Nvidia Unveils Android-Powered ‘Project Shield’ Handheld Game Console at CES

One of the first devices unveiled at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show: Nvidia’s new portable video game console, “Project Shield.” The device reportedly uses the Android operating system and can stream games directly from a PC.

Photo credit: Mashable.com

The Nvidia name may not be as recognizable as Sony, Nintendo, or Microsoft, but it is a major video game company. For years, the firm has produced graphics cards and the corresponding display drivers for PCs and video game consoles, including Microsoft’s Xbox.

Project Shield will be different than your average home console, however. The device looks like your typical game controller, but it’s attached to a high-resolution (1280 x 720) screen.

Project Shield is very powerful, packing Nvidia’s own Tegra 4 processor and an ARM-based quad-core CPU under the hood. The device will be based on Google’s Android Jelly Bean operating system and will reportedly run Android applications like Netflix and Hulu.

Project Shield won’t use a disc drive for games, but will instead play titles downloaded from the Google Play store. Games can also be wirelessly streamed from a PC equipped with an Nvidia GeForce 650 GPU (or an Nvidia GPU of equal or higher quality).

Steam will also be a major source of games for Project Shield.

You read that right: Steam on a handheld gaming system that can also play Angry Birds, as well as NES ROMS — and anything else possible on Android.

Is this a dream device? Or will it fail?

Project Shield should become available in North America later this year. There’s no word yet on how much the device will cost.

Nvidia says the device will run on a battery that should last between ten and fifteen hours before requiring a recharge.

This is not the only PC-based console set for release in 2013. Gamers should also keep their eyes peeled for the upcoming Ouya and Steam Box devices.

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