Written by Brett Reistroffer
After recently announcing the launch price point for their first foray into the handheld gaming market, video chip maker Nvidia’s Shield was made available for initial pre-orders this week. Here’s a rundown on the mobile device and what it will bring to the gaming table.
-The device will launch for $350, no bundles or deals have been announced.
-The release date for the Shield has been set for June 30th, according to the pre-order pages on both Newegg and Gamestop, but has not been officially confirmed by Nvidia.
-For games, the system will play any Android based software, as it runs on the newest version, 4.2.1 Jelly Bean, along with the ability to stream Steam games from your PC wirelessly to the handheld unit. Although, you are going to need a beefed up gaming computer capable of playing games like Skyrim, Arkham City, and Dishonored in order to take full advantage of the feature.
-Games played on the handheld can be streamed directly to a TV using a mini-HDMI connection. This includes games streamed from your PC, although it would be often easier to stream your PC gaming directly to your high-def television set without a ‘middleman’ component, but this at least offers a new way to go about it.
-Users can connect their Google Play account to the device, allowing access to the service’s full complement of music, movies, shows, books, magazines, and games.
-The unit will sport a fairly impressive body of hardware, which includes:
- -A Tegra 4 GPU that uses a quad-core ARM architecture with 2gb of dedicated RAM
- -A 5 inch 720p retinal quality touch-screen display
- -Full motion sensing
- -Wireless N, Bluetooth, and GPS
- -For storage, 16gb flash memory and a MicroSD card slot
- -Input/Outputs for: Micro USB 2.0, Mini-HDMI, Stereo Headphone jack with microphone support
- -And of course, a full controller built into the device itself
At the initial price point, the handheld won’t be a fast moving product and will mostly likely market itself best to gamers on the more hardcore spectrum. However, it would be easy to see the device’s simplicity and ease of integration into the all-important living room area as a platform on which it can eventually break into the mainstream gaming market.