It's been a long time since we heard anything from Nvidia concerning Project SHIELD that they announced back in January at CES, now it's back and will be officially known as Nvidia SHIELD, this is no longer a project for Nvidia but a real product. Speaking of it being a product, pre-orders open May 20th for the hefty price of $349, which is a lot more than most of us were expecting but, Nvidia have no plans to sell the device at a loss or even at cost – and who can blame them? Profit is nice.
The device hasn't changed too much since January, it's still essentially a high-end portable gaming console that runs on Android. It's got a 5-inch 720p touchscreen, a controller like that of the Xbox 360's or PS3's and of course, the Tegra 4 and 2GB of RAM at the heart of it all. For those that don't remember the Tegra 4 is a quad-core CPU that comes with a 72-core GPU. As well as this there's 16GB of storage, WiFi N MIMO, Bluetooth 3.0, GPS, microUSB port, microSD card slot and an HDMI out port.
While the price tag for SHIELD is a little steep, it's important to remember that this is not just another handheld, this is a serious piece of hardware from Nvidia, there's even an air intake around the back of the device to keep that Tegra 4 cool. Nvidia have apparently made some changes to the device we saw at CES, albeit very minor tweaks to the analogue sticks.
Of course, the big thing for Nvidia here is that more people will be playing games from the TegraZone but, you get full access to Google Play (mostly thanks to it running stock Android 4.2.1) and if you have a compatible GeForce GPU (anything from the 600 series we believe) in your PC you can stream titles from your gaming rig to the SHIELD.
The device will be made available from Nvidia directly, as well as the following retailers: Newegg, GameStop, Micro Center and Canada Computers. Pre-Orders open May 20th. Are you excited for the SHIELD, or this is just too high a price to pay?