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NVIDIA's Project Shield: an Android-based handheld with Steam Big Picture streaming

The tech world has gotten itself into a lather over the bombardment of announcements coming out of Consumer Electronics Show. Here's one that's relevant to us, though: NVIDIA's Project Shield. While it may look like an HD screen bolted to a parody of an Xbox controller, the Android powered device is also capable of streaming your PC game library.

Powered by the also-announced Tegra 4 mobile chip, Shield promises a full Android gaming experience. That may sound a bit rubbish, especially if, like me, your Android device is almost exclusively a platform for running Canabalt. Still, it means the handheld will be able to play the upcoming Hawken Android, as well as the newly announced ArmA Tactics, a turn-based ArmA for tablet devices.

But perhaps the most interesting aspect of Shield is its ability to hook into Steam for local network streaming through Big Picture mode. NVIDIA's CEO, Jen-Hsun Huang, showed off the streaming during the presentation, playing Need for Speed: Most Wanted and Assassin's Creed 3 with reportedly little to no lag. The downside is it requires a Kepler-based graphics card inside your rig, meaning you'll need a GTX 650 or better to push pixels towards the device.

Project Shield offers a 1280x720 screen, but can output to a standard 4k TV. It's expected for release in "Q2", but there's currently no word on pricing. In the meantime, you can see the Shield's website for details.

A shiny new PC-playing toy. Any takers?

Thanks, Engadget .

Phil Savage
Phil leads PC Gamer's UK team. He was previously the editor of the magazine, and thinks you should definitely subscribe to it. He enjoys RPGs and immersive sims, and can often be found reviewing Hitman games. He's largely responsible for the Tub Geralt thing, but still isn't sorry.