Nvidia Shield gaming handheld delayed until July

Nvidia's Shield handheld, which can play Android games and stream PC titles from systems with Kepler-based GeForce GPUs, was supposed to come out today. Unfortunately, an issue with a third-party "mechanical component" has caused Nvidia to delay Shield's release until "next month." The Nvidia blog post announcing the delay doesn't provide a more specific timeframe for when the device will start shipping. It does, however, indicate that the company is working "around the clock" with its supplier to resolve the issue.

The last-minute delay comes as quite a surprise. Everything was supposedly on track as late as last week, when Nvidia formally set the June 27 release date. According to one comment posted on the Nvidia blog, the problem cropped up in the final version of the device but wasn't evident in pre-production units. If that's the case, production units probably haven't been in Nvidia's hands for very long.

Folks looking forward to Shield are likely to be choked by the delay, and some disgruntled commenters on the Nvidia blog claim to have canceled their pre-orders. I can understand why Nvidia didn't want to release a flawed product, though. A mechanical issue could easily affect the feel of the controller and ruin the overall experience. It's not the sort of thing that can be corrected with a firmware or software update, either.

Although the blog post apologizes to pre-order customers, there's no word on whether Nvidia will sweeten the pot to make up for the delay. The firm already dropped Shield's price by $50 last week, and the Newegg listing says two games are included: Sonic 4 Episode II THD and Expendable: Rearmed. It would be nice if Nvidia threw in some other extras for pre-order customers who could be waiting up to a month longer to get their devices.

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