Print 25 comment(s) - last by Breakfast Suse.. on Jan 8 at 11:28 AM

NVIDIA offers up a portable Android gaming device with PC streaming capabilities

As if Tegra 4 wasn't enough for CES 2013, NVIDIA is also dropping another bombshell on show attendees: Project SHIELD. Project SHIELD is NVIDIA's entry into the handheld gaming sector.
The handheld gaming console is a multifaceted device that is not only capable of playing any game from Google Play, but can also stream games from a PC (including STEAM games). For streaming to work, however, you must be connected via Wi-Fi and use a GeForce GTX 650 or higher GPU.
Project SHIELD is powered by Tegra 4 and comes with a 5" 720p touch display (294 ppi). It also features t also features what NVIDIA calls a "console-grade controller". The handheld console looks like an Xbox 360 controller on crack with a screen attached, but it's much more than that. Project SHIELD runs a "clean" version of Android Jelly Bean and has access to all Android games and applications.
Pricing is unknown at this time, but the device will be available during the second quarter of 2013.

So what do you guys think? Are consumers going to want to fork over money for another Android-powered gaming device (instead of a smartphone that you carry around 24-7-365) just to get physical controls built-in? Is the PC streaming option a viable option? Offer up your thoughts in the comments section.

Sources: NVIDIA [1], [2]

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Super cool
By TakinYourPoints on 1/7/2013 2:04:34 AM , Rating: 2
Some people may complain about it being proprietary to NVIDIA but whatever, its their product.

Streaming games from your PC to the controller while you're away is cool.

RE: Super cool
By TakinYourPoints on 1/7/2013 2:07:28 AM , Rating: 4
On a side note, NVIDIA nailed their timing. Get news of SHIELD out before Microsoft and Sony barrage us with info on their next-gen consoles this summer

RE: Super cool
By Brandon Hill on 1/7/2013 2:13:13 AM , Rating: 4
I'm still trying to think of a use for this. It has to be connected via Wi-Fi, right? If I'm in my house and want to do some hardcore gaming, I'll do it in front of the computer or TV.

As for its use as a portable gaming machine outside the home, that's what my smartphone is for. The only plus I see is the physical controls which admittedly are a great addition -- just not enough to justify carrying around two Android devices on the go (phone + Project SHIELD).

Or maybe I'm just missing the point :)

RE: Super cool
By TakinYourPoints on 1/7/2013 2:20:23 AM , Rating: 3
I don't think you're missing the point, its that the purpose and market is very specific.

I'm in a similar spot though, if I play a game away from home it'll be on my iPhone or (more often) iPad. If I want to play a PC game away from home then it'll be with a mouse and keyboard on my laptop. However, if I was into console ports (and I really am not these days, my main games being hardcore PC games like SC2 and DOTA 2) then this would be perfect for Assassins Creed 3 or Batman: AC, games like that.

Cool tech either way, and I really do like how it is one of the few mobile devices built around a gamepad.

RE: Super cool
By Labotomizer on 1/7/2013 8:46:07 AM , Rating: 3
If the Xbox tablet turns out to be real it's a better alternative. Especially if it will play 360 games. Then you could use the tablet with an Xbox wireless controller, larger screen, etc.

Then there's the NVidia only GPU issue on the PC. I've got a pair of 6850s at home, I have no intention of replacing those anytime soon. And not so I can play Skyrim downstairs on a 5" screen...

RE: Super cool
By BenSkywalker on 1/7/2013 8:51:51 AM , Rating: 2
How about replacing your potential HTPC?

If you have a Miracast display, or an Ouya, you can simply sit down on the couch using this as a remote that in essence will give you HTPC functionality without the limitations of the SFF or the costs associated with it.

RE: Super cool
By cknobman on 1/7/2013 10:09:57 AM , Rating: 2
I think the purpose for this is to let Nvidia show the public how out of touch they are with reality and the market.

This will be in the running for biggest fail of 2013 and possibly the decade.

RE: Super cool
By Ammohunt on 1/7/2013 1:56:23 PM , Rating: 2
I agree wonder how games that were designed for a touch screen interface translate to a controller? The market for devices like this are slim to none otherwise the PSP would be everywhere instead of multifunction devices like tablets.

RE: Super cool
By jRaskell on 1/7/2013 10:38:36 AM , Rating: 2
It's capable of playing any game off Google Play. I assume you have to be connected to Wifi to download the game, but excluding online games I don't see why you'd have to be connected to Wifi to play the game. None of the non-online games on my cellphone require a connection to the net to play them.

The streaming feature though, I really don't see any use for that at all.

RE: Super cool
By ET on 1/7/2013 10:52:04 AM , Rating: 2
It's not for everyone, sure. For me it's great, because I often play while watching over the kids, or sitting next to their beds and such. That's why I'm playing mostly on my Nexus 7, and I actually tried streaming games from my PC (which didn't work all that great).

I can also see this as useful for people who want to play hardcore games on the god. That's what handheld consoles often try to achieve. I played a little Shadowgun and Wild Blood on my Nexus 7, and I'm sure they'd play better with a controller. I'm sure the Shield could natively run satisfying console style action games. Having that on the road and the addition of AAA PC titles while at home could be a very nice combination.

Another use for it is as an HTPC replacement. I have an HTPC that's capable of some gaming, but its hardware is rather weak. A powerful HTPC takes some space, and might not be a good fit for every living room. Being able to stream the games from my main PC would mean I could play the games at higher quality and better frame rate on my TV.

