Official: Pre-order the NVIDIA SHIELD for $349, expect it to launch in US & Canada this June

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If you’ve been following Project SHIELD since its unveiling and have been excited as we are for its arrival, you’ll get a kick out of this morning’s news. NVIDIA has announced that the device is no longer considered a “project” — it’s full-on SHIELD, baby, and it’s just about ready to be shipped to those willing to drop a little cash on it.

Shipping this June to pre-orderers in the United States and Canada, the NVIDIA Shield has been given a price tag of $349.99, and will be available at retailers Newegg, GameStop, Micro Center, and Canada Computers. For that, you’re getting a Tegra 4 powered device which also houses a 5-inch 720p HD display, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage with an expansion bay, HDMI out, Android 4.2.1 or greater (it might be upgraded before it launches) and more.

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The gaming handheld will ship with two games on board, and will come pre-loaded with NVIDIA Tegra Zone to help you find more games optimized for the device’s powerful Tegra 4 chipset. There’s also access to the Google Play Store, so any apps or games you want are as freely available as they would be on an Android phone or tablet.

According to an NVIDIA spokesperson, the engineers have been hard at work tweaking SHIELD after receiving key feedback by those who’ve tried it. To be more specific, the complaints of slightly muddy button controls and loose triggers have been addressed, as well as the hinge that didn’t initially give folks much confidence in its quality and durability. The result is a tighter, more solid feeling device that not only looks like it’s worth $350, but feels like it, as well.

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NVIDIA also mentioned its Steam-powered streaming games functionality, GRID, that would allow you to stream GeForce GTX-enabled games to your handset over your wireless network. The mobile silicon vendor notes that the service is still considered beta, but not because there will be any missing functionality. The beta tag will serve as a reminder that not all games and router combinations have been fully.

That said, a good 15-20 games and a nice selection of routers have proven to work quite solidly, and NVIDIA says some other big picture games and any 802.11n dual-band WiFi routers might work (but nothing is promised). We weren’t able to get a full list of games that have been tested just yet, but those details will make their way to the forefront in due time. The list will continue to be updated after the device has launched, of course, so if your favorite game isn’t officially supported now that doesn’t mean it won’t be in the future.

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SHIELD will ship in WiFi-only flavors, but NVIDIA wasn’t shy in letting us know that 3G and 4G equipped models would get major consideration down the line. That isn’t a promise of anything to come, but if you aren’t comfortable owning a SHIELD without any cellular radios there’s good reason to hold out hope.

The SHIELD will be available alongside a couple of different accessories: a $40 carrying case and $20 custom lids in your choice of carbon black or glossy black. Aside from being able to house the SHIELD itself, the carrying case will have room for an extra lid, and features a wrist-strap for easy carrying and access to the device’s charging port while it’s inside.

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Those who signed up to be notified of the device’s arrival at SHIELD’s official website will be able to pre-order the device starting this morning, while the rest of the general public won’t get a shot until May 20th. Head to NVIDIA’s site at the source link for more information, and see if this powerful handheld is compelling enough to consider throwing your hard-earned dollars at ahead of its official launch next month.

[via NVIDIA]

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  • http://www.colossaldamage.com/ SuperMarino

    So this can, theoretically, evolve into a full Android game system (probably adding in all the rumored ‘game center’ stuff around the corner) and also be a Steam Box (provided you have a decent PC to stream from). I’m way more interested in this than something like OUYA.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=653786823 Neto Lugo

      I agree. This calls to me alot more then OUYA. Should go with with my current PC. Time for dinner? dont gotta pause anything lol

      • gameraddikted

        It sure does. I’ve been waiting for this for so long. I did read a while back that the grid will only be compatible with the new gtx 600 series cards but hopefully they’ve decided to support others to cater to more consumers. Luckily for me I purchased a 670 just in case! Lol

        • gameraddikted

          Looks like it’s confirmed requires GTX 650 or greater. They’re going to miss out on a lot of potential customers. Especially with the amd crowd but I understand why they want it an nvidia exclusive. Luckily im still good!

