Everyone wants to get close to Project SHIELD. Just step into NVIDIA’s CES booth and ask the guy wiping smudge marks off the Plexiglas case that contains it.

Since the show opened earlier today, scores of people have asked Hassan Anjum variations on the same question: when can I get mine?

Black-clad NVIDIA employees – including some of the engineers who assembled an early production run of the device – were working on answering that and other questions from gaming fanatics who stopped by for a closer look. Lots left impressed.

Aaron Gilroy, an engineer who has been working for months to get the devices built, says many of those he’s talking to don’t realize that Project SHIELD is more than just a game controller – that it can also stream games from a PC. It’s also a full-fledged Android device equipped with a powerful Tegra 4 processor.

Several parents who stopped by the booth saw the device as a way to slip more playing time into their lives. “We’ve got kids and my wife doesn’t like me playing action games around them,” said Ryan Hickman, who works at a search-engine giant. “So this might be how I could play blood and guts games around them when they’re awake – and when they go to sleep I could throw it up on the big screen.”

James Bower, an IT consultant, has been gaming since the 1970s and still remembers his Atari 2600 fondly. He owns an Xbox, an Xbox 360, a PlayStation 2, a PlayStation 3, a PlayStation Vita, a PlayStation Portable, and a Nintendo DS. He was impressed. “To have all that with a flip up screen? I think it’s awesome.”

Most gawking at the device, however, were from a younger demographic.

Brad Tokel, a student at New York University, and his high school buddy Joshua Kaufman, now at the University of Michigan, were intrigued. Both are veteran gamers, although Kaufman will admit to getting a little less playing time in now that he’s in college. “It’s awesome,” Tokel said. Kaufman wondered why something like Project Shield hasn’t been built already.

Said another gawker, midway through a spiel from an NVIDIAN about everything the device can do: “You got me. I want this.”

  • RomieRome

    I hope its not over priced. Ps vita and wii u are manufactured by major brands that took years to build a rep and their mobile games aren’t selling as expected. Even though it has a teg 4 the consumer just isn’t their to over pric w newly developed device. Nvidia should look at their first interation as a building block towards changing the game and nt a get rich quick sheme. No one I’ll pay next gen ps4 price for a “mobile” device. Reason mobile games are growing is bc their mobil (fit in your pocket) the sheild will be bulky thus limiting its use. And it can’t cost what ps vita or wii u bc of its low content. And no one wil pay $60 for a android game. So nvidia has to think stradegy before they are looking at a warehouse full instead of selling out which woud be possible if priced right. With ouya releasing for $99 Nvidia should adopt same approach just to build a fan base for products breaking into a already inhabited market. Ouya is smart for selling low bc in this economy ppl are looking for best deal for our money.Their is great potential for the future of this product but that lies oin nvidia..whether they wanna try band over price or bring something new for the mobile market which consist of inexpensive games and apps. But if they try to contend with ps vita or wii u they will fail. If they aim to a lower price it will attract buyers thus breaking into the mobile gaming market and bring real competition to ps and wii. Nvidias aim should be to build a fan base by selling lower then all their competition. The life span will be low compared to ps vita just because its basically just a wifi tablet. And their aren’t a lot of pc gamers that prefer a control. They love their mouse and keyboard. So as much promies it offers nvidia hasaa chance to change the game by undercutting the comp. Thus breaking into a market already inhabited by majorplayers. I will buy if its less then the vita. Best price suggestion ($150-200) that will chage the game.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tommy.michaud.18 Tommy Michaud

    I can not wait for this device, people seem to think it will be like an ngage… that is so false, this device is so multi purpose and actually will work.  Its a set top box for entertainment, thats also portable, will be the most powerful android device on the market, amazing video player for like 35 hours of hd picture or something stupid high.  Its a 10/10 in terms of super sweetness.  Its the introduction to the consumers to the new way of gaming the streaming aspect with a kepler video card… Soon its latency will be non noticeable!

  • Ugur Sert

    as a gaming veteran, a would play emulators on that handheld much more, but nvidia has to change the design on that console, a hope thell do a retro version perhaps with pen stylus, that would be awsome.

  • Brian_Caulfield

    Thanks for the feedback!

  • Sagar Rawal

    Will a development kit be released for Project SHIELD ahead of the product’s release?