NVIDA’s first gaming console is now available for purchase in the US and Canada. The NVIDIA SHIELD goes on sale today for $299 at stores including GameStop, Newegg, and NVIDIA.com.

The game console features a 5 inch, 720p touchscreen display connected to what looks a lot like an Xbox controller. Under the hood it has NVIDIA’s latest mobile processor and Google Android 4.2 Jelly Bean software.

NVIDIA SHIELD

Customers will get two free games with purchase: Sonic 5 Episode II THD and Expendable: Rearmed. You can also download and run pretty much any app available from the Google Play Store, including nearly 130 games that are optimized to work the the SHIELD’s game control buttons.

You can also use the SHIELD to stream games over a WiFi network from your home PC, which means you can basically load up the latest PC games on your computer and play them on the couch or anywhere else around the house. It’s not quite the same as being able to play Borderlands or Portal on the bus, but if you’re cool with playing at home and just don’t want to be tethered to your PC, it’s a nice bonus feature.

The NVIDIA SHIELD features an NVIDIA Tegra 4 ARM Cortex-A15 quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of built-in storage. It has a microSD card slot, 802.11n 2×2 WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, and HDMI output.

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