$299 Nvidia Shield Tablet Coming July 29

Tegra K1-powered tablet features 1200p display, MicroSD slot, and integrated Twitch streaming; separate $59 wireless controller also available at launch.

GPU-maker Nvidia has taken the wraps off its Shield Tablet, an 8-inch, 32-bit Tegra K1-powered tablet launching in the US on July 29, starting at $299 for a 16GB Wi-Fi model. A UK and European launch will follow in August, with the tablet priced at £229. All regions will receive a free copy of Trine 2 at purchase. Nvidia is also launching a separate controller for the tablet, which will retail at $59, and a cover with kickstand for $39. No discounted bundles will be available at launch.

The Shield Tablet features 2GB of RAM, a 1920x1200 pixel display, a MicroSD slot for up to 128GB of storage expansion, a 5MP front-facing camera as well as a 5MP autofocus rear camera, a stylus based on Nvidia's DirectStylus 2 technology, front-facing stereo speakers, 10 hours of battery life for video playback and 3-5 hours for gaming, and a construction that company claims dissipates twice as much heat as its rivals during extended gaming sessions. A version of the tablet with LTE and 32GB of memory will be available for $399.

On the software side, the Shield Tablet will ship with a largely stock version of Android 4.4.3, with just a few gaming tweaks. Twitch is integrated into the device system wide, allowing players to stream almost any app, game, or part of Android interface. The front-facing camera can be used for picture-in-picture, with audio coming from the integrated microphone or an external headset. When plugged into a TV, the tablet automatically switches into "Console Mode," which brings up a controller-optimised 1080p interface for launching and purchasing apps and games.

Other apps include 1080p Netflix streaming, Hulu Plus, Shadowplay for capturing gameplay footage, and Gamestream for streaming PC games directly to the tablet. 11 Tegra-K1 optimised games will be available at launch, including The Talos Principle, Half Life 2, and free-to-play shooter War Thunder, complete with cross-platform online play.

The separate wireless controller features the standard collection of buttons, triggers, and analogue sticks, as well as Android-specific home and back buttons. There's also a touch pad at the bottom for controlling mouse actions for games streamed from a PC via Gamestream, and buttons for adjusting the volume of the headset jack. In addition, the controller features an integrated microphone for controlling Google Now in Android, as well as voice chat in games.

Interestingly, the controller doesn't communicate over Bluetooth, but instead communicates via a proprietary WiFi standard, which Nvidia claims results in 2X less latency, and allows for up to four controllers to be paired with the tablet. The company is working with Google to integrate the specialised drivers into Android so other devices can make use of the controller, but has not confirmed a date for launch. Support for the controller is coming to the exisiting Shield Portable via a software update, though.

Also notable is that the Shield Tablet comes equipped with Nvidia's 32-bit Tegra K1 system on a chip, and not the flagship 64-bit version. However, the quad-core Cortex-A15 CPU and Kepler architecture graphics of the 32-bit Tegra K1 were used to great effect as this year's Google IO, with the chip being used to run an impressive Unreal Engine 4 demo in real time

GameSpot was at the unveiling of the Shield Tablet, so be sure to check out its initial impressions.

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Mark Walton

Mark is a senior staff writer based out of the UK, the home of heavy metal and superior chocolate.
48 comments
theencarnate
theencarnate

Too much emphasis on gaming. Which makes sense since this is aimed at gamers. However I'm not sure if a hard core twitch fan base would be drawn to gaming and streaming from a tablet. I was looking into buying an android tablet in 2015, and I think I'll either look 4 something cheaper or get something with better specs ( maybe nexus 8 ). Any suggestions?

PSYCHOV3N0M
PSYCHOV3N0M

That controller looks like the DualShock 4 and the X1 controller had a baby.....

eze_sl89
eze_sl89

you can only play cellphone games with this.

this is just a gimmick.

ouya, nvidia shield, they are all the same. just stick with your phone.

guydude3412
guydude3412

They should have put windows 8 on it and preloaded steam for real games.

suture
suture

You guys DO REALISE its an insanely powerfull android tablet and more importantly.. decent priced
Could not care less for the controller or game streaming of any kind, doesnt matter how good the stream is, .. its just a bonus.


I want a tablet to read manga and do random stuff, i think i will buy this one, the insanely extra power is always welcome.

Psycold
Psycold

Ain't nobody got time fo dat. 

frozenuxx
frozenuxx

Let it go Nvidia, just let it go!

rjh_24
rjh_24

so it costs as much as a current gen console LOL 

sonicblast19
sonicblast19

Who thinks this is a good idea?Why in the whole wide world would I ever play on a 7.9inch screen with a controller?Why not play on my PC with the controller?Seriously,if the Nvidia Shield handheld was a good idea,this si crap.

Defender1978
Defender1978

Personally I prefer my Kindle Fire.  Nothing beats PC for gaming.  My Wii U is great for Nintendo games and my Xbox One doubles as a great multimedia center/gaming console, but nothing beats PC.  Of course, if I want to game on the go, that's what my 3ds and Vita are for.  

jinzo9988
jinzo9988

Even if you think tablet gaming is a joke, $299 for a tablet with a lot of performance under the hood is nothing to scoff at.  If the touch screen is rock solid, the build quality is rock solid, the Wi-Fi is rock solid, and Android is your thing, this could be taken seriously as a general-use tablet.

lem10001
lem10001

I love my Tegra Note 7 but... it's obviously time to upgrade... I mean it's like... 2 months old already.

AzureBonds76
AzureBonds76

I've seen a few articles on Eurogamer on this device. It can run Portal and what appears to me to the naked eye similar resolution to the console ports of it at between 60 - 30 fps (the frame rate jumps all over the place). Also there was another vid of it running Half Life 2 but I haven't looked at that one yet.


