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NVIDIA Shield Coming In June For $350, Pre-Orders Start May 20

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Months after its unveil, NVIDIA Shield finally drops the “project” from its name and gets a price tag of $349.99.

NVIDIA Shield will start shipping in June with pre-orders starting May 20. Those who signed up to get more information about NVIDIA Shield, however, can pre-order the Android portable console today through a link sent in an email. That pre-order page says the device will ship by July and will come with two free games: Expendable: Rearmed and Sonic 4 Episode II THD.

Along with the release date NVIDIA also announced final specs for Shield. The device uses the a quad-core 1.9GHz Tegra 4 processor and has a 5-inch 720p “retinal” display. It runs an unspecified version of stock Android Jelly Bean with no skin laid over it.

NVIDIA_Shield

Inside the NVIDIA Shield has 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage space. The storage doesn’t leave much room for graphically intense games, but the device does has a microSD card slot for storing other media so it doesn’t clutter the internal storage.

NVIDIA Shield also boasts enhanced speakers so games sound better and a mini-HDMI port so gamers can play their games on an HDTV.

One of the big draws of NVIDIA Shield is its ability to stream PC games over a Wi-Fi network, providing the user has a support graphics card. Unfortunately, the feature will launch as a Beta feature that only supports select Steam games and a select list of recommended routers. Sometime after the Shield comes out a patch will come out that expands the feature to other games.

At $349.99 NVIDIA Shield is more expensive than dedicated portable consoles from Sony and Nintendo. With Android and PC game streaming it has a larger library of games available, but that doesn’t mean the games are as good.

When Sony releases the PlayStation 4 later this year it will stream games to the PlayStation Vita over Wi-Fi like the Shield. The decision between the two devices may come down to whether users play more games on the PC or consoles.

Shawn is a tech junkie who spends most of his time reading and writing about it. You can follow him on Twitter, @shawn_i.

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