17
May
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The time has come, ladies and gents – NVIDIA's Project SHIELD (henceforth known only as SHIELD) is ready for pre-order for users who previously signed up to receive SHIELD updates via email. Everyone else will have to wait until May 20th to secure their own directly from NVIDIA or from NewEgg, Gamestop, Micro Center, or Canada Computers, which teaches us one thing: always sign up to be notified of device updates. The actual units should be shipping some time around late June, and the launch will be limited to North America.

Update: Turns out the response for SHIELD has been greater than originally anticipated, so NVIDIA and its partners have moved the pre-order date from May 20th, to today. You can secure yours directly from NVIDIA, or at NewEgg, GameStop, or Canada Computer. Gogogo!

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As already stated, SHIELD is hitting the scene for a cool $350 – a full $50 less than we speculated back in January. Given everything this little gem packs beneath its hood, I'd say that's a very reasonable price:

  • 5-inch 1280x720 display (294 PPI)
  • Tegra 4 4-PLUS-1 CPU with 72 GPU cores
  • 2GB RAM
  • Console-like game controller with dual analog joysticks, full-sized D-Pad, L/R triggers, and A/B/X/Y buttons
  • Front-facing stereo speakers
  • 16GB built-in storage, microSD card slot
  • 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, miniHDMI out
  • Android 4.2

Basically, it's going to be a gaming beast. This is NVIDIA doing what it does best: changing the gaming scene. Again.

Since we last got our hands on SHIELD, the hardware has been bumped up a notch (or two); the joysticks, D-Pad, and trigger buttons are now much tighter and more solid, the back has gotten a sexy non-slip coating for extra grip during intense gaming sessions, and the display hinge hit the gym and bulked up like a madman so it's much stronger / sturdier now.

Right out of the box, SHIELD will have two Tegra 4-optimized games to show off the chip's power: Sonic 2 Episode 4 and Expendable: Rearmed, so you'll be able to see what you're working with almost instantly. It's worth noting that the oft-bragged-about GTX game streaming (playing PC games over Wi-Fi) will still be in beta when SHIELD ships and will stay that way for "a couple of months," so it may still be a bit quirky while NVIDIA finishes ironing out the details so it can provide "the best possible experience" for end users. Definitely can't blame a company for seeking perfection.

NVIDIA claims that Shield will have optimization for the GTX streaming on a number of popular Steam titles (I think the number I heard was 20) at launch, though any game that supports controllers in Steam will technically be compatible with the feature. A GTX 650 or higher desktop graphics card is still required to use GTX streaming, though, so it's definitely something more for the hardcore crowd.

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NVIDIA today also announced five new Tegra 4-optimized titles that will show what SHIELD is capable of:

  • Broken Age
  • Costume Quest
  • Flyhunter: Origins
  • Skiing Fred
  • Chuck's Challenge

For more information on these titles, check out NVIDIA's official blog post.

SHIELD is expected to ship "in [late] June" for its initial North American launch, and should hit the retail scene sometime after that, with availability from NewEgg, GameStop, Micro Center, and Canada Computers.

Who's gettin' one?

NVIDIA Blog

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, and musician. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6- or 7-string, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • Steve

    this thing is sooooooo ugly. like all the "gaming" keyboards and stuff...

    • RitishOemraw

      Think it's gonna flop as much as sony's Experia Play......there just isn't a dedicated market for it and there are almost 0 must-have exclusive titles for it like you have with a 3ds or Vita.....most games can be played on almost any recent android device.
      Any exclusives it might have are not must-have titles like zelda/metroid/mario/halo/killzone/etc

      And its ugly!

      • steve

        i dont mind it as a device. i loved my xperia play. but the shield is really really uggly and stubby to me.

  • VoiceofSky

    bad-ass ,can't wait ..This will be Awesome,i was thinking of the ouya but since this is out around the same time?,i think i rather go for this. :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/kreatoorn Umut Tan

      OUYA has tegra 3 and also 99$ :)

      • btod

        This has tegra 4 and its own screen...

