Pre-order playtime for Nvidia's Android-based Shield is coming early

Pre-order Shield now...literally

Nvidia Shield

Nvidia's Android-powered portable video game system Shield is available for pre-order today.

That's three days earlier than the previous pre-order date of May 20, and according to Nvidia's announcement, the bump-up is at the behest of retailers.

"Good news," the announcement harped. "Our partners are so excited about Shield that they're moving up the pre-order date for our amazing new open platform gaming portable. You can now pre-order your Shield today."

The Nvidia Shield is available for pre-order now at GameStop, Newegg, Canada Computer, and through Nvidia's own site. Micro Center's pre-orders will go live "within the next few days."

The rise of Android gaming?

Nvidia's Shield helped gaming devices steal the headlines at CES this year, where it made its first big appearance.

It's a portable gaming device that looks like an Xbox controller with a 5-inch display strapped on top.

Home to 16GB of storage and able to play most Android games, another big draw of the system is its capacity to play games streaming from a PC over Wi-Fi. That is, if the PC has a GTX 650 graphics processor or higher.

Android gaming is perhaps not what it could be, though exciting projects like Nvidia's Shield and Ouya may change that soon enough.

Still, Shield may prove to be a niche product, especially with unfortunate limitations like the GPU requirement.

Expect to see the Shield on shelves in early June.