It’s been a long and bumpy road for Nvidia’s Shield, but tomorrow, the Android-powered gaming console finally launches. Those who preordered can expect a Shield shortly, while everyone else can purchase their very own unit from select online (Nvidia.com, Newegg) and physical (GameStop, Microcenter, Canada Computer) retailers for $299.
The Shield has been hotly anticipated ever since its January unveiling at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show. Emblematic of Nvidia’s strategy – powerful local hardware working in conjunction with the cloud – the Shield is a deft blending of the flexibility afforded by Android and the potential imbued by the company’s desktop graphics cards. More than 100 games available from the Play Store have been optimized for the console’s controls, and owners with compatible setups can stream titles from PC.
From a strictly hardware perspective, the Shield is nothing to scoff at. At its core is Nvidia’s Tegra 4 SoC, which, while not necessarily the most powerful platform on the market, will benefit from developer optimization. The rest of the Shield’s internals include a dual-antenna, Miracast-certified WiFi chip, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of flash storage. The entire device is anchored by a 5-inch, 720p screen, attached by hinge to a controller resembling an Xbox peripheral. All in all, Shield’s an impressive package.
So, does Nvidia have you convinced? Are you planning to purchase a Shield tomorrow, or eagerly anticipating the arrival of a preorder? Let us know in the poll!