Moral of the story is..if you want a portable gaming device that can play PC games, save up for a laptop.

artisticg33k23
artisticg33k23

@eze_sl89 That's actually wrong.  If you have a nvidia graphics card you can actually stream PC games to your TV and play with the controller.

chiporeo
chiporeo

@suture Oh I was about to comment about how OP this junk was, ya for daily use this thing is pretty nice. I might pick one up too.

rasterror
rasterror

And costs less than a comparable iPad. And I don't see anyone playing a PS4 or Xbox One on the go.

fede018
fede018

@sonicblast19 what if someone is using your PC? what if you want to play in your bed before going to sleep? Ever thought of that, genius?

Kryptonbornson
Kryptonbornson

@Defender1978  Too many gaming/computing devices. I hope devices like the Shield tablet kill that soon, not one day. Heck, Nintendo has no reason not to make a console that doubles as an Android tablet. Piracy? One can play Wii games on PC if they know how. No reason they couldn't do exactly like Nvidia and put stock Android on it, but have a custom Nintendo store only on Nintendo hardware, maybe only playable on Nintendo controllers. Sony doesn't need a console, not profitable enough, nor does Microsoft since they have Windows (also not profitable enough). I'd be happy with a PC, tablet, and smartphone for gaming with various peripherals and game/app stores to augment the experience.

michyeosseo
michyeosseo

@jinzo9988 But why would you need that kind of performance on a tablet if it's just for general use? Don't get me wrong, it looks like a nice tablet and it seems competitively priced for its specs, but if you're just gonna browse the internet, use Skype and play a round of Angry Birds, why not just go for a $150 tablet?

Kryptonbornson
Kryptonbornson

@lem10001  I read tech news. I almost got a Tegra Note 7 about 2 months ago as well, my patience paid off.

jinzo9988
jinzo9988

@berserker66666 #1, custom built-in screen versus most flat-screen TVs being 1080p.  2 completely different things.  #2, if you think it'll run XONE-quality graphics at 1200p, especially with only 2 GB of RAM to work with, you're dreaming.

suture
suture

@Kryptonbornson @suture i considered that but.. the fact that all kindles are locked to amazon app store and the most recent kindle having also 2560 x 1600 pixels is not a good thing.


Also regarding the old kindles, i dont like to buy gadgets with outdated specs, i usually regret that, but i also know when too much is too much.
2560 x 1600 pixels (QHD) is a retarded resolution for mobile gadgets, transforms them in pure battery hogs not to mention the performance is seriously crippled.

They are not ready for that yet.

1080p is already overkill for smartphone, but imo its adequate for a tablet because of the bigger battery and bigger screen.
So ill avoid QHD smartphones and tablets for some time.


rjh_24
rjh_24

@rasterror lol thanks capt obvious i do see people playing 3ds on the go which is half the price 

frozenuxx
frozenuxx

@fede018 @rjh_24

Didn't you know? He can walk around with those and take the metro.

rjh_24
rjh_24

@fede018 @rjh_24 yea im not spending 400$ on a portable device genius i would rather buy a 3ds

ps3gamer1234
ps3gamer1234

@frozenuxx Did not know GameSpot allowed videos in its comments.

sonicblast19
sonicblast19

@fede018 Umm,sorry but I doubt you can hold that tablet and the controller at the same time in your bed and I am sure as hell it's far for comfortable,sounds good only on paper,the original sheidl at least had a handheld formfactor which made what you said plausible.

jinzo9988
jinzo9988

@michyeosseo @jinzo9988 Depends on what you're using it for and what $150 equivalents you're looking at.  I used to have a $150 tablet in the house... it was a gift and it was absolutely atrocious to use.  Are there better ones?  Probably.  That's why I said if the touch screen is great and the build quality is great, then it could be taken as a high-end Android tablet.

Let me put it this way... why do people get Samsung Galaxy tablets?  The Galaxy Tab 4 8" is around the same price.  The iPad dwarfs this thing in price and people still buy them... I mean even the iPad Mini dwarfs it in price.  This thing fits in the Kindle Fire HD price range, the Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 eclipses it in price and it's also an Android tablet... I could go on and on.  Apparently there's a market for tablets in this price range.  The performance gets you OS smoothness, less lag with opening/closing apps, and it probably helps with HD video playback which is a big problem with cheaper tablets.

Kryptonbornson
Kryptonbornson

@gajbutler @rjh_24 @fede018  Yep. They're the same market or close to it. Definitely a direct competitor to Vita, 3DS, and Wii U even if "gamers" don't see it that way. It's about what kids and their parents want first that dictates who'll get the most hardware and software sales. Price probably isn't a factor considering how well Apple did with tablets. But can Nvidia market it and make it cool and/or the "it" device for gaming?

rjh_24
rjh_24

@gajbutler @rjh_24 @fede018 i was just saying i would rather spend half the money on a 3ds then buying this for 400$ sorry man you guys take your tablets seriously huh

suture
suture

I dont like to stream games and not even walk around with a controller.

But this, as an android tablet, is insanely powerfull and decent priced.

Why do i want a powerfull tablet for general use, because pretty much every cheap tablet out there suck and lags, and everyone surprinsingly wants a cheap crappy tablet and expects to run everything flawlessly.

And some even stupidly blame the OS android for the crappy performance after comparing with an 500$ ipad.

Well, id rather buy a decent gadget even its a little more expensive like this one, and i dare to say 299$ for this insane tablet its really cheap.

And the extra raw power is always welcome.