NVIDIA’s New Shield Tablet Takes Portable Gaming to the Next Level
Back in 2013, we saw the launch of first end-to-end consumer product: NVIDIA Shield. Now, Nvidia has unveiled the next generation of its Shield gaming hardware.
Later this month, the company will be offering a new Shield Wireless Controller and the Tegra K1-powered Shield Tablet, changing up the formula from the original Shield clamshell portable that was announced at the beginning of last year.
The new NVIDIA Sheild will replace original Shield’s 5-inch screen in favor of a bigger 8-inch, 1080p display. The Shield Tablet is equipped with an 8-inch 1,920 x 1,200 display, a 2.2Ghz quad-core A15 CPU, 2GB RAM and Nvidia’s impressive Tegra K1 mobile processor.
On the software side, it will be shipped largely with a stock of the Android 4.4.3, with just a few gaming tweaks. Twitch is integrated into the device system, allowing players to stream almost any app, game, or part of the Android interface.
The front-facing camera can be used for picture-in-picture, with audio coming from the integrated microphone or an external headset. When plugged into a TV, the tablet automatically switches into “Console Mode,” which brings up a controller-optimised 1080p interface for launching and purchasing apps and games.
It is equipped with a pair of front-facing stereo speakers sporting a solid and sleek design. At 9.2mm thick and weighing 390 grams, it’s also small and light enough to easily toss into a bag or purse when on the go.
Some apps that come out of the box include 1080p Netflix streaming, Hulu Plus, Shadowplay for capturing gameplay footage and Gamestream for streaming PC games directly to the tablet. 11 Tegra-K1 optimised games will be available at launch, including The Talos Principle, Half Life 2 and War Thunder, complete with cross-platform online play.
The new Shield Controller is similar to the game pad found with the current Shield portable, but features a smoother attractive design. Its layout features a pair of analog sticks at the bottom, a directional pad on the top left, four face buttons to the right and a set of dual-shoulder buttons that are perpendicularly-aligned, not unlike those on the Xbox 360 controller. In the center of the controller are buttons that are used to navigate around Android and Nvidia’s software, as well as launch voice-activated commands.
Nvidia’s new Shield Tablet will be available for an affordable $299 USD with 16GB of built-in storage and Wi-Fi connectivity. Doubling the storage and adding LTE will cost $399—the tablet is compatible with AT&T and T-Mobile in the United States. The Shield Controller will be sold for $59, and a cover for the tablet that can also be used as a kick stand is priced at $39.