Nvidia ships $299 Shield handheld gaming console after delay

Nvidia's Shield handheld gaming console is a controller with a 5-inch popup screen

Nvidia's Shield gaming handheld from top (1)

Nvidia's Shield gaming handheld from top (1)

After a month delay and a price drop, Nvidia has started shipping the US$299 Shield handheld gaming console via its website and online retail stores.

Shield looks much like a traditional gaming controller, but it has a 5-inch pop-up screen that can display images at 720p (1280 x 720 pixel) resolution. The hardware has Nvidia's latest quad-core Tegra 4 chip, which can support a resolution of 3200 x 2000 pixels so games can be played in full high-definition on attached TV sets.

"Powered by the world's fastest mobile processor, Nvidia Tegra 4, Shield introduces an entirely new class of portable gaming with rich, immersive graphics," the company said in a blog entry.

The Shield is available from Nvidia, Newegg, GameStop, Microcenter and Canada Computers.

The handheld gaming console was due to ship in June, but mechanical issues forced Nvidia to delay it by a month. Shield was originally priced at $349, but that was dropped to $299 as the company tried to make the device affordable for a wider audience. Nvidia had originally targeted Shield at gaming enthusiasts or users of the company's graphics cards.

Shield comes with Android 4.1, code-named Jelly Bean, and more than 100 games will be available for download from the Google Play store. Games for the console can also be downloaded from Nvidia's TegraZone store, which lists 110 games.

It weighs 579 grams, and has 802.11n Wi-Fi to play PC games streamed from a nearby computer with a Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 graphics processor or better. Other features include 16GB of flash storage, stereo speakers, Bluetooth 3.0 and GPS capabilities. The device has mini-HDMI and micro-USB slots, and a MicroSD slot for expandable storage. There's also a headphone jack. The game controller looks similar to PlayStation and Xbox controllers with features such as the D-pad, bumpers and A/B/X/Y buttons.

Nvidia's competitors in the handheld console market are the Sony PlayStation Vita and Nintendo's 3DS, which are less expensive. But the graphics company hopes to provide a gaming experience similar to that on Sony's PlayStation 4 and Microsoft's Xbox One, which will ship for the year-end holiday season. The PS4 and Xbox One will use chips from Nvidia rival Advanced Micro Devices.

Nvidia also hopes the console could be used as an end device for cloud gaming, in which games are streamed over the Internet from remote servers. Nvidia offers the Visual Computing Appliance (VCA) server for that purpose and has also partnered with IBM and Dell to design servers loaded with graphics cores.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Game platformsconsumer electronicsgamesnvidia

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Crucial Ballistix Elite 32GB Kit (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 UDIMM

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Plox Star Wars Death Star Levitating Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?