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Summary:

The wait for Nvidia Shield is almost over. Initially, the $299 Android gaming handheld was due in June but a last-minute issue was found. Now that shipments are near, will Shield score a big sales win?

Nvidia Project Shield

After an initial delay, gamers don’t have to wait much longer for Nvidia Shield. The handheld gaming device starts shipping to customers on July 31 according to an Nvidia blog post on Sunday. Originally, Shield was set for a June delivery date but a last-minute mechanical problem was found in the device and the company decided to address it before any units shipped

Last month, we made the difficult decision to delay the launch of SHIELD due to a mechanical issue we found in our rigorous testing process. Since then we have been working non-stop to put SHIELD through its paces and ensure it meets the highest quality control standards in the industry.

This marks the second change to Nvidia’s Shield, which was introduced at January’s Consumer Electronics Show. The game controller with integrated 5-inch touch display and Tegra 4 processor debuted with a $349 price tag but Nvidia later announced a $50 price cut; even for those who already pre-ordered.

nvidia-shieldConsumers will be able to see and try Shield, which runs Google Android, at select GameStop, Microcenter and Canada Computers locations in the U.S. and Canada.

That in-store experience may help because, on paper, a $299 price tag for a dedicated Android gaming device could be a tough sell. Shield can also be used to stream and play PC games via the Steam gaming platform, but essentially the standalone device is mainly meant to provide hardware controls and better sound quality to Android games.

Even though some game titles are optimized for Nvidia’s Tegra 4 chip, I suspect Android gamers will opt for a lower-cost option, such as the $49 Moga Pro Controller, which adds hardware controls to an existing Android handset.

This post was updated on July 23 at 6:33am to accurately reflect usage of the Tegra 4 chip.

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  1. alexmedawayhasleftthebuilding Monday, July 22, 2013

    i love the concept. i find playing iphone games in bed a much more pleasant activity than playing console games on the couch (okay, mostly due to insomnia, since i am forced to do something lest i just stare at the goddamn ceiling for four hours). but obviously the iphone hardware is limited for complex gameplay. now that’s solved.

  2. Buzz Killjoy Monday, July 22, 2013

    I hope it does well enough to facilitate some real Android game development and/or ports, because I certainly don’t need a $300 remote control for my $1000+ gaming rig.

  3. I can’t see most gamers paying $300 for this. It might find a few buyers, but ultimately this has failure written all over it.

  4. Tegra 4, not Tegra 3.

    1. Kevin C. Tofel Tom Tuesday, July 23, 2013

      Ack – thanks for the catch Tom. I should have known it was Tegra 4; I was at the darn launch event! ;)

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