Nvidia's Android-based Shield handheld gaming console finally stopped by the FCC on its way to store shelves at the end of June. The brief visit doesn't reveal anything new save for that it was once referred to as "Project: Thor", the same name Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang let slip back at CES 2013 when he originally introduced the device. Nope, Project Thor isn't another unannounced device currently in the works.
Nvidia submitted the device to the FCC on May 15, and the FCC ID Label diagram is what actually refers to the "Thor" codename. Based on the diagram, Nvidia's gadget looks like an Xbox 360 controller, only with a "Powered by Nvidia Tegra" label stamped on the bottom. It even felt like an Xbox 360 controller when we had a hands-on during GTC 2013 in March despite the five inch touch screen jetting up from the top.
That said, Shield is seemingly a five inch capacitive multi-touch tablet crammed into the top of a full-fledged gaming controller, all powered by Nvidia's fresh-off-the-grill Tegra 4 quad-core SoC. There are also two built-in speakers, Wireless-N connectivity, HDMI output, a microUSB port, a microSD card slot, 32 GB of internal storage and 2 GB of RAM. The OS of choice is a pure Android 4.2.2 "Jelly Bean" experience: no forked robot here.
For PC gamers, this should be a great way to play without having to sit at the desk. To stream PC games directly to the device, Shield owners will need a GeForce GTX 650 or higher desktop GPU (notebook GPUs are currently not supported), an Intel Core i3-2100 3.1GHz or AMD Athlon II X4 630 2.8GHz or higher CPU, and 4 GB or more memory. A dual-band Wireless N router is also recommended although gamers can get by with a Wireless G connection.
According to Nvidia, the PC Streaming aspect will be a beta at Shield's launch, and only works on supported games. Some of the featured titles include Batman: Arkham City, Borderlands 2, Dishonored, Metro: Last Light, Resident Evil 6 and Skyrim.
Nvidia is now accepting pre-orders for the handheld gadget (opens in new tab), costing $349 USD and currently listed to ship by the end of June 2013 in the U.S. and Canada only. Nvidia is also offering other items for Shield like a $39.99 carrying case, and carbon fiber and glossy black lids for $19.99 each.