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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Nvidia Project Shield Gaming Console

While the gaming community around the world is most excited about Xbox One and Sony PS4, there's a handheld console that is quite an ambitious project for its manufacturers. I am referring to the Nvidia's Project Shield which Nvidia discussed about in the CES this year. In the 5 months that have since passed, the console has evolved in terms of hardware and appearance, and now finally the console has received a price tag and a shipping date. So what is Project shield? And why should a gamer be looking forward to it?

Hold a second, What is Project Shield all about? Interestingly, project shield started as a 'Hobby Project' of the Developers at Nvidia. After years of making GPU's and Processors for smartphones and other devices, Nvidia decided to develop a consumer product: a full-fledged gaming console. Shortly, developers were able to build prototypes and showcased it at the CES 2013. Months of dedicated hard work and what they came up with is hand-held gaming console running on latest Android OS (yep you read it right, Android OS) ready to be in the hands of the consumers.

Looks and Appearance: Nvidia Shield has a clamshell-like design. The major part of it is occupied by the controller which is just like ones you see in any major console- Analog sticks, a D-pad, ABXY buttons, L/R bumpers and analog triggers. But, since the device runs on Android, there are dedicated Home and Back keys, too along with Volume keys and a multi-functional Nvidia/Power button. The device is surely bulky weighing 579 grams quite heavy than its rival consoles like PS VITA and Nintendo 3DS.


As far as the display is concerned, we have a 5-inch 720p IPS display (Image a slightly bigger Nexus 4, yep exactly like that). The display is a flip-up, retina quality multi-touch display with a resolution of 1280x720 pixels to be exact which makes it more or less similar to the displays you may find on some high-end Android smartphone. The console somewhat resembles Xbox 360's Gaming controller. Though it isn't capable of winning any beauty pageant it really looks and feels like a high-tech gaming device. Maybe that's exactly how it should look.

Hardware: Now some serious stuff. The console has a Nvidia Tegra 4 processor (first device ever to have one) also announced at the CES this year. Custom 72-core NVIDIA GeForce GPU and Quad Core ARM 15 CPU are on the specification list which means, the console can handle some serious gaming. On connectivity front, the console has 802.11n 2x2 Mimo Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, GPS Mini-HDMI output, Micro-USB 2.0, MicroSD storage slot, 3.5mm stereo headphone jack with microphone support.

The device comes with integrated stereo speakers with Nvidia promising that its much better than speakers on any other hand-held console. It comes with 16GB on-board storage which can be expanded via MicroSD card. The console has a 28.8 watt hour battery. 3-axis gyro and 3-axis accelerometer are present as well.

Features: So what can Nvidia shield do? Firstly, since its an Android device running latest Android JellyBean 4.2 OS, it has access to all the apps available on Google play store and you can play all the games available on the store (with a full-fledged game controller though, that's a bonus so don't say my smartphone can do that too). There are several shield optimized games at the so-called Tegra Zone which would increase with time, too. If that isn't good enough for you, you can also connect to your steam account and stream your PC games, too. But there's a very big catch: GeForce GTX 650 or higher desktop GPU is required to stream PC games which means you are out of luck if you don't have a Nvidia GPU. You may click here to get answers to all your queries about shield and its abilities.

Pricing and Availability: The Nvidia Shield is priced at $349 and would be initially available only in USA and Canada with more countries adding to the list gradually. The device is expected to start shipping at the end of this month and can be pre-ordered now.

Make sure you catch the full review of the device which would be coming up soon. You may share your opinion, views, your excitement, etc by commenting below.




 











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