There’s a new kid on the block of handheld consoles, but this one has a whole range of features that you can’t find in any of its counterparts. The Nvidia Project Shield, first unveiled at CES, will be officially out next month and will sell for $349.
The price may be a bit steep for a handheld console. For instance, PlayStation Vita from Sony is about $100 cheaper and Nintendo’s handheld device 3DS XL is almost 50 percent cheaper. But the Shield relies on technology and features that Nvidia hopes will make fans feel that it is worth spending that much money.
First of all, the Shield console is equipped with Nvidia’s pride and joy when it comes to mobile
processors: the new, top-end Tegra 4 chip. The processor packs 72 GPU cores, 4 CPU cores and 2GB of RAM, which will allow unbeatable performance and rich graphics, according to Nvidia.
The console weighs only 20.04 oz and measures 6.2×5.3×2.2 inch. The device also has a 5 inch display that supports 720p high-definition video, integrated speakers and microphone, 3.5mm jack, GPS, Bluetooth 3.0, micro-USB port, a mini-HDMI out port, 16 GB of flash memory and a microSD slot to bump up storage.
But the Shield’s most interesting feature is that it can stream PC games. Besides running games from Google Play and TegraZone, the device will be able to make PC games mobile by streaming them from the computer. This gives gamers access to titles from Valve’s Steam but also allows them to play games that would otherwise be too demanding for the console’s own processor.
Project Shield is sold with pre-installed Hulu Plus, Twitch TV and games such as Sonic 4 Episode II THD and Expendable: Rearmed.
It remains to be seen if its high-performance processor and the PC streaming feature are enough to make Nvidia’s console a success in an already crowded market. What do you think? Would you buy the Project Shield for $349?