It has been a while since we last heard from NVIDIA about Project Shield. Today, NVIDIA is dropping "Project" from the name, making it formally just Shield, and simultaneously announcing pricing and availability information about its Tegra 4-packing handheld gaming console. The specs for Shield remain the same as what we saw at CES 2013 — 1.9 GHz Tegra 4 SoC, 5-inch 720p display, and Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. What's nice about getting a device straight from the SoC vendor in this case is that NVIDIA promises it will be able to push out OTA updates with the latest and greatest Android version basically in lock step with its own official Tegra 4 BSP (Board Support Package) software offerings, which makes it essentially the Tegra 4 reference platform.

SoC NVIDIA Tegra 4 - 1.9 GHz
Display 5-inch 720p "Retinal" Display
Wireless Connectivity 2x2:2 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi + BT 3.0, GPS
Storage 16 GB NAND, microSD Expansion
I/O microUSB 2.0, mini-HDMI, 3.5mm headphone
OS Android 4.2.1, Updates from NVIDIA
Price $349.00, Preorders May 20, Shipping Late June

As for availability, the big news is pricing, which will be $349 in the US, with preorders starting on May 20th from vendors familiar to everyone. NVIDIA called out Newegg, GameStop, Micro Center, and Canada Computers explicitly as preorder vendors, with others to follow after the preorder period. As for ship date, NVIDIA is aiming for late June for fulfillment. At $349 the Shield is more expensive than the major first party handheld gaming consoles like the Sony PS Vita or Nintendo 3DS, but an impressive middle ground and price point nonetheless for basically what boils down to a higher-end smartphone sans cellular stack but with a built in gamepad. We're excited to get hands on with Shield in its final form with the final tuning of its joysticks, triggers, and D-Pad.

In conjunction with the launch of Shield will be availability of the PC game streaming functionality as well, initially in beta form. NVIDIA has a set of recommended titles which have been optimized for the Shield controller scheme, and as we experienced at CES likely include UI tweaks to make 720p handheld gaming a reality. 

Source: NVIDIA Blog (Shield), (5 Games

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  • marc1000 - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - link

    not sure about wireless, but the guys have shown it doing wired using the hdmi output.
  • HisDivineOrder - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - link

    Don't care about Shield so much. Will nVidia enable those streaming functions to be used by other devices other than Shield? I'm imagining having my Ultrabook streaming from my gaming PC, letting me roam the house and still be gaming.

    I could concentrate all my gaming budget on one gaming PC and let HTPC's be small and stream the games from the bigger gaming box. I could be using my Ultrabook to sneak attack fools in Assassin's Creed 3 while I'm taking a dump. I could be at the dinner table eating my pasta while I'm becoming a survivor in Tomb Raider.

    Suddenly, instead of building a gaming HTPC that has to have decent hardware to game, I can put tri-SLI in my "gaming server" and keep everything silent, cool, and small with the HTPC's. Each one having a controller and a keyboard/mouse to game wirelessly from a bed, couch, whatever.

    This is the dream, nVidia. Give us the dream. Shield is really rather unnecessary for most of us who already have more than one PC.
  • piiman - Saturday, May 18, 2013 - link

    Dude put down the games and join the Real World.
  • Denithor - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - link

    ...waiting for Apple to sue over the descriptive "Retinal" display.
  • Laststop311 - Wednesday, May 15, 2013 - link

    Wait so you can run full triple aaa games off your nvidia gpu (i have a gtx titan) and have your main rig gpu process everything but play it streaming in real time over wireless n network on the handheld shield and this works for every game? Does the gtx titan support this feature? I know someone said gt 650 and up but the titan has gk110 chip instead of gk104. Does titan's chip also support this streaming.

    That streaming ability is freakin really cool if its what I understand it to be. Can you stream to the shield and output the shields display to a tv screen instead of the shields screen. That would be amazing. Gaming on any screen in your house with just 1 pc.
  • kaalus - Tuesday, May 21, 2013 - link

    This will be such a flop. On top of that it looks awful with these thick bezels on the screen. For $349? Who will pay that to play Angry Birds or scroll through 400,000 rubbish games created by 12 year olds?
  • JlHADJOE - Tuesday, May 21, 2013 - link

    Shield's up! --Nvidia, May 2013
  • Joelioto - Tuesday, June 4, 2013 - link

    To those bugged about streaming feature. This is a NVIDIA experience feature, they are using a video encoder that is directly built into the geforce lineup (starting with gtx650 and up). If they did not use this encoder chip then the streaming experience would be lack-luster and laggy like many other remote play apps. Gamers want responsive and instant feedback, which is why they developed this tech. The SHIELD is a NVIDIA device anyway, so naturally things work better/give more features if you are using hardware that is all part of the same EcoSystem. Once you try it first hand you wont believe how responsive it is and how neat it is to kick back on your bed and hit up a few more hours of Skyrim before sleep ;)

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