At the heart of the beast is NVIDIA’s new mobile SoC, the NVIDIA Tegra K1, which features the same Kepler graphics cores NVIDIA builds into their GeForce GTX graphics cards and Tesla supercomputer accelerators. The quad-core ARM chip features 192 CUDA cores with a 2.3GHz max clock speed. K1 supports a variety of APIs and features which include OpenGL ES 3.1, AEP, OpenlGL 4.4, DX12, Tessellation, CUDA 6.0. Nvidia claims that the K1 can do all of this while consuming less than two watts of power.
For exceptional video and sound the SHIELD will feature an 8 inch 1900x1200 IPS display and front facing speakers with NVIDIA PureAudio technology and dual-bass reflex ports into the tablet to deliver great sound.
"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."
Since the shield offers a full Android experience users will have access to the thousands of Android games currently available on Google Play. However, the games don't stop there. NVIDIA says there are now more than 400 SHIELD-optimized games available through the SHIELD Hub, as well as 11 specially optimized games for Tegra K1.
Additional features of the SHIELD tablet include what NVIDIA says are a range of firsts for a tablet:
- PC Streaming: First to stream games from a PC desktop or notebook using NVIDIA GameStream technology, which streams from NVIDIA GeForce GTX- powered GPUs.
- NVIDIA GRID Cloud Streaming: First to stream PC games from NVIDIA GRID. Gamers can access the GRID cloud gaming beta, available exclusively to SHIELD owners in Northern California, to instantly stream a library of high-quality PC games, and then save them in the cloud.
- Twitch and NVIDIA ShadowPlay: First to feature ShadowPlay, an advanced game-capture tool that lets users save and stream their greatest gaming moments to Twitch, the leading video platform and community for gamers. Gamers can stream titles from the SHIELD tablet to friends and foes worldwide. SHIELD tablet also includes a 5MP front camera to enhance the image of the gamer overlaid on the Twitch gamecast.
- Console Mode: First to feature NVIDIA Console Mode, which takes tablet gameplay to big-screen TVs. Console Mode transforms the device into a full living-room gaming and entertainment experience. Gamers can connect their SHIELD wireless controller, sit back on the couch and play PC and Android games, browse the web, and watch their favorite movies -- all in native 1080p HD.
Pricing, Availability and AccessoriesThe SHIELD tablet comes with either Wi-Fi connectivity, or Wi-Fi and LTE. It's available in 16- and 32GB, with MicroSD support (up to 128GB), starting at $299. The SHIELD wireless controller retails for $59. The SHIELD tablet cover retails for $39.
The SHIELD tablet, wireless controller and tablet cover are now available for preorder in the United States, Canada and select European countries. Preorders in the United States are available at shield.nvidia.com, Amazon, Best Buy, Fry's Electronics, GameStop, Micro Center, Newegg and Tiger Direct, and in Canada at Canada Computers, Memory Express, NCIX and ThinkGeek. Preorders in Europe are available at many top e-tailers.
The full list of resellers and further information, including product specifications, are available at http://shield.nvidia.com/.