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Nvidia Shield Finally Arrives at FCC

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.

    Maybe this is a probing set up, to try and be creative and try/set new markets.
    Costs are too high, unless they do take off, of which I have my doubts
  • spentshells
    Agreed, JDJ
    I'm completely uninterested, I predict a flop before end of the year.
  • CarolKarine
    if I had an Nvidia GPU, I would so pick one of these up.
    yet, I feel better with 350 USD in my pocket than sitting on my couch.
  • CaptnYesterday
    I just don't understand the appeal... Can some fan of the device please post some reasons why this thing is worth the price?
    Seriously, The streaming games with steam + Nvidia chipset over wifi? or something? What am I missing here? Why would they even make this at that price? What is their logic!? I FEEL LIKE I'M TAKING CRAZY PILLS!!!!!
  • rajangel
    I would be interested in this for my wife if the price was not so high. This would be great for my wife to play her n64 roms on instead of having to use her nexus tablet. I'm more interested in its rom capability. I'd love to play me some star ocean psx again on it. I can't play some of these games because the playstation store doesn't sell it anymore and I don't have a ps2 to put my disks in.
    If it was 100 less I'd buy it in a heartbeat.
  • Scott Yang
    "For PC gamers, this should be a great way to play without having to sit at the desk."
    ...I don't understand this part at all.
    My office chair is comfortable and my screen is big and 120hz. If I'm a serious PC gamers, why would I choose a 5" screen handheld over my PC battle station?
    And if I have 350 to spend, why not upgrade my video card or SSD or mechanic keyboard?
  • unksol
    " 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."
    That was it's ONLY interesting feature... The only bit they could sell it on. And it doesn't even work lol.
  • somebodyspecial
    MIRACAST your PC to your TV via shield. Or heck, if you don't have that HDMI it to your TV. Either way the point is NO NEED FOR CONSOLES and access to EVERY app or game on tegrazone or googleplay store with PC in there too. Android games/apps out of the house (or in I guess) and PC TO TV when IN the house. Thus no need for a VITA or 3DS either.

    Need for speed most wanted (as an example) is $36.50 at newegg for Vita. On android? $16 last I checked. See the point?
    Vita is $300, but can't run anything but a vita game. This is $350, runs any android app or game, gets PC to TV, or just stream to the unit itself, touch screen for browsing the web etc (you should be able to use android keyboards via the touch screen just like any nexus 10 etc). If you're dumb enough to browse on a 5in phone (heh, I would never) then this does that too. For $350 these are far better than a VITA which sales are dying and is already dead on the vine trying to get devs to make a game for them (check GDC 2013 survey for evidence nobody cares about VITA).
    GDC survey, only 5% of game developers plan ANY GAME for VITA vs. 60% planning mobile games for android/ios. If you want to play TONS of games you go mobile not VITA or 3DS.

    Vita hardware?
    CPU: ARM Cortex- A9 core (4 core)
    GPU: SGX543MP4+

    Tegra4 is more potent in BOTH cases. A15's are better than A9's in cpu and I'm pretty sure a SGX543MP4+ is outdone by T4's 72 gpu cores. :) So better hardware that more games will be made for. 3DS is even weaker, and note the survey shows only 2.84% plan any games for that. Good luck finding good games and mobile is just taking off. With samsung gs4 alone selling 10mil in a month why the heck would ANY dev make a game for 7mil TOTAL VITA's? You aim at GS4 and you'll have 100mil customers in the next 10 months alone...ROFL. Never mind the rest of the mobile onslaught added together. They are selling nearly a BILLION smartphones/tablets per year this year. Again why dev for 7mil Vita's? They are dead, so is 3DS soon. Even the WIIU (sales off 50% this last Q) only shows 6.47% so that's dead too!

    Devs go where the audience goes and they ALL went to mobile :) Goodbye consoles/handhelds, hello mobile. More games are planned for xbox360/ps3 (due to larger audience) than next gen consoles. ONly EA/ACtivision/MS/Sony plan anything for next gen right now. Indie can't afford to go there until there are 10-20mil in the wild or more and even selling games for $10 on android will blow away what you make on consoles with the audience upgrading hardware yearly to the tune of 1Billion units. This is why EPIC recently said they made far more money per $$ spend on development on Infinity blade than they did on Gears of War for consoles...LOL. This will only get worse as more games are aimed at higher end hardware. You could argue you can make a game for GS4 hardware and next year by the time you release even low end will be GS4 style and out of the gate you have 100mil+ users to aim at with S600/S800/T4/Octa all to aim at (which just by samsungs numbers should mean everything with these socs added up will be a few hundred million in a year). Consoles TOTAL (wiiu/ps3/xbox360) only equal ~35mil/yr and the hardware doesn't improve for 7-8yrs.

