GamesBeat

Nvidia delays Android-based Shield gaming handheld

Above: The Nvidia Shield Android portable gaming device.

Image Credit: Dean Takahashi

On the eve of its release, graphics-chip maker Nvidia is delaying the Shield portable Android gaming device.

Nvidia, best known for making the graphics cards in some PCs and smart devices, found an issue with its upcoming handheld that forced it to move the release of the device to July, according to CNET.

“The issue relates to a third-party mechanical component, and we’re working around the clock with the supplier to get it up to our expectations,” Shield director Jason Paul wrote in a company blog. “We apologize to those who have preordered Shields and to all those who are waiting for them to go on sale. But we want every Shield to be just right.”

The company previously intended to launch the game online and at retail tomorrow.

Shield is the showcase product for Nvidia’s upcoming Tegra 4 processor, which is the company’s next-gen graphics-processing unit (GPU) for mobile devices. The chip’s precursor, the Tegra 3, powers devices like Google’s Nexus 7 tablet and Ouya’s Android microconsole.

Possibly to jump start demand for Tegra 4, Nvidia created the $300 portable gaming device with full physical controls similar to the gamepad that comes with an Xbox 360 and a 5-inch high-definition touchscreen.

By running Android, Shield also has full access to Google’s Play app market, which means anyone invested in that ecosystem can simply download their games (like Grand Theft Auto: Vice City) to the handheld.

Additionally, Nvidia will use the Shield to experiment with local game streaming. That means streaming full games from a local PC so Shield owners can play them while away from their desktop system. This functionality is only compatible with certain Nvidia GeForce GTX-based graphics cards and games like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Dishonored, and Borderlands 2.

This is Nvidia’s first consumer-electronics device. It is a hardware company, but it’s previously focused on selling components to consumers and to enterprise.


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