Wednesday, January 9, 2013

nVidia Penetrates the Handheld Gaming Market with the Shield

I said "penetrate" and "shield." See what I did there?

At the recent CES 2013, graphics titan nVidia has unveiled a new handheld gaming device called the nVidia Shield, which looks somewhat like an xBox 360 controller with a foldable mini-screen. Technically, the d-pad and analog stick arrangement makes it look more like a PS dual shock controller, and the foldable screen makes it look like a DS, but the black/green color scheme and home button really makes the xBox more prominent.

As for the Shield's specs, it's supposed to be powered by nVidia's monster Tegra 4 processor, which means it has enough muscle to run games that rival current gen games. But it also has a couple of unique features:

First is that it runs on a skinless Android, so it could have acess to Google's store and can support Android games up to a point. Next is that it has the ability to stream games directly from your PC, provided that your PC has an nVidia videocard that can run said games. This makes it function more like the Wii U's tablet controller, wherein you can play games away from the PC by using the Shield as a satellite game device. What's more, the device is deeply integrated with the Steam service, so that you can get games directly from the content distribution service.

nVidia clarified during the conference that the Shield is not a mere concept. The name may change once it's released to the market, but you can expect it to arrive by Q2 2013.

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