    Imagine your tablet/shield/ouya/phone in 3 yrs (just 2.5yrs after next gen ps4/xbox1). They will have T7 etc in them. T5 already running with kepler tech in it shown in battlefield 3 demo coming next may/june. Unreal 4 engine up and running in shield demo (not on shield but the exploded demo use unreal 4 engine, running on T5 Kayla) so T6 should handle unreal 4 easily and should be out Mid 2015. Heck T5 may be able to pull this off to a large degree (probably has 144 cores vs. 72 in T4...LOL). Anyone not seeing the writing on the wall for consoles vs. mobile is just not paying attention to DEVS making the games, and the fact that MOBILE revs YEARLY. I'd be surprise if T6 doesn't outgun consoles in 2015. At worst it's over in 2016 at 14nm for all these mobile chips. The console will be stuck in stone until 2020-2021. Do the freaking math people. :) They will be "GOOD ENOUGH" in 2015 with massive game developer movement to them and massive unit sales to shoot at. Once surpassed this story is just plain OVER.

    Nobody will make a game (but MS/Sony/Nin) for so few units in the wild vs an expected 1.5Billion units in 2016 for mobile. This story just keeps getting more massively in favor of mobile no matter how you slice it. Lets see a POSSIBLE 100mil in 3yrs for consoles or 1.5Bil comparable hardware mobile devices in 2015/2016?...Hmm...I think I'll make a game for mobile...LOL. Even selling games for $10 (and EA/Square Enix already have games $16-20) with 15x the audience, you have the potential to make $150 instead of $30-60 right? It's dumb to dev for consoles this time, which is why MS themselves is putting 1B into their games as nobody else will be joining :) If you get say 10% of the 100mil consoles in 3yrs at $60 you get 600mil for your game. If you get 10% of 1.5Bunits in 3yrs on mobile at $10 you get 1.5B for the same game even at a measly $10 (easier to sell me a $10 game than $60-70). You can double that if selling AAA type game like need for speed or final fantasy as they are $15-20 already on mobile. That's 3Billion for 10% of the audience vs. 600mil on ALL 3 consoles and you have to DEVELOP for 3 consoles that have different hardware where on android you aim at well, android. You may aim at specific hardware spec levels but it's just an android game. It's not quite like making a game for xbox360/ps3/wiiu (or PS4 & Xbox1 for that matter). And aiming high will eventually be playable a year or two later on EVERYTHING as the low end gets more potent each year too.

    3DS is $250 at newegg. 800x240 screen (or 320x240 for lower screen, and only 400pixels per eye in the high mode) vs. 720p on tegra shield (1280x720!). It's a 3.5in screen vs. 5in on shield too. There is just no comparison. For $100 you get a FAR more future proof (software wise already) system in shield and it can run all android apps etc. It's just BETTER. VITA res is 960 x 544, again lower than Shield at 1280x720, no HDMI etc etc...Again this sucks. 32GB of storage built in and 2GB ram and a slot for cards in the Shield. Vita comes with 512MB, 3DS 128MB. These are FAR weaker specs vs. Shield. Not quite sure why anyone doesn't get this, nor the price which is only $50 higher than Vita and 100 over 3DS. Would you want to play ANY game on the tv at Vita or 3DS res vs. 720p? NOPE, ah but then you can't even do that with 3DS or Vita...Why do people NOT understand this? Higher res, more power, out to TV, all android stuff, PC to TV (or direct on handheld), all for $50 or $100 more than handhelds.

    It's just sad AMD spent all the money on PS4/Xbox1 and to some degree WIIU (gpu). This will all be wasted shortly, and doesn't help my PC game experience much with NV owning things for now. It will take a while for AMD to recover from this crap and get drivers more in line with NV stuff. I hope they get their next gen right (volcanic) and I'm talking drivers & hardware not just great hardware. Shield on the other hand only cost 10mil to dev. So I'm guessing they'll break even at 100K units if that. I'm sure they make $100 on shield units since they own the whole thing not just a soc.
    Using that argument, everyone went to mobile and wants touch....... Win8 appears to be doing as well as most see this doing, in this "new" market.
    Time will tell, but so far, Win has certain mobile features no one wants, serious gamers dont want fly speck screens, or have a dedicated console or PC to game on.