Nvidia's Project Shield handheld gaming device, now called simply Shield, will be available for pre-order on May 20 priced at $349, though it won't ship to customers until the end of June.
Shield takes the form of a console game controller with a 5-inch, pop-up screen that can display images at a 720p (1280 x 720 pixel) resolution. It runs on Nvidia's latest Tegra 4 chip, which has four CPU cores and 72 graphics cores to support a maximum resolution of 3200 x 2000 pixels, so games can be played at full HD on an attached TV.
Shield will be available for order through Nvidia's website and via retailers Newegg, GameStop, Micro Center and Canada Computers. The handheld was introduced at the International CES in January.
Shield runs the Android 4.1 OS, code-named Jellybean. Games will be available for download from the Google Play store and from gaming libraries like Steam and Nvidia's TegraZone. TegraZone currently lists 76 games, including "Max Payne," "Sonic 4," "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City" and "NBA 2K13."Nvidia insists the gaming experience on Shield will be better than on smartphones. With 802.11n Wi-Fi, the handheld can also play PC games streamed from a computer with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 graphics processor or better.
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