US computer chip maker Nvidia has finally announced the successor to its Shield portable game console, with the launch of a high-performance tablet on Tuesday. Called the Nvidia Shield Tablet, it is aimed at gamers who want the convenience of a mobile device. The older portable game console is still available, and is now called the Nvidia Shield Portable.
The Nvidia Shield Tablet, with an 8-inch 1920×1200 pixel display, “was built specifically for gamers,” according to the California company.
The Shield tablet is now up for pre-order, starting at $299 for the 16GB Wi-Fi only version. It has an optional $39 cover that can be used as a kickstand.
The Shield wireless controller can be added for $59, but is not required to play the games. A 32GB Wi-Fi/LTE version will be released later, priced at $399, whilst both variants support storage expansion via microSD card (up to 128GB).
The Nvidia Shield Tablet is powered by a Nvidia Tegra K1 chipset, featuring a 192-core Kepler GPU, and a 4+1 quad-core ARM Cortex A15 CPU clocked at 2.2GHz. It features 2GB of RAM.
It also is based on the Android 4.4 KitKat operating system to allow users to play Android games (with access to the Google Play store), browse the Web, and enjoy other tablet features along with a stylus for drawing on the tablet surface. The new device allows for streaming of games from a PC desktop or notebook computer, or from the Nvidia cloud.
Nvidia is also touting a Shield Hub app which lists over 400 optimised games. Finally, alongside its ShadowPlay gameplay recording technology, Nvidia has also announced Twitch integration that will let players record or broadcast gameplay to the streaming service.
“If you’re a gamer and you use a tablet, the Nvidia Shield Tablet was created specifically for you,” said Jen-Hsun Huang, Nvidia’s co-founder and chief executive officer.
“It delivers exceptional tablet performance and unique gaming capabilities to keep even the most avid gamers deeply immersed, anywhere they play.”
The company unveiled the Shield portable gaming device with a smaller screen and integrated controller in January last year, before finally launching it in select countries in July the same year.