I wouldn’t call the original NVIDIA Shield a mainstream device. It was more of a niche Android based gaming marvel. A follow-up Shield has been making the rumor mills now for a few months and we have been keeping our eye on what it might bring to consumers. Some of what the rumors speculate make for a very impressive Android based gaming monster. Like all rumors though, there are some conflicting specs being documented.
There are a few facts that remain constant. The Global Certification Forum has posted an entry to their website that describes a marketing name of “SHIELD Tablet” from the NVIDIA Corporation. It also outlines of R99 band, GSM 850, 900, 1800, 1900 and EDGE class 12 along with HSDPA. Plus some other cellular band information. A benchmark popped up back in May that seemingly confirmed some internal details as well. Such as a 7.9-inch 2048 x 1536 display, quad-core Tegra K1 processor at 2.1GHz, 13GB storage (16 total) and 1.7GB RAM (2GB). The code name on the device was that Mocha and sported Android 4.4.2.All of that is fact. regardless if it is what will end up coming out or not is yet to be seen.
As for the rumor side of things, I am picking up a few other details that contradict some of the specs above. That is OK, because a test benchmark doesn’t always mean that it is the final products internal hardware. Game-Debate is reporting that the Shield 2 will pack in 4GB of RAM vs the 2GB from the benchmark listings. They stay firm with the Tegra K1, and we see no reason that would ever change. Where they expand a little bit is stating that the Shield 2 will push 1080p at 60Hz to your TV through a HDMI out.
All this talk has me thinking and wondering though. The original Shield offered a 5-inch flip-up screen attached to a physical XBox style controller. It is possible that they did the same thing with a 7.9-inch tablet sized device, but with that aspect being in the benchmarks I am more inclined to think that there would be a tablet and a separate controller that will most likely connect via Bluetooth. This could be quite the combination as you would be buying a tablet that you could use as is and be able to stream your PC games to the garage or your living room TV. It would free it from being ‘just a gaming device’ and could pique the interest of more potential customers. After all, flipping open a screen attached to a controller to check your email seems a little silly. However, one could take the thought the other direction too. Various other companies have simply placed the controller around the screen, the Archos GamePad 7 is one example. Then you have the WikiPad 7 that had a detachable controller. Is that what NVIDIA is going to do though? A FCC filing back in early June depicted the back of what looked like the original Shield controller. Our bet is that the Shield 2 will be a stand alone tablet with a physical Shield controller. Perhaps they will build on a kickstand or something for the tablet too.
Until we see what NVIDIA’s design and plans are we can only speculate and share what the rumor mills are concocting. If Game-debate is right about an August launch, then we might not have too much longer to wait to see what the new Shield will be all about. As long as they get the Shield 2 updated to Android L with the Android Extension Pack I will be all for saving up for it, even if it end sup being a tablet with a connectable controller.