controller for systems powered by GeForce GTX GPUs, and Nvidia is likely positioning it as a device that can be used for playing your PC games on the move.
Shield seems pretty much capable of running most new games. Nvidia in February released a video that showcased the device’s game-streaming capabilities. The video showed someone playing Borderlands 2 on the handheld. Judging by the video, Shield seems very capable of running games, especially with real-time physics through Nvidia PhysX and all the graphics at the highest possible setting. According to the video, a lot of development time went into tweaking the handheld device's audio.
Nvidia announced Shield back in January during CES. The device can run both Android and PC games and has access to Google Play. It can also access titles from a computer's Steam games library. It will also have access to Nvidia's TegraZone game store, which has games specially designed with the Tegra processors in mind.
Shield uses the Tegra 4 processor to offer what the company claims is a console-grade controller. It can be used to play on its own integrated screen or on large screens, such as TVs. Its 5-inch screen has a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels, giving it a pixel density of 294 ppi. The screen also uses the Tegra 4's Direct Touch technology for touch input.