Tegra K1-Powered Shield Tablet Expands Nvidia’s Gaming Console Line

Nvidia’s new Android gaming console has finally been confirmed. The Shield Tablet, as it is called, is meant to exhibit never-seen-before performance in gaming, mostly due to the Tegra K1 SoC that powers it.

Even though the original Shield was impressive on its own, it was rather niched, both because of its form factor and price. The Shield Tablet, on the other hand, should appeal to more people, as its screen size makes it ideal for gaming. Most people assumed that Nvidia’s tablet would come with a detachable controller, but the graphics card manufacturer surprised us with another accessory. Those who would rather press physical buttons instead of tapping the display of the tablet have the Shield Wireless Controller at their disposal.

The 8-inch display of the Shield Tablet is flanked by (what I assume to be) stereo speakers. A screen of that size, paired with the Tegra K1 chip that Nvidia claims to be a lot faster than the Tegra 4 that powered the Nvidia Shield, turns gaming into a very enjoyable experience. It’s a bit weird, though, that Nvidia decided to go for a 1920×1200 resolution instead of 1920×1080.

Nvidia’s TegraZone has been renamed in order to accommodate what is now a family of products. Now known as the Shield Hub, it provides the interface necessary for gaming. As for the games that people can play on the Shield Tablet, there are plenty of options, both among Android titles and games that are streamed from PCs running particular models of Nvidia graphics cards. The technology that enables this is intuitively called GameStream, but Nvidia’s Grid cloud will also be tested out.

The Shield Wireless Controller will enable gamers to control the Shield Tablet over Wi-Fi. It sports headphone and microphone jacks that facilitate communication while gaming. On top of that the Shield Controller can be used for media playback and Google voice commands.

The Nvidia Shield Tablet and Shield Wireless Controller will be launched on July 29, but anyone interested in these can already place a pre-order at select retailers. Depending on the storage capacity and on whether the tablet has LTE support or not, the price will range between $299 and $399. The Shield Wireless controller, on the other hand, will cost $59.

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