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CES 2013: Nvidia unveils Shield

It wasn’t enough for Nvidia to take the wraps of its Tegra 4 SoC, it also showcased a brand new concept product based on the new platform. Project Shield is a fully featured handheld gaming device running Android, and it looks very special indeed.

As well as Tegra 4, Shield comes equipped with a 5in 1,280 x 720 touchscreen display. There’s also a full complement of gaming controls, with twin analogue sticks, D-Pad, face buttons and shoulder buttons.

Everything has been kept as standard as possible with a micro-SD card slot for storage, micro-USB and a 3.5mm headphone jack. There’s also an HDMI output for pumping the action to a TV.

Shield will be running a completely clean install of Android, with no skins or overlays, ensuring that it can be kept up to date.

Obviously Shield is compatible with Google Play, so you’ll have no end of games, apps or video options at your disposal, whether you want to play on the in-built screen or an external monitor.

However, the best feature came at the end of the presentation, where Nvidia demonstrated how Shield can play games that are running on your PC. So, whether you want to play Diablo 3 on your TV, or just get some Call of Duty time in while you’re curled up on your sofa, Shield can oblige.

The game is being processed on the PC, while the control inputs are sent from Shield to the PC and the video stream is sent from the PC to Shield. Clearly input lag will be a worry for some, but Nvidia was adamant that it won’t be a problem.

There’s no word on when Shield will hit the market, but judging by the reaction from the audience at the press conference, it can’t arrive soon enough.

Riyad has been entrenched in technology publishing for more years than he cares to remember, having staffed and edited some of the largest and most successful IT magazines in the UK. In 2003 he joined forces with Hugh Chappell to create They built TR into the UK’s market leading technology publication before selling the title to IPC Media / Time Warner in 2007. As Editorial Director at Net Communities, Riyad will be helping to develop the publishing portfolio, making IT Pro Portal the best publication it can be.