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NVIDIA’s Project SHIELD, Portable Gaming System for Android and PC Titles [CES 2013]


This evening, NVIDIA took the stage and announced the all new Tegra 4 processor. Although, it wasn’t their new chipset that had everyone excited tonight. NVIDIA CEO, Jen-Hsun Huang announced Project SHIELD (although he did slip and accidentally called it Project Thor at first) which is a completely portable full gaming system that supports Android and PC games thanks to cloud-based services. 

The system is powered by the all new Tegra 4 processor, sports a 720p 5″ display, rocks a superb sound system, and runs stock Android with complete access to Google Play content. To make it even more powerful, along the backside of the device there is full HDMI out, microSD slot, USB port, an audio jack, and on the front there are console quality controls. Huang said this about the newest addition to every Android lovers wishlist:

Project SHIELD was created by NVIDIA engineers who love to game and imagined a new way to play. We were inspired by a vision that the rise of mobile and cloud technologies will free us from our boxes, letting us game anywhere, on any screen. We imagined a device that would do for games what the iPod and Kindle have done for music and books, letting us play in a cool new way. We hope other gamers love SHIELD as much as we do.

What sets this apart from other Android-powered game players is its ability to utilize cloud-based services that NVIDIA has created, to stream real time PC games. During the presentation, we watched the developers stream a title right from Steam to the system, to a 4K LG HDTV, which SHIELD currently supports.

project shield compare

We are still waiting on any type of pricing or availability from NVIDIA, but we are guessing that we can expect launch to take place possibly sometime in Q2 of this year if everything goes well.

So, what are your thoughts of Project SHIELD? From what we know so far, how much would you be willing to spend on a gaming device such as this?

NVIDIA Untethers Gaming With Project SHIELD

Gaming Portable for Open Platforms Designed for Gamers to Play When, Where, How They Want

LAS VEGAS, NV–(Marketwire – Jan 7, 2013) – CES — NVIDIA today announced Project SHIELD, a gaming portable for open platforms, designed for gamers who yearn to play when, where and how they want.

Created with the philosophy that gaming should be open and flexible, Project SHIELD flawlessly plays both Android and PC titles. As a pure Android device, it gives access to any game on Google Play. And as a wireless receiver and controller, it can stream games from a PC powered by NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX GPUs, accessing titles on its STEAM game library from anywhere in the home.

“Project SHIELD was created by NVIDIA engineers who love to game and imagined a new way to play,” said Jen-Hsun Huang, co-founder and chief executive officer at NVIDIA. “We were inspired by a vision that the rise of mobile and cloud technologies will free us from our boxes, letting us game anywhere, on any screen. We imagined a device that would do for games what the iPod and Kindle have done for music and books, letting us play in a cool new way. We hope other gamers love SHIELD as much as we do.”

Project SHIELD combines the advanced processing power of NVIDIA Tegra® 4, breakthrough game-speed Wi-Fi technology and stunning HD video and audio built into a console-grade controller. It can be used to play on its own integrated screen or on a big screen, and on the couch or on the go.

Tegra 4 at Its Heart
At the core of Project SHIELD is the world’s fastest mobile processor, the new NVIDIA Tegra 4, which delivers enormous power from its custom 72-core GeForce GPU and the first quad-core application of ARM’s most advanced CPU core, the Cortex-A15. These, combined with its battery-saver core and energy-saving PRISM 2 technology, deliver hours of gameplay on a single charge.

Windows and Android Games
Windows and Android are the world’s most successful computing platforms, with massive ecosystems of system and software developers. While not specifically designed for gaming, both open platforms have drawn gamers by the millions. Project SHIELD is designed to allow them to enjoy Android and Windows games in a new, exciting way.

Project SHIELD can instantly download Android games, including Android-optimized titles available on NVIDIA’s TegraZone™ game store, which has already delivered more than 6 million downloads to gamers. It can also be used as a wireless game receiver to a nearby PC equipped with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 GPU or higher.

