Nvidia has shared a couple of updates on its upcoming Shield gaming handheld. Specifically, the “end of June” shipping estimate has now been pinned down to exactly one week from now on June 27, while an update to the device’s retail price means it’ll be $50 cheaper than originally planned. The company says the price drop comes in response to customer feedback saying Nvidia would have ‘a home run’ in their hands if priced at $299.
Whether some of that feedback came in the form of low pre-order numbers is unknown but it wouldn’t be that surprising to see such price sensitivity with so many gaming options being announced of late.
As it stands right now, the Shield is still $50 more than a PlayStation Vita and $100 cheaper than the upcoming PlayStation 4. Meanwhile, other Android-based console alternatives like Ouya are going for a bargain base price of $100, or $0 with a $6.99 monthly subscription in the case of GamePop -- which claims to support iOS games as well.
Nvidia’s Shield is based on the new Tegra 4 mobile chip, and comes in the shape of a console gaming controller with a 5-inch 1,280x720 capacitive touch screen attached to it. Tegra’s four CPU cores and 72 graphics cores support a maximum resolution of 3200 x 2000 pixels, however, so games can be played at full HD on a TV.
In terms of software the Shield will ship with an un-skinned, "pure" version of Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean, and as such it should be able to receive any updates Google releases in the future without much delay.
In addition to running Android games, the Shield can also stream games from your GeForce-equipped PC to the controller via Wi-Fi, where you can play them directly on the small screen or output to a TV. Paired with Steam’s Big Screen mode this means you can navigate your library and launch games without moving back to your PC.
Those who preordered the Shield prior to the price update will only be charged $300.