We've been excited about NVIDIA's Project SHIELD platform ever since we spent some hands-on time with a pre-production unit earlier this year at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. In case you missed the buzz, Project SHIELD, now simply called SHIELD, is an open platform gaming portable with an integrated 5-inch display. It's built to run Android, but also allows gamers to wirelessly access their GeForce GTX GPU-powered PC for additional streaming fun.
NVIDIA has gone and finalized the specs and will begin taking pre-orders for SHIELD on May 20 (next Monday), though if you click the "Notify Me" button on SHIELD's website, you'll have an exclusive opportunity to place your pre-order today, the company says.
SHIELD is priced at $349 MSRP and comes toting a Tegra 4 quad-core SoC (System-on-Chip) with an ARM A15 CPU and 72 GPU cores, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, 802.11n 2x2 MIMO Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, GPS, mini-HDMI output, micro-USB 2.0 port, 3.5mm stereo headphone jack with microphone support, and an integrated controller with dual analog joysticks, D-pad, left/right analog triggers, left/right bumpers, A/B/X/Y buttons, volume control, Android Home and Back buttons, Start button, and an Nvidia power/multi-function button. All this comes wrapped in the latest version of Android Jelly Bean.
"SHIELD is the one device that taps into the planet's largest ecosystem of games -- spanning NVIDIA TegraZone, Google Play, and Steam," Nvidia says. "Rediscover your Android games with the mobility, control, and performance of SHIELD. Connect to your Google Play account to enjoy your favorite movies, music, and apps."
In addition to being able to purchase SHIELD on NVIDIA's website, you'll also find the portable gaming system being sold at Newegg, GameStop, Micro Center, and Canada Computers. It comes with a silver lid, AC adapter, USB cable, and two full games (Expendable: Rearmed and Sonic 4 Episode II THD). Optional accessories include a carrying case ($40) and custom lists (carbon fiber or glossy black, $20 each).