The NVIDIA Shield is of course the other major Android based game console besides the Ouya and the GameStick. Both the Ouya and the GameStick are by smaller and less well-known companies but found great success as crowd funded projects on Kickstarter. The NVIDIA Shield on the other hand is designed by GPU giant NVIDIA and it is going to cost more than both the Ouya and GameStick combined.
Unlike the Ouya and GameStick that uses less powerful current technology, the Shield will be powered by NVIDIA’s own next generation quad-core Tegra 4 SoC. The GPU on the Tegra 4 is said to be 6 times faster than the Tegra 3. While it is getting a little long at the tooth, the Tegra 3 is no slouch when it comes to graphics. If the Tegra 4 lives up to its graphical reputation, it is going to be quite a powerhouse.
The Tegra 4 chip has 4 1.9 GHz ARM Cortex A15 cores plus an additional 5th low powered A15 core for performing background tasks to save power.
The other reason for the NVIDIA Shield’s higher cost is the inclusion of a 5 inch, 1280 x 720 high-resolution display. This makes the Shield a truly portable device like a PlayStation Vita or Nintendo 3DS. The NVIDIA Shield will also allow compatible PCs to stream games to the device, similar to Sony’s Remote Play function on the PS3 that streams to the PSP or Vita. However, the game streaming feature will only be available as a beta feature at launch.
The NVIDIA Shield was first announced in January during CES 2013 and it has now been revealed that it will start shipping to customers starting June 30th. It is currently available on pre-order from NIVIDIA’s online store at $349 for US and Canada customers. Two free full games, Expendable: Rearmed and Sonic 4 Episode II THD are included with the console.