          • renz

            afaik if supporting the other card was possible then nvidia has long done so just like they make GTX200 able to use surround feature although the feature did not come prior to GTX400 series. the thing about Shield streaming function is the feature need specific hardware that only available on Kepler cards. that hardware does not exist in fermi card or older so the talk about shield streaming function for amd card are totally out.

      • http://www.colossaldamage.com/ SuperMarino

        I hooked up a nice gaming rig to my 60 inch TV. Of course, the wife likes to boot me off of it to watch some awful tv shows. So this could do what the Wii U is supposed to, just send my game mobile and let me continue.

        If I did try to play at the dinner table… well, she’d probably beat me. :(

    • No_Nickname90

      I’m seeing that too.

  • WhoaManWtF

    The price point for me is simply too high for what is effectively a game boy replacement. I already have a fast phone with a moga controller why is this worth another 350…

    • Caleb Morales

      Your fast phone has a Tegra 4 processor too???

      • TechGuy22

        lol blind fanboy. if you think thing that cost 350 dollars is a good deal. then im sure you are one of those people that think ipad mini price is a deal too.

        • Caleb Morales

          Guess I gotta work on my sarcasm

        • Tony Lai

          Exactly, i LOL at people who have iPad Mini.

      • simpleas

        Around the time this comes out, mobiles phones with better cpu / gpu should also be avilable.

    • godrilla

      just like the ps vita price fell from launch, im expecting the same at least by $50.

    • HotInEER

      I agree. I want one, but not at this price point. Maybe $199 to $249.

  • TechGuy22

    way too much for a controller.

    • Younanomous

      Yes, $350 is way too much for a controller. But who would consider this just a contoller? You’re getting something that’s more powerful than most phones available today just without phone capabilities. I got my 16GB Nexus 4 for $350, I’d have to pay over $50 for a decent controller, and for now, I can only dream of streaming my PC games to my phone, let alone my TV in the living room. I’ll wait to see how this turns out before I commit to a purchase, but I totaly expected this thing to cost upwards of $500.

  • godrilla

    1) 2nd quarter became 3rd quarter. 2) pc streaming feature is a beta feature ( expect bugs ) 3) price is a bit steep at least $50 imo, plus they have a section for promo codes, im expecting discount codes with graphics card bundles. ill wait before preordering for mid July!

  • Tony Lai

    Is it touch screen enabled?
    Man.. $350 for a premium Android graded gaming… hmm… Maybe I will wait for the next generation NEXUS 7…

  • TechGuy22

    My vita is still the winner.

  • guitarist5122

    Knock $200 off and maybe we’ll talk. This thing will flop with the likes of PSPs and Gameboys out there. Phones are powerful enough to play great android games. And a bluetooth controller is cheaper.

    • Montisaquadeis

      You have no idea how much the PSP took off mainly in japan of course but still.

  • Jay

    Believe In The Shield

  • http://twitter.com/SpamStream lolwut

    $RAEP

  • Banned_from_Japan

    This is a bit steep…..Maybe could see $149.99 or $199.99…..not console prices…

  • Sean Royce

    I just gotta say, I do love the look of this device.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jdtsai Jeffrey Tsai

    Does Shield circumvent normal Android limitations and allow installation of games to SD? How much of the onboard 16 GB is actually available for use? Or will this be like the S4?

  • james ortiz

    completely nuts for that price……..have a feeling this will fail.

  • XtremeMorph

    I think this would eventually sit alone side with PS Vita, 3DS and the likes.
    - It chances of succeed is high because
    1. It packs with powerful processor with focus on graphics
    2. It has Tegra zone that focus on graphic dev on game (Exynos even is powerful but not dedicated. Try Dead Trigger on a Tegra 3 vs Exynox GS3)
    3. IT’s on Android.. how much developers are there already?

    Not a fanboy because i have all the device listed above.. i’m just an addict….. with financial suicide desire…