Nvidia is already updating its Shield gaming tablet just two months after its initial release in July, doubling its RAM to 32GB and adding 4G LTE connectivity as a new option.
The new features, and preordering opportunities, for the latest Shield tablets were announced in a Sept. 16 post on the Nvidia Blog. Preorders are open now for the United States and Europe, with shipments to begin on Sept. 30, according to the post. The new machines are priced at $399, or $100 more than the original Shield.
When it was first released in July, the original Shield tablet was equipped with16GB of storage and WiFi, according to the company. The Shield supports high-end Android titles such as Half-Life 2 and Portal, and can be played like a console-style multiplayer game system using an optional Shield wireless controller, according to Nvidia. Players can also stream games from a GeForce GTX-powered PC or use the Shield with Twitch broadcasting to play with other gamers.
The new Shield with 4G LTE capabilities can also be used for streaming movies, music and Twitch, according to Nvidia. The fully unlocked device has the capability to support more than 70 carriers worldwide.
The device is already certified on AT&T’s 4G LTE network and is being offered for preorder through AT&T for $399 at shield.nvidia.com. Customers can receive a $100 credit on their AT&T bill when they bring their tablet to an AT&T retail location for activation on a new two-year wireless agreement and qualified data plan, according to the company. Customers can add the tablet to an existing Mobile Share Value plan for $10 per month.
Shield tablets can be purchased directly from Nvidia or through Amazon, Best Buy, Fry’s Electronics, GameStop, Micro Center, Newegg and Tiger Direct in the United States.
The Shield runs on Nvidia’s 32-bit Tegra K1 mobile chip, which was launched some nine months ago. Nvidia is now working on a high-performance 64-bit Tegra K1 chip that’s the first 64-bit ARM processor for Android devices, according to an earlier eWEEK report.
It also is pin-compatible with the 32-bit Tegra K1 chip, enabling programmers to develop software that will run on either chip without any tweaking needed. For Nvidia, it’s all about performance with the 64-bit version, according to Nick Stam, senior technical marketing director for the company.
“With its exceptional performance and superior energy efficiency, the 64-bit Tegra K1 is the world’s first 64-bit ARM processor for Android, and completely outpaces other ARM-based mobile processors,” Stam said in a post on the company blog.
The Shield tablets were first rumored back in August of 2013 as an alternative to the company’s Shield handheld gaming devices, according to an earlier eWEEK story.