Console-Grade Controller
Project SHIELD’s ergonomic controller was built for the gamer who wants ultimate control and precision.

Retinal Gaming Display
Brilliant gameplay and video are provided by Project SHIELD’s integrated 5-inch, 1280×720 HD retinal multitouch display, with 294 dpi. Plus, Tegra 4 with Direct Touch technology gives it touch responsiveness that is a more consistent, accurate and smooth-flowing touch input experience than a standard touch device.

Tuned Port, Bass Reflex Portable Speaker System
Deep, rich audio is critical for a great gaming experience. And Project SHIELD provides fidelity and dynamic range never before available on a portable device, through its custom, bass reflex, tuned port audio system — with twice the low-frequency output of high-end laptops.

Project SHIELD can also access Android apps such as Hulu, Netflix and Slacker Radio, so users can enjoy their movies and music anywhere without expensive, clumsy wired or wireless speakers.

Support by Leading Industry Analyst
Patrick Moorhead, president and lead analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, said: “The market has waited years for a breakthrough gaming device that offers the flexibility, quality and total enjoyment of Project SHIELD. Few companies other than NVIDIA have the vision, guts and deep gaming experience to have pulled this off.”

Support by Leading Game Developers
Yves Guillemot, co-founder and chief executive officer of Ubisoft, said: “Ubisoft is always excited about new hardware developments, and Project SHIELD promises to bring both mobile and PC gamers a great new gaming experience. Seeing the PC version of Assassin’s Creed III run on the device is a great example of this, and further strengthens Ubisoft’s long-standing relationship with NVIDIA.”

Mark Rein, vice president and co-founder of Epic Games, said: “With Project SHIELD, NVIDIA brings an uncompromising, high-performance console experience to mobile devices. Amazing games including Real Boxing and Hawken, which utilize the latest Unreal Engine technology, look fantastic on Project SHIELD. This is just the beginning, and we’re truly excited to see what more Unreal Engine developers will do with so much horsepower in such a compact gaming device.”

Bill Wagner, chief production officer at Meteor Entertainment, said: “Coming from the openness of a PC platform, we love how accessible Project SHIELD is, and the flexibility it gives gamers everywhere. Project SHIELD gives us the cutting-edge ability to bring a huge free-to-play PC game like Hawken to the handheld gaming audience.”

Support by Broader Industry
Shadowgun and Dead Trigger showed how Tegra can redefine mobile gaming on Android. Project SHIELD’s performance has allowed us to bring an even better experience with Dead Trigger 2, debuting first on Tegra 4 devices. Our fans are going to love it.”
– Marek Rabas, chief executive officer of MADFINGER Games

“Project SHIELD has changed how we approach mobile game development. Tegra 4 helped us create Bloodsword — a new game debuting with the highest resolution textures, graphics and shading we’ve ever seen on a portable device.”
– Seunghee Do, co-founder at OneQ Soft

“We are very excited to be part of Project SHIELD, and are quite amazed by the gaming potential of this device. Project SHIELD is by far the fastest mobile device we’ve worked on and it lets us put console quality graphics on a handheld device.”
– Stine Waern, chief executive officer at Ravn Studio AS

“Thanks to Project SHIELD’s performance, we’re able to use the same quality textures and shaders in Rochard as on the PC version. We’re super excited to bring Rochard to Project SHIELD, the first time it’s ever been playable on a mobile device.”
– Jan Achrenius, chief executive officer at Recoil Games

“Put simply, Project SHIELD is an amazing leap forward, enabling us to create console-quality visuals previously unthinkable on a mobile platform.”
– Arden Aspinall, chief executive officer and project lead at TickTock Games Ltd.

More information is available at shield.nvidia.com.

  • Paul

    Not many people are going to spend a lot on a device that plays their pc games only in their home on a 5″ screen.

