Nvidia has unveiled the SHIELD gaming tablet and controller

Nvidia announced today two new members of the SHIELD family, the SHIELD tablet and the SHIELD controller for gaming. This comes on the heels of the Nvidia SHIELD portable released a year ago. I think the SHIELD tablet will get a warm reception by the press and gamers for multiple reasons and a much better initial reception than the SHIELD portable first received. Let me explain first why we’re seeing a gaming tablet now. As in all markets, the tablet market is starting to mature. For the first time ever, year on year growth declined, albeit due to phablet penetration, but also because of maturity. Nvidia, with the SHIELD tablet, is delivering the first consumer tablet optimized for games in its design, integration, software, and peripherals. Nvidia made a few tradeoffs to hit the $299 price point, but as in life, that’s just a reality.

Nvidia wasn’t able to get its graphics chips into either the Xbox One or the PlayStation 4, so it’s doing the next best thing by trying to obviate home consoles altogether. Today the company introduces its new $299 Shield Tablet: an 8-inch Android device designed to sate all your gaming needs at once. It’s powered by the souped-up Tegra K1 processor that Nvidia debuted to much fanfare in January, and already has a number of major game titles optimized to make use of its extra power. It’s also compatible with a new Shield wireless controller and the same game-streaming capability as its predecessor Shield — allowing you to remotely play a game running on your PC at home. With a mini-HDMI connection outputting 1080p content to the nearest HDTV, the Shield Tablet can be a jack of all trades by either playing Android games or streaming PC titles into the living room. “The ultimate is coming.” Those words welcome visitors to Nvidia’s special landing site counting down to the announcement of what has now been revealed to be the Shield Tablet. With the release of this new Android device, Nvidia is turning the Shield brand into a product family, adding in a Shield wireless controller and a Shield cover. This is also the first global product launch from the company. More accustomed to designing fast graphics chips and having hardware partners building everything around them, Nvidia says it has learned a lot about industrial design, mechanical components, and supply chain management from the original Shield and that’s given it the confidence to distribute the new one worldwide.

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