Just a day before Google I/O Nvidia quietly announced the pre-order dates and prices for their upcoming Shield. They named the date as May 20, which isn't that far away. In hindsight, it seemed like a silly move to announce so close to Google's main event, but it's in the past now.
Apparently, Nvidia opened up pre-orders three days earlier than expected. Right now, you can pre-purchase the device via the Nvidia website or through select third party retailers like Gamestop, Newegg and Canada Computer.
By now, I'm sure you already know what Shield is, yet I'm still going to tell you a bit about it anyway, so get over it. The Nvidia Shield is essentially a 5-inch tablet meshed with a traditional console gamepad. Instead of requiring users to connect a controller wirelessly, there's one already built-in. Shield is running stock Android at its core, 4.2.1 to be exact, and it has full access to Google Play. That's all great, but what sets it apart from similar devices is that the Nvidia Shield can connect to desktop rigs equipped with a compatible Nvidia GPU to stream games wirelessly.
In the demo videos, Nvidia showed off Shield by playing various games through Steam, Origin and even straight from the desktop. We saw Borderlands 2, Need for Speed and many more. You can always check out those hands-on videos here.
For now, I'm going to drop some specs:
- Quad-core Tegra 4 processor
- 2GB of installed RAM
- 5-inch display with 1280 x 720 resolution
- 16GB of internal storage with MicroSD expansion slot
- Bluetooth 3.0 functionality
- GPS and Wi-Fi
We've already discussed the price before, but I'm sure some of you missed out. In that case, the Nvidia Shield is currently selling for $349, and it will be shipping to consumers by the end of June.
The real benefit of Shield is that because there are no wireless carriers to deal with, Nvidia will be able to push out updates at a much faster rate. You might as well be getting a stock Nexus device equipped with a gamepad here. That combined with all of the other great features, makes this baby a steal for gamers.
What do you think of that price though? Are you going to pre-order the Shield?