As I’m typing this, the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show is happening, and usually, we don’t report on it. See, there typically isn’t anything gaming related happening at the show, unless you count new graphics cards and processors as…well, gaming news. Though speaking on graphics cards, NVIDIA took to the stage today to announce something…rather surprising. That they’re getting into the handheld gaming market, and they’re doing so with a little device they’re calling “Shield”.
The device was announced at NVIDIA’s presser, which will be powered by the Tegra 4 chip – which combines both its processor and graphics card into one (conveniently, the Tegra 4 was also announced at this presser). It’s also an Android powered device, features a 5″ touchscreen, capable of 720P display, but also features microSD and HDMI support if you prefer. Not to mention by using HDMI, it can also support 4K resolutions, provided the monitor/TV you’re hooking the Shield up to can actually support 4K. As far as the device looks, think a Nintendo DS/3DS, but instead of a touchscreen on the bottom of the device, it has a controller looking thing. Battery life is expected to be 5-10hrs long, with no details on price or even a release date.
Now, you may be wondering why show a picture of the device with Borderlands on it? Well, here’s the interesting thing. See, while the Shield can easily run Android games, it can also connect to your PC wirelessly to access media content on the device, or on the TV. With this, you’re able to stream PC games to the device, or hook it up to your TV to get the game on the bigger screen, while it all renders on your PC. The device was able to connect to Steam and play games, which should allow people a much easier way to link their TV and gaming PC instead of, y’know, actually moving the PC and hooking it up via HDMI.
So…yeah. Not quite sure what to think on this one. It’s certainly an interesting idea, but I feel like I need more info – because the way I read it all, it’s a perfect compliment to those who are not only already hooked into the NVIDIA ecosystem and are big on PC gaming. Which if you are, why would you need this thing? More than likely if you want this to play on your TV, you’ve already hooked up your PC via HDMI and are rocking an Xbox 360 controller. Not to mention it looks rather uncomfortable and looks rather silly. Again, it doesn’t sound like a totally insane idea, but there just isn’t enough to completely sell me on it. Though on the bright side, it does match the Razer Switchblade in terms of concept…and level of stupid looking…