NVIDIA has announced that its Tegra 4-powered handheld gaming console will be available June 27th. The company’s also shaving $50 off the price. It’ll sell for $299 instead of the previously announced price of $349.
Update: The launch has been pushed back to July.
The Shield is basically a 5 inch Android table tacked onto a high-quality, Xbox-style video game controller. It has a 5 inch, 720p display, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, and NVIDIA’s quad-core ARM Cortex-A15 processor.
It runs version of Android Jelly Bean that’s pretty close to stock, which means you can pretty much use the Shield device like an awkwardly-shaped touchscreen tablet. It’ll run most games and apps available in the Google Play Store.
But what makes it special is the built-in controller and NVIDIA software which lets you use the device as a portable game console. It also has an HDMI port so you can even connect it to a TV and use the NVIDIA Shield as a game controller to play games on a big screen.
The system also works with NVIDIA’s streaming technology which lets you stream a PC game from a desktop or laptop computer with a supported NVIDIA graphics card to your mobile device. In other words, you can play high-end PC games on a mobile device (as long as your PC is running and connected to the same WiFi network as the mobile device.
When NVIDIA introduced the handheld gaming system in January, it was one of the most exciting devices at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show. But when the company started taking pre-orders for $349 in May, many folks said the price was too high.
I guess we’ll see soon whether $299 is more of a sweet spot.
At that price, the NVIDIA Shield is cheaper than an iPad mini, but more expensive than a Google Nexus 7. But neither of those devices has a built-in controller or NVIDIA’s new Tegra 4 processor.