NVIDIA's Android-powered SHIELD gaming handheld has had an interesting recent couple of months. After pre-orders for the device opened in May, SHIELD had its price reduced by $50 to a total of $299 a week ahead of its late June launch. Then just days before it was slated to begin shipping to buyers, NVIDIA announced that it was delaying SHIELD's rollout to address an unspecified "mechanical issue." SHIELD buyers have been waiting for a new ship date since then, and today they've finally gotten one.
In an email sent out to buyers this morning, NVIDIA announced that SHIELD will now begin shipping on July 31. "We want to thank you for your patience and for sticking with us through the shipment delay of your SHIELD," NVIDIA wrote in an email shared by Android Central. The company hasn't revealed exactly what the issue was that caused SHIELD's delay, saying only that it was related to a third-party component.
The NVIDIA SHIELD sports a 5-inch 1280x720 touchscreen that's attached to a full physical controller, complete with an assortment of triggers, buttons, and analog sticks. Buried inside the device is a quad-core Tegra 4 processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, microSD card slot, and 802.11n 2x2 Mimo Wi-Fi support. Rounding out the SHIELD's feature set is what looks to be a fairly-untouched version of Android Jelly Bean.
SHIELD's full-on controller and $299 price point make it a device that'll mostly appeal to the hardcore gaming crowd rather than casual gamers. The unit has several features that could make it appealing to heavy gamers, though, including the aforementioned full-on controller and the ability to stream PC games from a GeForce GTX-powered computer. Those features combined with its Android-base help to make SHIELD a bit different than the dedicated gaming handhelds that are currently available, and it'll be interesting to see if they'll cause users to prefer NVIDIA's device over the other units. Now that SHIELD is set to ship in less than two weeks, it won't be long before we find out.
Via Android Central