NVIDIA SHIELD Gets New Release Date

By Pete Haas 2013-07-21 18:40:50 discussion comments
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NVIDIA's handheld gaming device SHIELD will be launching at the end of July, the company announced today. The SHIELD was originally scheduled for release on June 27th but then suffered a last-minute delay.

"We want to thank you for your patience and for sticking with us through the shipment delay of your SHIELD. We have great news to share with you - your SHIELD will ship on July 31st," reads an update on the SHIELD's official website website. "Our goal has always been to ship the perfect product, so we made sure we submitted SHIELD to the most rigorous mechanical testing and quality assurance standards in the industry. We built SHIELD because we love playing games, and we hope you enjoy it as much as we do."

The company decided to delay the SHIELD due to a problem with a third-party component inside the device. The issue apparently wasn't seen in the pre-production units.

"We’re eager to get it into your hands but we won’t do that until it’s fully up to the exacting standards that NVIDIA’s known for," NVIDIA project manager Jason Paul said at the time. "And some final quality-assurance testing has just turned up a mechanical issue that we’re not happy with. So, while we announced last week that SHIELD will go on sale this Thursday, we’ve taken the hard decision to delay shipping until next month."

The NVIDIA SHIELD is designed for portable gaming and entertainment. The device resembles a gamepad with a 5-inch touchscreen display attached to the top. Sound is projected through internal speakers. You can use headphones, though, if you're on the go. The device is powered by an NVIDIA Tegra 4 Quad Core Mobile Processor with 2GB RAM.

SHIELD comes with the Jelly Bean operating system so it's capable of running Android games and apps. To get you started, NVIDIA preloaded the device with Sonic 4 Episode II THD and Expendable Rearmed. Additional apps can be downloaded over Wi-Fi.

Hardcore gamers might be more interested in the PC gaming applications of the device. A nearby gaming PC can stream games like Borderlands 2 and Skyrim to the SHIELD over Wi-Fi. There are a couple caveats with this feature, though. First, it's in beta and only works with certain games at the moment. Second, you'll need a strong PC to stream properly. Here are the system requirements:
  • GPU: GeForce GTX 650 or higher desktop GPU (Notebook GPUs are not supported at this time)
  • CPU: Intel Core i3-2100 3.1GHz or AMD Athlon II X4 630 2.8GHz or higher
  • System Memory: 4GB or higher
  • Software: GeForce Experience™ application and latest GeForce drivers
  • OS: Windows 8 or Windows 7
  • Routers: 802.11a/g router (minimum). 802.11n dual band router (recommended). A list of recommended routers will be provided at launch.
SHIELD units can be pre-ordered through the NVIDIA website for $299. The company's also selling carrying cases and custom tags for the back of the device.
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