NVIDIA Announces a New Gaming Handheld

Project Shield allows Android-based games and PC games to be played in the palms of your hands.

Erik Norrisby Erik Norris


The 2013 Consumer Electronics Show technically starts tomorrow, January 8th, but that hasn’t stopped NVIDIA from unveiling a new gaming handheld that has the video game industry buzzing this fine morning.

“Project Shield,” as the device is being called, will be able to play both Android and PC games using the company’s new Tegra 4 processor. While being able to play Android-based games is neat, the real seller of this new handheld is the ability to play full PC titles, although there is a catch that I’ll get to shortly.

In the trailer below, you see the recently released free-to-play Hawken running on device, and that’s apparently not just for demo purposes. The device can actually handle games of that kind of graphical prowess. Now imagine the possibilities.

Now because Project Shield is a wireless receiver and controller, you’ll also be able to stream PC games, as long as they're powered by NVIDIA GeForce GTX GPUs. Meaning, you can access your Steam library from anywhere in your house (think Wii U’s tablet). There is even a HDMI port on the controller to hook the device up to a television.

The only downside is that once you leave the house, it appears as though you can only really access the Android games you have stored on the handheld. The official press release doesn’t mention anything about full PC title storage, which is a bummer.

As far as specs go, the Shield offers a 5-inch, 1280×720 HD retinal multi-touch display. Additionally, the handheld offers an impressive sound system with a dynamic range “never before available on a portable device” that has twice the low-frequency output of high-end laptops. You can also use Shield for apps such as Hulu, Netflix and Slacker Radio.  

If Project Shield makes a big splash upon its eventual release, we’ll return with more coverage. We’re definitely cautiously optimistic about this one, but we’re not sure what market it really caters to once you leave your home's WiFi network. 

Erik Norris is the Gaming Editor for CraveOnline. You can follow him on Twitter @Regular_Erik.