Nvidia Shield gets temporary price cut, new features coming April 2nd

Credit: Source: Nvidia

Yesterday we talked about the Ouya, an Android-powered micro-gaming console. Let's stay with Android and gaming today and talk about Nvidia's Shield.

Shield comes at gaming from a totally different direction than Ouya. It's a handheld console with an Nvidia Tegra 4 CPU and a 5" 1280x720 touchscreen. Not only does it play Android games, you can also stream PC games to it, provided your gaming PC has a supported Nvidia GPU inside. If you're craving a big screen experience, the Shield can even output to your TV.

It's a pretty nifty device that unfortunately launched at $299, which many gamers (including this one) saw as a bit too high a price point. Last November Nvidia dropped the price to $249, but now Nvidia has announced that, for the month of April, the Shield will be just $199. Tempting.

But that's not all the good Shield news. A firmware update coming on April 2nd will allow out-of-home streaming of your PC games, including a way to remotely wake-up your PC to start playing. You still need a 5 MBPS connection, though.

The update also adds Bluetooth mouse and keyboard support, which is probably of most use when the Shield is connected to your TV. Now you can stream and play your PC games on the big screen even when they don't support gamepad controls.

And just to sweeten the deal a bit more, Nvidia announced that they're porting Valve's Portal to the Shield. It sounds like the Shield is the only Android device that will play Portal, at least initially. Seems only sensible that they'd eventually bring it to other Android-based micro-consoles, but we'll see.

Shield wasn't all that Nvidia was talking about yesterday though. They also announced Pascal, Nvidia's next family of GPUs. Engadget has a nice write-up of the benefits that Pascal will bring to the table.

Last, for you PC Master Race types that simply have to have the best, Nvidia announced the GTX Titan Z. The Titan Z has 2 Kepler GPUs and 12 GB of RAM. Nvidia says it has 2,880 cores per GPU and that the "twin GPUs are tuned to run at the same clock speed, and with dynamic power balancing. So neither GPU creates a performance bottleneck." According to Polygon the Titan Z will set you back $2,999. But hey no one ever said maintaining the ultimate hardware bragging rights was going to be cheap, eh?

Read more of Peter Smith's TechnoFile blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Peter on Twitter at @pasmith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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