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Nvidia Hitches Ride to Future on Android Games After PS4

Nvidia Corp., the largest maker of chips for graphics cards in personal computers, today began taking orders for its Shield hand-held gaming device and said shipments get under way next month.

The handheld-gaming machine, which Nvidia announced in January, will retail for $349, the company said today in website posting.

Nvidia Chief Executive Officer Jen-Hsun Huang is betting on the device to accelerate a push into markets outside of the PC graphics-chip market, which provided 82 percent of the company’s revenue in the latest quarter. Shield, along with other devices such as the WikiPad and Ouya, is part of a growing array of gaming hardware that’s challenging more established console systems, such as Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox and Sony Corp.’s PlayStation, both of which will be updated this year.

Shield is built around Tegra 4, newest in the company’s line of processors designed for tablets and mobile phones. The device uses Google Inc.’s Android software, and resembles a console’s video-game controller that also features a pop-up screen. It works with “Angry Birds” and other games that can run on Android. Along with a touch-enabled five-inch screen, the device has built-in speakers and a Wi-Fi connection for Internet access.

Shield can also connect to larger screens for playing games. When Huang introduced the device at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, he showed it connected to a television. By linking it wirelessly to a PC, players will also have access to pricier titles such as “Call of Duty.”

Shares of Santa Clara, California-based Nvidia declined 2.1 percent to $14.24 at yesterday’s close in New York, leaving them up 16 percent this year.

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