  • Ryan5609

    The ability to play android games is great in its own right, but the PC game streaming will be clincher for me. If they price it right, this could be quite the gaming device. I am guessing a minimum of $250 for this thing. I also ask this, how far can you be from your PC to stream games? Is this a line of sight thing or a wireless network thing. If I cant stray a decent distance from my PC, what is the point. It needs to work so you can be in another room, seperate from your PC.

  • At least where I live broadband isn’t ready to stream PC content.

    Google fiber anyone?

  • Aaron

    Wireless connectivity to my flat panel TV and some respectable titles and I might be interested. But portable gaming and a 10′ HDMI cable for my TV just won’t do. Glad to see so many companies trying to compete in the console space, but it’s going to take something huge to knock off one of the top three. This looks like a nonstarter.

  • schoat333

    I will buy this. Great work Nvidia! Steam for Android, where are you?

  • Go Hawkeyes


  • krysis

    If it means i can play tf2 in my bed before i go to sleep, i’m all for it.

    • Mike Yost

      Good luck going up against M&K players using joysticks.

  • feztheforeigner

    Did Nvidia just kill Ouya??

    I’m definitely more interested in this!

  • WAldenIV

    This thing looks like the Nexus Q of 2013. It will be too expensive, have limited appeal to console gamers, have limited appeal to PC gamers, and will end up failing.

    • Mike Yost

      The only thing that could make this a winner is if they kept the price down. No one is going to spend $200 – $300 on this when they can just get a PS Vita or a 3DS.

      • imnotmikal

        Depending on how well it streams PC games, I believe this could kill the Vita and 3DS. I would spend up to maybe $350 for this, again, depending how well it does what they say it does.

  • synplex

    Make it $99 with a HDMI out and release it with 5 pre-loaded Tegra 3-4 games, then I’ll might bite!

  • The potential ability to stream PC games to a handheld should be the main attraction for this.If they push at as something to play Angry Birds on, it will fail and fail hard. However, they could market it this to PC gamers as the portable device for them. It will all depend on how well it can stream content from a computer.

    • AlexKCMO

      It sounds pretty awesome, but someone really needs to come up of a better way to stream video to a TV. I’m not going to buy a 10’+ HDMI cable just to play these games on my TV.

      HDMI is definitely something that needs a wireless interface of sorts. I shouldn’t be locked into a specific TV to use this kind of tech (like the LG mentioned in the main article). Actually, I’m not going to buy a brand new TV JUST to wirelessly stream games to my TV.

      • michael arazan

        That’s what I did, hmi to hdmi adapter and a 10′ hd cable to my TV to mirror my gnex.

    • I agree, I do not want to be playing any useless Android casual games on this thing. But if I could continue my Far Cry 3 save games on this while in the bathroom, that’d be great.

      • Spongehead

        “You’re gonna get hemorrhoids!” ~ My grandmother

  • SeanBello

    yeah, this is gonna be like $200-$300 to play $4 games on. I don’t think so. awesome idea though.

    • Jroc869, Cool story bro

      Well maybe you didn’t read the whole article. You can also play PC games on it. Yeas you do have to have Nvidias newest video card running in you PC but who cares. The device also doubles as a full on stock android device. Its more than just something to play 4 dollar games on and I think game developers will bring more now that they have a sweet little device to use them on.

      • SeanBello

        they haven’t yet, and I don’t think people will be willing to pay in hopes that they do. there’s also the issue of controller support. Some great games just don’t support them (TDKR, Predators). they almost have to make games specifically for this and if it doesn’t pop a big opening sales # I’m not sure they’ll see that as being worth it.

  • regkilla

    Will cost about $600.

  • Mchl496

    Cool tech…. but meh concept and here is why.
    The reason why Nintendo has been kicking ass for so long in the portable realm is they game games that people want to play on a hand held system. The reason the Sony is and Sega has failed in handhelds is they make super powerful systems which have games i’d rather play on a home console. I’ve never wanted to play GTA portably. I normally want the biggest screen possible for that or for FPS games. The tech is definitely cool but how much is this going to cost and I think they are grossly over estimating the value of the games on phones. Established games vs games that weren’t bad for 3.99.