        • http://www.facebook.com/kreatoorn Umut Tan

          You don't say :O

  • littlevince

    Very tempting. I might get one depending on what the battery life is like.

    • http://twitter.com/gnomegineer Justin

      Since they're not stuck in the slate form factor, I assume what's not guts will be battery... I expect it to be pretty decent.

  • Lorexae

    OMFG

  • Amer Khaznadar

    "Who's gettin' one?"
    I would have pre-ordered without a second thought had it been available in France (and then went into a cycle of excitement, regret, excitement and so on, until it arrived).

  • primalxconvoy

    Not portable enough for me. I want something like a galaxy note 2 with integrated/slide out (case) style hardware buttons, like the Bladepad or xperia play.

    If I want another brick, I might as well dust off my psp.

  • Math Brisk

    Not that there is anything wrong with the concept, I've always been wondering (besides cannibalizing their own market) why portable consoles couldn't dub as full living room consoles.

    That being said, 350$ is a bit much for a device that could easily be replaced by any decent smartphone + a Moga Pro (nearly identical, most likely better). That leaves you with a 300$ budget for your phone. Considering almost everyone nowadays has a smartphone, on a contract, that seems plentifully reasonable. Why then would someone buy this device ?

    More over, Nvidia's effort so far has been terribly poor in the mobile market. They do occupy a large place in the android ecosystem because of their marketing offensive, not the actual success of their hardware/platform. Tegra3 was a major deception, as was Tegra2. I'd be curious to see why T4 would be THAT much more impressive. Regardless, if it does turn out to be a winner, the hardware will be available in phones so...

    • GraveUypo

      one reason is because the world has around 196 countries and most of them are not the united states.

      • Math Brisk

        I agree, however, the price isn't that far apart from a fully functional smartphone of comparable hardware. Hypothetical at this point but knowing the Nexus 4 sells for 350$ unlocked and is "current high endish level", I don't see why a Nexus 5 wouldn't be able to compete with this device and get released less than a few months apart. Wouldn't you rather spend that same money on a Nexus 4 (or 5.. )?

        • GraveUypo

          if i could, yes, but a nexus 4 costs $800 over here. there's no subside from google and the prices are quite a bit inflated on top of that.

          • Marcos Amano

            Yeah, here in Brazil the Galaxy S4(i9505) without contract is costing up to US$1250. The SIII is costing about US$500~800 here. Depending on the price of the SHIELD, may be worth buying it and a budget phone.

  • http://twitter.com/AlcatrazKing AlcatrazKing

    Only 16gb? Most tegra games already top 1-2gb.

    • Jason Bailey

      Yeah that was my first thought as well... Especially as its not aimed at "casual" gamers. I can see people having to root and using tools to map the external SD

  • Hug

    At first I was excited for this, but now, not so much after seeing the price. It can barely do Steam, and it won't work with my ATI card. Personally, until they can work out the kinks to stream ALL video cards, this will be a pass for me. If I wanted something like this, I'd get a Moga for my N4.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      I can all but guarantee it will never work with anything but NVIDIA cards. Not officially, anyways. The smoothness / latency optimizations depend heavily on NVIDIA's display drivers, as well as the respective games, being tweaked for the streaming feature.

  • http://directdemocracyireland.ie/ Peeed Off

    Specs are nearly perfect, except it needs a 7" Display at least...!!!

  • Guest

    "which teaches us one thing:always sign up to be notified of device updates."

    so you can put down $350 on something you're not even sure will be good six days before other people can, and over a month before you actually get the product?

    doesn't seem worth it to me :P

  • aard

    Is it just me, or do the listed games sound like something you'd find in bargain bins and supermarkets. Like "Battle Operation", "Super Force" or "Xtreme Racing 2" :D

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      I'd call Broken Age exactly the opposite.

      • http://profiles.google.com/avbluestar14 Avin Abraham

        But I don't get it, I mean, from my experience, Android games are meh...why would you want one? What's the appeal? GTX streaming isn't something I can take on the road. Just asking

        • marcusmaximus04

          Perhaps with a dedicated portable game console, devs will make games that aren't so "meh"? It's not like there's anything about Android that dictates that all games for it must suck.

