The Shield, if that’s what we’re calling it, features a directional pad, two analogue sticks and four lettered buttons laid out in the traditional diamond pattern. In short, it looks like something Microsoft might have designed in 2001. Forbes report it’s to be released in the summer of 2013 at a TBD price.
The Shield renders a video of whatever’s happening on your PC wirelessly via its five-inch 1280x720 screen. It makes use of Nvidia’s Kepler architecture, which the company claims solves related issues with latency (that is, the time between player input and on-screen response). Shield games can also be displayed on an HDTV via an HDMI port.
PC games - including those in your Steam library - can be streamed from a Windows PC equipped with a GeForce GTX 670 graphics card or higher over wi-fi. The Shield is powered by Nvidia’s Tegra 4 processor, and its 33Wh battery should offer between five and ten hours of play.
Here’s Ubisoft head Yves Guillemot on the subject: “Project Shield promises to bring both mobile and PC gamers a great new gaming experience. Seeing the PC version of Assassin’s Creed III run on the device is a great example of this, and further strengthens Ubisoft’s long-standing relationship with NVIDIA.”
“With Project Shield, NVIDIA brings an uncompromising, high-performance console experience to mobile devices,” said Mark Rein, vice president of Epic Games. “Amazing games including Real Boxing and Hawken, which utilize the latest Unreal Engine technology, look fantastic on Project Shield. This is just the beginning, and we're truly excited to see what more Unreal Engine developers will do with so much horsepower in such a compact gaming device.”
Meteor Entertainment’s Bill Wagner added: “Coming from the openness of a PC platform, we love how accessible Project Shield is, and the flexibility it gives gamers everywhere. Project Shield gives us the cutting-edge ability to bring a huge free-to-play PC game like Hawken to the handheld gaming audience.”
And finally, here’s Jen-Hsun Huang, CEO and co-founder of Nvidia: "Project Shield was created by Nvidia engineers who love to game and imagined a new way to play. We were inspired by a vision that the rise of mobile and cloud technologies will free us from our boxes, letting us game anywhere, on any screen.”
Free us from our boxes, Nvidia, by all means. This could be bloody brilliant - albeit the sort of brilliant that doesn’t leave the house. What PC game would be best suited to handheld play, do you think?