Porta-Gaming: NVIDIA Pushes Some Buttons

Good morning folks!

It’s another Monday, another week, and it’s fifty shades of grey here in Amsterdam today. On to brighter news!

NVIDIA busted this baby out at CES last night, and I’m glad to be awake to read about it:

 

My precious....

My precious….

 

Ah, portable gaming.

2012 saw a lot of chatter referring to the death of the console gaming experience, with countless gaming journalists focusing their attention on the rise of mobile gaming, giving particular accolades to the smartphone/tablet/phablet gaming arena. Personally, if the extent of your gaming experience is Angry Birds or Temple Run, I know a couple people who would take issue with you referring to yourself as a gamer. But with EA dropping FIFA 13 onto tablets, as well as earlier releases for Call of Duty, the lines have gotten relatively blurry. I haven’t been one for portable gaming devices since the Nintendo DS first popped onto the scene. I’d owned every Nintendo handheld before that, and I’d tinkered around with a friend’s PSP not too long after it launched. I didn’t buy one, nor did I expand my DS collection to the 3DS, the DS-XL and so forth because for a minute there Nintendo started to look like Apple, with new DS iterations popping out faster than iPhones. The PlayStation Vita looked cool enough, but the severely short list of games available upon release for the bloody device just made it unappealing (the price didn’t help matters).

That gorgeous beauty above might pique my interest, though. That’s NVIDIA’s Project Shield, which the company pimp-slapped the gaming industry with late yesterday evening. It’s a portable gaming device that boasts NVIDIA’s Tegra-4 processor, a 5-inch retinal multi-touch display, and wifi connectivity, all powered by Android Jelly Bean. Jigga what? I have to admit, I’m pretty excited to see what it can do. Console-level controls on a handheld? Yes, please. The fact that it runs with the Tegra-4 processor is enticing enough. NVIDIA previewed it at last night’s press conference with several console and Android-specific games, including Arma Tactics and of course, the hot topic of the month, Assassin’s Creed 3. A free-running Connor and naval battles, all in the palms of my hands? Yes, please. They also showed off the device’s ability to port directly to your TV, via the HDMI jack, located right next to the micro-SD card slot.

What’s awesome about SHIELD is that it has literally surprised everyone in both the console and mobile gaming industry. Did no one see this coming? Between the Wii-U and Microsoft SmartGlass, the idea of interacting with your TV via a secondary device, gaming or otherwise, isn’t something so far-fetched that we couldn’t have anticipated the rest of the pack getting behind. I know, I know…I suppose the surprise is in the fact that it’s coming from NVIDIA. It’s refreshing that we anticipated just another slew of improvements to existing products and instead get sucker-punched by this bit of what I’m sure people will soon be branding disruptive tech (and rightfully so). Look out XBox! It’s on like Donkey Kong now, my friend. Remember the plethora of “we need a new console” articles that flooded the Internet after E3? They’re about to be dusted off and rehashed.

 

For the good of the Earth.

For the good of the Earth.

 

NVIDIA plans to release their Jelly Bean-run project in the second quarter of 2013, which just makes the fact that they released all those pretty specs without an actual price indication all the more intriguing. For now, the super-curious can sign up for news alerts via the company’s promotional website, which you can handily find here.

Until next time.

 

 

 

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