          • IamTheFij

            This. The first wave of dedicated Android gaming devices are just hitting the market. You'd definitely be an early adopter, but the market should be improving with the Ouya, Game Stick, and the Shield out there.

  • ludwig

    I'm a bit pessimistic with this Tegra exclusivity.

    they should make it more 'useful', able to stream to non nvidia gpu.
    make it slimmer. it looks bulky & heavy, not portable.

    sell it under $300 then I'll consider to get one.

  • Andi Springthorpe

    I'm getting one as soon as they get over the Atlantic.

  • Jadephyre

    "Changing the gaming scene"
    Gimme a break, nVidia only hit it big after they bought what was left of 3Dfx.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      That was like 12 years ago. Your point being?

  • tymalo

    How big is the battery supposed to be?

  • drftnoff

    Can still sign up with for notification on Nvidia site to pre-order and get before the general public

  • http://www.binarytuberculosis.com BinaryTB

    I'm more interested in the PC streaming portion, for Android gaming I'm all set with my phone/tablet. Then again, I don't share my PC with anybody, so the PC streaming feature would appeal to folks who have 1 gaming PC that's shared in their house. I don't really game in my bed before going to sleep, that's another possible crowd.

    I like the idea of SHIELD, but I can't find a reason to purchase it. Would rather go with a PS Vita and utilize its PS4 game streaming feature instead (assuming it works as intended as revealed in the PS4 event a while back).

    • http://twitter.com/misterE33 Mr E

      same here -- a portable steam client sounds great, but i don't think i could justify it just based on that, especially if it [i assume] will only really work well within your own home.
      for android gaming, i already have my phone and a couple different controllers

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      You can only play one game at a time, so it doesn't really help with that. And the PC streaming the game will be engaged with the streaming / rendering process, so basically not usable while streaming.

      • http://www.binarytuberculosis.com BinaryTB

        I always assumed that somebody could use the PC for web-browsing/email while a game was being streamed to SHIELD. I don't know why I assumed that, but is that not true? Otherwise purchasing SHIELD is less of a possibility for me then.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

          I'm pretty sure you can't. The demo I did at CES had the game full-screened on the streaming PC as well. As far as I'm aware, Windows by design will discontinue the rendering of a DirectX game when it's not "in focus" on the OS. Let me double check.

          Even if you could, that'd have to be one hell of a robust PC. There's a lot of I/O and GPU activity going on when you're rendering Black Ops AND streaming it in 1080p over Wi-Fi.

          • http://www.facebook.com/ShitizGarg Shitiz Garg

            Pretty sure my computer can handle that, this will be an awesome feature to have actually. Do we require a nVidia GPU to stream?

          • IamTheFij

            Yea, it uses special technology on the new Nvida GPU's for streaming.

          • marcusmaximus04

            Well, the Shield is only 720p, so in theory it'd only need to render/stream it at that resolution.

          • IamTheFij

            The streaming process is totally different than existing streaming. There is a hardware reason it requires the GPU. This alleviates a lot of the overhead you'd see with other systems since so much is done in hardware.

  • http://twitter.com/Darkmyth_pt Darkmyth PT

    mmmm awesome design and functionality but lack of portability

    id rather go for a tegra 4 tablet....

  • John Dunmire

    Why all the hate? Mine is ordered!

  • TechGuy22

    my PSVITA FTFW. nothing can beat this. expensive yes this cost more. and has no games

    • Nashoba Darkwolf

      You would be surprised how many games android has that destroy the joke of many games the Vita has. I used to have a Vita. I happily sold it when two major titles I waited for, for months, were total flops.

  • jm9843

    I want this thing to succeed, but it'd be hard for me to choose this over the Nintendo 3DS XL that goes for $100 less. It's all about the games.

    • Toss3

      Yeah but a Nintendo XL does not have the capability to stream PC games and does not run android.

