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CES 2013: Nvidia leaps into handheld gaming with open-platform Project Shield

Consumer Reports News: January 07, 2013 02:23 PM

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You can always find some gaming news at CES. And this year, that news isn't minor: Nvidia has announced a new hand-held gaming console called Project Shield that can run both Android and PC games.

How does it do this? First, it's an Android device (using the Jellybean version of that OS), so any game offered in the Google Play app market is fair game. But also, says Nvidia, "as a wireless receiver and controller, it can stream games from a PC powered by Nvidia GeForce GTX GPUs." So as long as you have the right GPU—and you're close enough to your PC—you get portable PC gaming as well.

The Project Shield features a 5-inch, 1280x720 HD retinal multi-touch display (Nvidia calls it retinal, perhaps to distinguish it from Apple's proprietary Retina display technology). The display is coupled with a traditional-style game controller, as you can see in the above photo. And it's all powered by an Nvidia Tegra 4 processor.

You can use Android apps such as Hulu, Netflix and Slacker Radio on the device, too, according to Nvidia. And if you crave larger action, you can use it to play games on your TV screen.

No word from the company yet on availability or pricing; we'll update here if we hear anything.

Check out the rest of our CES 2013 coverage.

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