The first product from Nvidia that’s aimed directly at consumers as a standalone games gadget is Project Shield, announced at CES in Las Vegas. It consists of a display that folds down onto a black console controller (it looks like an Xbox joypad). It’s a 1280 x 720 display, so not Full HD but highly competent.
Nvidia Project Shield: Size and build
Nvidia Project Shield is not a one-handed gadget, but given the fact that this is a whole games machine with buttons, sticks and screen, it’s not as heavy as it might be. The matte black plastic is decently built with buttons sturdy enough to feel that they’ll last and the trademark Nvidia green logo that adorns the lid looks smart.
The display is big – a 5-inch screen that is bright and sharp, though not of the resolution that we’re used to from gadgets like the iPad 4. But you can use the console to play games on your TV instead of on this small screen, so that solves that.
Nvidia Project Shield: Features
This machine plays Android games, that massive selection of free and affordable titles that’s growing quickly all the time. It means, as Nvidia told T3, that once you’ve bought Project Shield, you could get away with never paying for a game again, just maxing out your use with endless free Android games.
But this console is also great for streaming PC games. Log on to Steam, say, and you can play games from your personal catalogue of titles on a TV, using this handheld as a controller (with a little flip-up screen on the top of it).
Nvidia Project Shield: Controls
The build quality makes it fun to use the console’s buttons and joysticks, which fall beneath the fingers happily enough. They’re not quite as intuitive to use as an Xbox joypad but there’s a lot to like here.
Nvidia Project Shield: Games
All those cheap or free Android games plus the PC games you can stream onto the console or onto a TV via Project Shield mean that unlike many new consoles, this one comes stuffed with titles on day one. The inclusion of Steam compatibility will be enough to tempt many.
Nvidia Project Shield: Verdict
Nvidia Project Shield is a powerful machine that sets a new standard in gaming, thanks to its versatility.
Not only is it an Android games machine, which would be fun enough on its own, but you can stream PC games here, giving you a much wider range of titles – though some will be the affordable, short games Android is known for and others the much pricier, deeper games PC owners enjoy. Its design is good rather than outstanding but this is a gadget to watch.
Nvidia Project Shield release date: Q2 2013
Nvidia Project Shield price: £TBC
Nvidia Project Shield review: Hands-on
Nvidia Project Shield review: Hands-onT3
The Nvidia Project Shield just looks like a games console joypad and a clamshell screen. But this device handles Android and streams PC games
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