      • http://twitter.com/misterE33 Mr E

        If you're talking about just gaming and Android vs Nintendo, I'd have to give the edge to the big N. Android has a lot of cheap and quick/pick-up games, but NDS gaming is far superior.
        Also, the Shield has some extra requirements for PC streaming that probably exclude at least some people (myself included)

        • PINJ

          You Could Run Metroid Prime On Shield. You Couldnt Run High End PC Games On WiiU's "Horribly Slow CPU"

      • PINJ

        And Doesnt Have Tegra 4 GFX To Begin With

    • Kevin Aaronson

      "it's all about the games" I truer statement has never been said.

  • disk Latvia

    What's with the 32 GPU cores? I wonder how it stacks up against the quad core adreno 320

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      It's actually supposed to be 72. NVIDIA counts what are essentially shader cores as "cores" because of the way its GPU architecture is laid out. It's not directly comparable to the way Adreno is designed.

      • marcusmaximus04

        Especially since Tegra doesn't use unified shader architecture.

    • Toss3

      Obliterates it, but that is beside the point as no android games currently make any use of such performance.

  • Cheeseball

    Looks like it's pure AOSP Jelly Bean aside from the TegraZone software. Couple this with quad Cortex-A15s and the fact this thing syncs with Steam (through Big Picture mode), I sure as hell would pre-order this.

  • Nashoba Darkwolf

    I was really looking forward to this device releasing but at 350... nope. The thing that drew me in the most was the streaming from PC. However to do such a thing you need a 600 series GPU. I have a Asus Matrix 580GTX that put me back 525 dollars less than a year ago, and to see no support for the high end 500 series was dissapointing. So I figured, what the hell, I can sell my GPU get a 660TI or two and then get this if its less than $300.00. But being at 350.00 that is a total of 650.00 just to get a good looking setting on a game and stream it to your device. Very disappointed Nvidia. Worse... it doesn't even come with a case. Nope! The case is an extra $40.00. For that price, such little HDD space, and a subpar 720p screen I would have expected much more.

    • marcusmaximus04

      The screen is close enough to 300ppi that you aren't going to be able to see any difference with a higher resolution. Unless, of course, you play your games through a microscope.

      • Nashoba Darkwolf

        With 20/10 vision it is noticeable to me, but only to a slight degree. I am more aggravated at the price point while not including a case, and completely forgoing the 500 series of GPUs for streaming which can emulate (and emulate well I should add) the H.264 streaming, while not baked in like the 600 series. The 16GB of storage (no matter if its even 120 mbit/s) is just laughable with some tegra games coming in at around 2-3GBs. If they make it so you can use the Micro SD work as a expandable storage for Apps, then I would be more inclined to look into it further. But, as of right now stock android on the TF700 and a few other tablets I have used do not offer such a feature and I assume this wont be any different.

  • Aaron Huffman

    PS: it has the Tegra 4 chip in it so, it has 72 GPU cores, even stated on the source link.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      Yep, fixed.

  • deltatux

    They should have launched this for $250. That's rather expensive for a handheld system that doesn't have any exclusivity to draw anyone to the device (you can sideload any APKs)...

    Even the Playstation Vita is $100 less, how is NVIDIA expected to compete with these devices?

  • Cherokee4Life

    I love the idea. I love Android going to different Form Factors and really broadening what an Open Source OS can do. HOWEVER (that's a big however) I don't understand why it is so expensive. Is this supposed to be a PS Vita/Nintendo DS something on steroids? or is this supposed to be a mobile home console? I just don't get it. Do I wait a few months and buy the new Xbox which will cost more, or save some money and buy the newest Nintendo handset? Because both of those alternatives have a bigger selection of high end games.

    Like I said I love the idea. If it was $100 I would buy it no questions. If it was $150 I would think about it. If it was $200 I would wait to see after it came out. More than that means I will not buy it. Sorry Nvidia, I do like your products but its overpriced.

  • didibus

    Why only one shoulder trigger? They could'nt have fitted L2 anf R2 on there?

