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Nvidia slashes the price of its Shield gaming handheld to $300 ahead of launch

Nvidia's Android-playing, PC-streaming gaming handheld just got a price cut and a firm release date.

If you pledged to plunk down $350 for Nvidia's nifty new Shield when it opened to preorders back in May, the company has a somewhat surprising present for you: A discount. Today, Nvidia announced that it's slashing the price of its portable gaming handheld to $300.

The cost cutting is just the latest tweak for the Tegra 4-powered handheld, which received a physical redesign to reinforce its sturdiness just in time for Computex 2013. It's a smart one, too. At $350, the device's cost was too high to be enticing. The $299.99 price point is still imposing, don't get me wrong--you can pick up an Xbox 360 for less than that, or a PlayStation 4 for just $100 more--but it's slightly easier to imagine a diehard PC gamer picking this up when it's a penny shy of $300. Slightly.

Game-wise, the Shield is a hybrid. By its lonesome, it's capable of playing the latest and greatest Android games, but the device truly shines when paired with complementary Nvidia technology. The Shield can connect to Nvidia's GeForce GRID cloud service or a computer rocking a GeForce 600- or 700-series graphics to stream full-blown x86 PC games straight to your handheld.

Nvidia was showing off Shield in all its multi-capable forms at E3, and while there was some adjustment getting used to the simplified control scheme on games that were designed for the classic keyboard and mouse duo, it held up pretty well overall. You'll be able to check it out for yourself on June 27--along with the price cut, Nvidia just announced that as the firm release date.

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