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Project Shield Nvidia Game System Portable Announced. Dedicated Android Handheld Clamshell Device Plays Games And Apps. Stream Content (Valve’s Steam) From Home Router PC

07 Jan

Project Shield Nvidia Portable Game System

Holy crap. Things just got a whole lot more interesting….

Nvidia has announced an all-new handheld gaming system codenamed “Project Shield”. A dedicated portable Android device with a Tegra 4 processor, it plays games and apps, movies, music, videos, etc. downloaded from the Google Play/Tegra Zone stores; games or apps in turn can be output and streamed to a TV screen for big-screen gaming of portable titles! Featuring a clamshell design where the system opens and you have a screen on the top with controller-style buttons laid out similar to an Xbox 360 on the bottom half of the system. Including four face buttons, two control sticks, a D-Pad and four shoulder button triggers! When you’re ready to leave the house, close it up and stick it in your pocket or purse. It’s like carrying a controller that can play games in your pocket!

In addition to console-style buttons, Project Shield features a high-quality 5-inch screen running in 720p with a retinal multitouch display (294ppi pixel density) that offers touchscreen functionality for those who want to play mobile games the way they were meant to be played. It even has an advanced sound processor that Nvidia says is more powerful than “Beats Audio” PCs!

What may be even more important for this upcoming system, is Project Shield’s ability to play Steam games (and possibly other stuff) from a PC, netbook or tablet computer (I imagine) using your home router (GeForce GTX 650 or higher graphics card required to do so however), which could be a game-changer. The device is a mini-powerhouse, allowing for high-definition HD console-quality games even when you are outputting them for play on the living room TV via HDMI (4K resolution). Battery power will not be an issue as the system will reportedly last between five and ten hours (24 hours of HD video playback promised!) via the 33Wh battery. It also has high-quality stereo sound from the device itself and a Micro SD slot to expand the amount of memory.

The router functionality kind of gives the system a “WiiU” feel, as you’ll only be able to play the games on your portable within distance from your wireless router. However who knows if this functionality will be expanded in the future.

Other streaming services are promised to also work with the device announced Nvidia during the big reveal at CES 2012. And Nvidia, the popular graphic chip maker, is in talks with more companies to expand the functionality of the device and the services that will support it for the future.

Many mysteries remain about the device however, but we’ll learn more as the new year heads into the early months. It will be released in the second quarter of this year in America and Canada first. No price has been announced, and that will certainly be the dealbreaker regarding whether Nvidia’s Project Shield succeeds or crashes and burns. Given how powerful this thing is, I imagine it will be VERY expensive. However if it’s too expensive, that will be a mistake. So let’s hope Nvidia prices it competitively.

Do you think Project Shield will compete against the 3DS and PS Vita? Has this made Ouya obsolete? Should Nintendo and Sony be worried? What about the WiiU angle? Could this be the first shot in eventually seeing Nvidia as an upcoming PUBLISHER or console creator of gaming machines? Questions, questions! Very interesting indeed!

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