With problems fixed, Nvidia plans July 31st launch of its Android gaming device, Shield

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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