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A new handheld challenger approaches: Shield

Nvidia’s Project Shield isn’t the prettiest system — this thing looks like a home-console-to-portable hack project, or like a portable DVD player with the original Xbox controller attached to it — but the specs will probably excite hardware nerds.

The Android Jelly Bean-based console is built on Nvidia’s latest Tegra 4 chip, and sports a 5-inch touchscreen display (720p). Along with the ability to stream PC games (similar to how Wii U’s GamePad streams games from the system), the digital-only handheld can download Android titles from the Nvidia TegraZone and Google Play stores. It also has cloud gaming capabilities.

Nvidia hasn’t announced pricing on the system yet, but it intends to release Shield in the second quarter of 2013, presuming it doesn’t get Pansonic Jungle’d.

SEE ALSO Upcoming handheld games

Why I didn’t cover the Tegra/New DS rumor

The big rumor this week was that Nintendo contracted Nvidia to produce its Tegra chips  — designed for high-end mobile devices — for the Nintendo DSi’s successor (which Citigroup predicts will arrive as soon as next year).

Now, this line of Nvidia chips is impressive, as it makes neat augmented reality projects like ARhrrrr possible, and the upcoming Zune HD even uses one to play high definition video. It’s a pretty big rumor! So, why did I neglect to mention it on Tiny Cartridge?

Well, whenever I’d start to think about the possibilities of a new DS that uses a Tegra chip, I’d immediately seek out and watch this video instead of writing a post:

Yes, I know the spelling is different on the names, but isn’t that way more interesting than a new DS?

See also: Poison