Project Shield revealed - Nvidia is making an Android-powered game console

Well, that's exciting! Hardware-maker Nvidia revealed development of an Android-powered handheld game console at a pre-CES press conference tonight. The system, currently going by the name "Project Shield," sports an Xbox 360-like controller with a 5" 720p touch screen attached. Nvidia claims that the internal battery allows for 5-10 hours of gameplay and up to 24 hours of video, putting it on par (if not slightly above) other handheld consoles on the market.

CEO Jen-Hsun Huang said that the handheld system is "pure Android" and showed off several different functions including video playback, social networking, and listening to audio, because it wouldn't be a game console if you couldn't watch <insert currently popular pop song> music videos on it.

Oh, and it plays video games--that's important. Huang showed off a few Android games, including a demo for the upcoming Hawken and some other Android games that looked great on the handheld's Tegra 4 processor. Even more exciting are Project Shield's PC gaming capabilities, which were also shown off (after a few technical hiccups). The system can't actually play PC games, but it can connect to a PC via wireless and stream Steam's Big Picture Mode. This, when mixed with the system's HDMI out capable of outputting 4K resolution, means you can play PC games on your TV with little lag (according to Nvidia), and serves as the link many need to get PC gaming on the television. In short, Project Shield is essentially working like the "rumored" Steam Box console was supposed to.

No price or release date were mentioned outside of the Q2 2013 launch window, but we'll definitely be keeping an eye on what appears to be the most exciting Android-powered game console of the bunch. You can find more information (and more shiny images) on Nvidia's website.


  • GoldenEagle1476 - January 7, 2013 6:23 p.m.

    This looks better than I thought it would. Only thing that bothers me is that it looks kind of heavy.
  • 7-D - January 7, 2013 4:38 p.m.

    It certainly looks a bit of an ugly duckling from where i'm sitting (reminds me of the original xbox gone on a crash diet with loads of make-up on), but i'm all up for newcomers trying their hand and disrupting the market.
  • Skate360 - January 7, 2013 11:56 a.m.

    Not into Android stuff..But GOOD LUCK WITH THAT Nvidia
  • MolokoVeck - January 7, 2013 11:39 a.m.

    From some additional research it looks like you should be able to download emulators on this bad boy. If this thing reliably runs N64 emulation (which has yet to be satisfactorily accomplished on a handheld), then I may just consider it...
  • Child Of Death - January 7, 2013 11:29 a.m.

    Ok so I am kinda confused right here. Do I still need a good gaming pc to run PC games on this thing? What if my graphics card cant handle say a Unreal Engine 3 game without lag. Will this help me?
  • Hav0k - January 14, 2013 6:28 p.m.

    From what I can remember reading, you need a special/updated video card to stream games to the handheld.... One sec, let me see if I can find the article... Well it's not the same one but it has the same kind of idea...
  • FoxdenRacing - January 7, 2013 9:47 a.m.

    Is it just me, or does this reek of the late-90s handheld deluge...Neo-Geo Pocket, N-gage, and the 50,003 imitators thereof? I imagine history's gonna repeat itself, too.
  • nickdudelgz - January 7, 2013 10:16 a.m.

    well if one of them finally does what they're supposed to, i'm game.
  • FoxdenRacing - January 7, 2013 11:25 a.m.

    True enough! I get the feeling it's going to have a hard time competing with smartphones in the biggest space for Android App-games, though: wasting time on the go, in 1-10 minute chunks.
  • ultimatepunchrod - January 7, 2013 8:02 a.m.

    I don't know about this. I mean, they're still android games...hmmm.
  • mbavalo - January 7, 2013 1:43 a.m.

    4K resolution? I'm not ready to burn my eyes clean through their sockets, thank you :)
  • zelta38 - January 7, 2013 12:43 a.m.

    So Ouya, Gamestick and now Project Shield, interesting how Android went from powering phones and tablets to more open computing systems in traditionally closed markets, good going! The hardware seems a bit bulky, dunno how the 5" controller would play but hey at least it has the analogue sticks side by side and the design and power is pretty good. Just hope the price is right!
  • KiMBa161 - January 6, 2013 11:17 p.m.

    Been looking for a way to get steam on my TV without a mega long HDMI.
  • icbacomingupwithapropername - January 6, 2013 10:59 p.m.

    didn't Gabe confirm the steam box so it's not "rumoured" any more?
  • Dauthi693 - January 7, 2013 9:01 p.m.

    He did but what it it is exactly and what it can do is still rumoured.
  • shawksta - January 6, 2013 10:47 p.m.

    A 3rd? Already? My god, atleast this one is legit enough. Definitley keeping an eye out

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