  • Matthew Fry

    Costume Quest is coming out on Android? That's cool. Anyway, I hope this succeeds but I'm not getting it. I don't have $350 and I don't have a desktop in which to put a GTX 650.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chaz.dumbaugh Chaz Dumbaugh

    $350 for a handheld that really shows zero promise? What do they have coming down the pipe that would make this worth paying more for than a 3DS or a Vita, I mean Sony cant even sell the superior Vita for the lower price point its at now, how is this going to be anything like a success with such a small niche and such a large price tag. My Galaxy S3 already runs most games better than my Tegra 3 Asus tablet and I got it for $99 when I upgraded my phone, all I need to do is add a bluetooth controller with a clip and I have the Shield. Tegra 4 doesnt matter enough with almost no exclusive "amazing" "must have" games and such a high price, can anyone REALLY justify getting one of these? Us "root" fans can probably get this thing to have full Play store support and what not but thats a very small market of people and its only being sold in the US? I just dont see this working out for most anyone, most of us who are even posting here (except I think two people that pre-ordered out of the posts I read) probably have a pretty darn good android phone and/or a tablet that plays most anything

    • Mandeep Singh

      Sammy will soon be introducing the controller which you could pair with your gs3

  • John Petersen

    I'm a bit shocked at all the negativity. This price for the hardware is pretty outstanding, and NVidia has already shown that are willy to pour a lot of resources into wooing developers just for their chipsets. How much more so for their own console? And the PC streaming is perfect for my situation. Can't wait!

    • Toss3

      Yeah I don't get the negativity either. The same thing happened when they announced the price for the S4 Google Edition. Not sure where people buy their phones, but I've never bought one for less than 600€(paid 644€ for my S4), so $650 is actually pretty cheap, which makes this at $350 even more of a bargain.

  • Toss3

    Surprised I'm actually considering buying this. Great product from Nvidia!

  • sdny8

    Due to the crazy price of IAP I would never buy a android device solely for gaming. I can't see spending $5-10 a game only to have to spend $10-20 more to make it past level 9

  • Alex

    And what about Europe...

  • troph

    I definitely see this as a step in the right direction for mobile gaming, but as of right now, this is almost a novelty item at $350.

  • http://twitter.com/misterE33 Mr E

    Dang, the PC streaming won't work for my current rig anyway. I'm out!

  • Elias

    You can't get a phone with the same screen and processor cheaper than that, so I guess the price is right. Gamers might want to consider the combo shield+budget phone instead of a top notch smartphone. And for whoever said mooga+smartphone would be the same: nvidia is much more relevant in that it can actually persuade many more developers to adapt games to their controller standard and also optimize games for their specific platform.

    • http://www.facebook.com/dey2929 Dey Anand

      err.....nexus 4? same price!

    • Nashoba Darkwolf

      Not really, the Tegra 4 is not even out yet and it bests the Snapdragon 800, as well as the A6x.

  • http://www.facebook.com/leonardob0880 Leonardo Baez

    is just me or anyone else thinks is too pricy?

  • bobbutts

    I pre-ordered one a few days ago since I was on the email list. Don't think I really want it now that I've thought about it since then. Can't decide on reselling or canceling the order.

  • Yuku Sugianto

    Sonic 2 Episode 4? Sonic 4 Episode 2?

  • http://twitter.com/Erroneus Erroneus

    Buy a Vita, if you want a proper hand-held. The games for Android or IOS simply doesn't have the production value to justify a 350$ hand-held. UNLESS you don't have modern smart phone, this is waste of money. Get a controller for your smart phone and play the games that way.

  • http://www.facebook.com/coryjroberts Cory Roberts

    Cell phones have twisted people's idea of value. This thing is $350 and competing with the 3DS at $163? Good luck...

  • http://www.facebook.com/yan.verde Yan Verde

    People need to stop comparing this to the vita and 3ds! Those consoles can't do half the things shield can do, it's not the same at all. Sure the price for the shield is high, but considering all what you can do with it, I believe it's worth it.

  • atharva .m

    shield should have a normal usb port so you can access games on a hardisk or pen drive and it should have a sim card slot so you can access internet anytime it should be able to store pc game

  • Johan

    Is shield coming to Europe too.