NVIDIA waited until the end of its CES 2013 press conference to reveal its biggest announcement of the night. Out of nowhere, NVIDIA showed off its new gaming handheld called Project Shield. Project Shield is an Android gaming console at its core, but it also has the capability to mirror PC games from hardware that has a compatible GeForce GTX GPU. Requirements for desktop PC streaming include an Intel Core i5 processor or higher (or equivalent processor), 4GB of memory and GeForce GTX 650 GPU.
Shield’s design is that of a controller with a display attached to it. The 720p HD touchscreen is measured at five inches diagonally. It comes with a Tegra 4 processor, Wi-Fi, microSD card slot, HDMI port, USB port and a headphone jack. Shield is expected to last between 5-10 hours when playing games, and around 24 hours when playing high definition videos.
Shield runs a pure Android Jelly Bean experience, but NVIDIA also included its own interface called the Shield UI. The Shield UI does not interfere with the stock Android, and is only accessed after pressing the NVIDIA button on the middle of the controller. It’s only through the Shield UI that you can launch PC Mirroring. NVIDIA’s TegraZone app store can also be accessed from this UI.
NVIDIA didn’t give Shield a price, so we’re naturally staying reserved until we find out. Shield has the potential to blow any and all Android console developers out of the water. However, it can only do that if the price is right.