Nvidia unveils Project Shield – world’s first Android-powered handheld console

Hmm, now then, this one could turn out to be rather interesting. We’ve seen Android on phones, we’ve seen Android on tablets, and now, thanks to Nvidia, we’re seeing Android on a handheld games console. Say hello to Project Shield…

Yup, rather interesting indeed. Looks like the Ouya ain’t gonna be the world’s Android-powered console, after all. But here’s the big question, as always: how good will it be, really, and why should you (or why shouldn’t you, of course) want one?

Well, in terms of tech, this beastie’s definitely advanced, ‘cos it’s rocking the brand new Tegra 4 processor, the new version of the chip found in my HTC phone, amongst others. Based on how brilliant the graphics performance of the Tegra 3 is, when it comes to gaming, gamers who grab one of these will be getting a real treat or their eyeballs. And why is that? ‘Cos the graphics chip inside the Tegra 4 system-on-chip has got 72 cores.

That’s not a typo. It has seventy-two cores…

Of course, one has to wonder how long the battery will last on it, and my guess would be “er, not that long, actually”, especially since the device isn’t just packing a 5 inch 720p screen (which makes it not that much bigger than, say the Samsung Galaxy S3), but also, a pair of surprisingly decent speakers. They’re going to need power, too. However, I don’t doubt that it’s going to have a bigger battery than yer average mobile phone, and that’s a good thing, really, ‘cos blimey, it’s gonna need it.

Oh, and also, if you’re using a an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 GPU or higher, in yer PC, then you can also stream Steam games to the device, and play them right there, on the Shield.

So, basically, it’s a handheld console that, if you’ve got the right set-up, can play high-end PC games, and that’s pretty damn cool, right? Sure, there’s a couple of things I don’t like (the big one being the horrible placement of the analogue sticks; I hate that placement on PlayStation controllers, and I hate it here, too), but overall, I’m rather impressed.

So, we’ll have to see how this one pans out…

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About TechnicalMarkus

It's a little known fact Technical Markus has now beaten both his Transformers addiction AND his Mass Effect addiction, by replacing both with an equally obsessive addiction to XCOM: Enemy Unknown and buying Humble Bundles for his Android phone. At the moment, he's pondering the actual usefulness of smartwatches and smart glasses, even if the nerd in him is shouting for joy at how sci-fi they are. He spends his spare time being whinged at to figure out what's wrong with other people's mobile phones, and drinking unimaginable quantities of tea. With milk. And three sweeteners, thanks for asking. Oh, and he's got an HTC One X, but he reckons his next phone might be a Sony, the turncoat...