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Nvidia Shield slams into stores in June for $349

Nvidia announces a June release date and a $349 price for its Android-based gaming console.

Nvidia Shield, as seen at CES 2013, has gone through a few minor design tweaks since then. Eric Franklin/CNET

Nvidia's Android-based portable gaming device known as Shield will be released in June with a $349 price tag, the company said Tuesday.

Preorders for Shield -- no longer dubbed "Project Shield" -- began Tuesday for those who had signed up to receive Shield updates from Nvidia. The general public can preorder Shield starting Monday, May 20.

Nvidia debuted Shield at CES 2013. The portable gaming system comes in the shape of a console gaming controller and includes a 5-inch capacitive touch screen with 1,280x720-pixel resolution. The device runs all Google Play apps and can stream full PC games from high-end Nvidia-based PCs over Wi-Fi.

Specs include a 1.9GHz Tegra 4 processor with 2GB of RAM. The device ships with an unskinned, "pure" version of Android 4.2.1. Nvidia says to expect frequent updates.

It also features 16GB of storage, Mini-HDMI, Micro-USB 2.0, GPS, Bluetooth 3.0, and a microSD card slot for storage expansion. 802.11n 2x2 MIMO Wi-Fi, integrated speakers, and a headphone jack round out the specifications.

For more details on how Shield's streaming feature works and for hands-on impressions, check out CNET's First Take.