Nvidia’s Project Shield finally has a release date and an ousted price. The tablet based game console will begin shipping in June for $349, and it will be available at a plethora of retail locations including GameStop, Newegg, Micro Center and Canada Computers. You can pre-order the Shield as early as Monday, May 20th. Even better, those who have previously signed up to receive email updates from Nvidia about Shield are able to pre-order early starting today.
The Shield is a unique portable console running Android 4.2.2 with full access to the Google Play store. Essentially, it’s just a tablet equipped with a permanent console gamepad. Where Shield differs from other similar platforms is the fact that it can stream games directly from a compatible PC, including Steam, Origin and regular titles. Of course, an accompanying Nvidia GPU (installed in the desktop) is also required to take advantage of this feature.
As for specs, here’s what Shield is packing:
- Tegra 4 processor
- 2GB of installed RAM
- 16GB of internal storage
- 5-inch 720p integrated touchscreen display
- Stereo speakers
- Dual-band 802.11n wireless support
- Bluetooth 3.0 functionality
- MicroUSB, MicroSD and Mini HDMI ports
- Headphone jack output
- Stock Android 4.2.2
According to Nvidia, future Android updates should arrive pretty quickly since they don’t have any wireless carriers to deal with. That’s great news for Android lovers who definitely appreciate a stock Android build.
For months, Nvidia has been showing off what Shield can do in featured product demos, so if you want a good idea of how it works and what kind of content it can handle you should check those out .
The current price pits Shield up against devices like the iPad Mini ($329) and the Nexus 10 ($399), but of course a different crowd will be drawn to it thanks to the attached gamepad. It will be interesting to see how well the device moves in the current market. Mobile gaming has become quite popular thanks to a boom in the mobile games catalog, both iOS and Android now have a significant number of console quality titles available for various smartphones. Personally, I think the real competition for the Shield will be something like the infamous OUYA Android game console. Even though, the OUYA is not technically portable, it’s a unique Android powered game console on the cheap ($99).
Do you have any plans to pick up the Nvidia Shield? What about the OUYA? Let us know in the comments  below!
[via Nvidia ]