The NVIDIA Shield Portable (originally just NVIDIA Shield) was one of those rare Android devices that launched back when OEMs were still willing to experiment with Android hardware and various form factors.
As a gaming platform, Android seemed like a sure bet. It’s open source nature helped nudge NVIDIA to create the Shield, a portable gaming device with a display built into a full sized controller. While it wasn’t the smash hit NVIDIA wanted, I, personally always felt the hardware was great and honestly deserved a followup.
Seems NVIDIA (almost) felt the same way, as prototype versions of the NVIDIA Shield Portable 2 was sent to developers, but the device never officially ended up seeing the light of day. That is until someone happened upon one at a Canadian pawn shop.
A Reddit user posted photos of the device to the r/theNVIDIAShield subreddit that lines up perfectly with the device passing through the FCC back in January, but was never actually released. According to CPUZ-, the dev unit comes equipped with a 5.9-inch 1440 x 810 resolution display, 1.91GHz ARM Cortex-A57 CPU (likely the Tegra X1 chip) and 3GB of RAM. While the RAM sounds a bit on the skimpy side, keep in mind that you don’t need to much when the sole focus of the device is gaming (not multitasking).
It’s doubtful NVIDIA will ever see a consumer version of the device hit retail stores, but maybe you can come across one at your local pawn shop. Until then, I’ll continue holding onto blind hope that an even better spec’d version is still coming around the bend.