Nvidia has announced an ambitious handheld gaming product, codenamed as Project Shield, at the Consumer Electronics Show 2013 in Las Vegas, USA.
This portable handheld gaming console will also be able to stream games from the cloud servers. The Project Shield is powered by Nvidia Tegra 4 mobile processor and runs by Android 4.x Jelly Bean operating system. Nvidia plans to make the console available in the second quarter of this year.
Nvidia has taken up a bold rivalry against the Sony’s own PS Vita game console that comes with quad-core Cortex-A9 mobile processor. The new Project Shield handheld comes with a quad-core Tegra 4 processor based on the ARM Cortex-A15 processors. To power the graphics, Tegra 4 chip brings 72 graphics chips to give a massive graphics muscle to the games. Apparently, the game console runs Android 4.x Jelly Bean so we expect better graphics tweaked Android games. Nvidia showed the Dead Trigger 2 game to show a sneak peak on the potential the game console packs.
The console comes with a 5-inch display with 720p HD native resolution and multi-touch support. This screen can be closed down to shut and opened up to reveal the Action buttons on the base of the console. The base part of the game console is an actual game controller with Action Buttons. There are four action buttons on the left and Directional Pad on the right. Also there are two analog direction sticks provided on the game controller. Speaker mesh and mic are located on the deeper side of the controller region.
The integrated speakers have been tailored to drive custom gaming experience with bass reflex and even the audio port is tuned to offer greater sound effects with headphones. At the back lies the micro HDMI next to a micro USB port and standard audio out port. Just above that is a micro SD card tray to beef up the storage. Also at the back are the shoulder buttons and the trigger keys.
The Project Shield will provide access to TegraZone and Google Play Store to download games as well as apps. TegraZone has the games optimised for the Tegra chipsets for delivering better graphics and performance.
Most interesting aspect of the Project Shield is its capability to stream PC games (from Steam) on the game controller. To power such gaming experience, Nvidia has packed a powerful WiFi Chip inside the game console and the client PC also requires Nvidia Kepler based GTX 650 or GTX 660M graphics card installed on the system.
Collectively, the Project Shield is indeed the next generation game console what every casual gamer anticipates. However, with the Android Jelly Bean installed, the Google Apps ecosystem will always co-exist. Nvidia has not announced the price of the Project Shield as yet. But looking at the features and technologies packed, we expect our jaws to drop a bit when the Project Shield launches in the second quarter of this year.