Nvidia launched its new Android-powered handheld gaming console, nicknamed Project Shield, on Sunday, and we took the chance to have a play at CES 2013, both with standard Android titles and streaming games directly from a PC.
Project Shield looks like a console gaming pad with a mini TV bolted on top, and it’s certainly comfortable to clutch. It’s a lightweight device, roughly the same weight as a PlayStation 3 controller. That five-inch display cleverly folds down over the controls when not in use, making it easy to transport while protecting the screen.
Within seconds of grabbing hold we were merrily gunning down terrorists in Call Of Duty: Black Ops 2, which was streaming via Wi-Fi from a nearby PC. Project Shield will happily run any of your PC titles, such as the latest Steam games, providing that your computer and the device are both wirelessly connected. The experience was fantastic, with no lag or other issues.
Five inches might not be much, and we did have to squint a little to work out which characters were the baddies and which were our own troops. However, it’s certainly usable, and not much smaller than the PS Vita’s display. Images were sharp and certainly rivalled the Vita.
Controls-wise, you get dual thumbsticks which are essential for the likes of first-person shooters. They proved very responsive, especially for us PlayStation fans. You also have a D-Pad, four action buttons, a Start button, volume controls and standard Android buttons for returning to the desktop. From the desktop you can access all of your apps as normal, or browse the web just like a tablet.
Around the back of the device you have shoulder buttons and an HDMI port for connecting to a big-screen TV.
We’re looking forward to spending more time with Nvidia’s Project Shield when it comes to the UK, but it’s still not a finished unit, so don’t expect to see it until the second half of 2013.