I can't say how many people will find it as convincing as I do. Perhaps not the majority of gamers, but maybe enough for the Shield to sell well.

RE: Super cool
By BZDTemp on 1/7/2013 12:10:10 PM , Rating: 2
Streaming games from your PC to the controller while you're away is cool.

I don't follow - there is plenty of real portable games and PC aren't made for a small screen plus even for the console conversions mouse+keyboard is much superior.

Kudos to NVIDIA for trying something new but I don't see this scarring SONY nor Nintendo and it is not going in my collection.

Why should I use this?
By monstergroup on 1/7/2013 2:05:34 AM , Rating: 2
In their presentation I believe the demo unit was running via ethernet. I don't see any upside of using this over your PC directly connected by a HDMI or DVI cable with a 360 controller.

RE: Why should I use this?
By TakinYourPoints on 1/7/2013 2:09:27 AM , Rating: 2
The idea is that you'd use this over wifi when you're away from your PC, not locally

RE: Why should I use this?
By TakinYourPoints on 1/7/2013 2:14:29 AM , Rating: 3
It is basically like the Wii U tablet controller combined with OnLive streaming so you can play your PC games over long distances.

The application may be very specific but its still pretty cool tech. I'm gonna lol if it is cheaper than a Vita.

RE: Why should I use this?
By Labotomizer on 1/7/2013 8:48:25 AM , Rating: 2
Where does it say you can play over long distances? It says you have to be connected via WiFi, which usually means your local wireless network. I doubt this would work with my LTE hotspot, which is technically WiFi from the controller's perspective. Plus, gaming on the go usually means an airport lobby or hotel room, neither of which ever have decent wireless service.

I'll stick with my phone/tablet for now. I think the Xbox tablet will be a better setup if it ends up happening.

By Breakfast Susej on 1/8/2013 11:28:01 AM , Rating: 2
The only way it would even make any sense would be if you could use it over long distances via a wifi internet connection. The last thing on earth I can see wanting to do is sit in a different room than my expensive gaming pc and play an FPS with a gamepad on a 5 inch screen.

They are also alluding to this thing being very costly, which I fully expect to be the case where Nvidia is involved.

I would be more interested in something like a gameclip and emulators to play old 2d console games via emulator on my smartphone than something like this. Which I suppose I could go out and do right now anyway.

The last thing on earth that is going to succeed is a high cost dedicated handheld gaming device at this point. PS Vita being a good example of what happens to dedicated handheld gaming devices amidst the ongoing smartphone arms race.

By Milliamp on 1/7/2013 2:31:48 AM , Rating: 3
Anyone who finds something like this interesting should take a look at the $15 GameKlip that lets you connect a PS3 controller to your phone.

It sets up just like this and deserves to be more popular.

RE: GameKlip
By TakinYourPoints on 1/7/2013 2:48:00 AM , Rating: 2
A Gameklip is a piece of plastic that attaches a phone to a gamepad. SHIELD streams PC games from your computer to a nearly 300PPI integrated display.

They aren't really comparable products.

RE: GameKlip
By Milliamp on 1/8/2013 1:57:26 AM , Rating: 2
Streaming PC games is one of the features but not the main one. If what you want to do is play Android games with a real controller (the main reason for it) GameKlip makes much more sense for people who already own a decent android phone for less than 1/10th of the cost.

Besides, the flagship android phones are already over 300PPI and the PS3 controller is probably a better controller than the one built in.

Games are downloaded through Play Store and a phone already has a data plan. If this thing is WiFi only it would limit its use on the road.

Better idea
By FITCamaro on 1/7/2013 10:46:36 AM , Rating: 2
Offer a phone with a 5" screen that has the controller be an optional plug in device.

RE: Better idea
By Motoman on 1/7/2013 11:16:01 AM , Rating: 2
I think you could probably do what needs to be done with a flip phone, or maybe a slider - just need a directional controller on the left side of the keyboard, and a couple large Fire buttons on the right side for your thumbs...could probably put a couple trigger buttons on the other side too if you wanted.

I don't see why this would be hard for anyone to do - and then you'd truly have One Device to Rule Them All.

By ballist1x on 1/7/2013 5:12:14 AM , Rating: 2
Utterly terrible. cant see this being any kind of hit whatsoever.

Very promising!
By KTDawg on 1/7/2013 12:44:50 PM , Rating: 2
My first post here, so here goes...

As an avid gamer, both console, PC and portable, this definitely looks promising! For one, I imagine the battery life is more like a tablet than the average smartphone. Except for simple card games, my Galaxy S3 chews up the juice on any graphically decent games.... not ideal when you are on the road etc. Also, check out the speakers on that thing! Very likely a considerable improvement over your average tablet or smart phone. Last, the way the controller and screen are integrated into one product makes it more convenient for travel, as opposed to bringing along some sort of separate controller for your tablet/smart phone. So, yes, if it comes to market it will likely earn my hard earned coin.

Only for Japan and Korea
By Nyu on 1/7/2013 2:59:30 PM , Rating: 2
This doesn't make much sense. It would be a great device for Japan and Korea, used outside the home through regular internet, but the rest of the world doesn't enjoy that kind of internet connectivity.

Could be useful technology
By Dug on 1/7/2013 6:17:31 PM , Rating: 2
I like the idea, but wish it was in a laptop design with keyboard and mouse. I would love to stream games from my pc to my laptop. That way I could use a lightweight, long battery life laptop instead of a 13lb monster.

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