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The head of Sony Corp. said that he was not completely surprised by Nvidia Corp.’s decision to create a portable game device that plays titles for Google Android and stream PC games. However, it does not look that Sony feels threat from this product as this is by far not the first attempt of new parties to enter the market of gaming devices.

“I was not as surprised as you might think. If you look back through the pages of history, there have been other attempts. […] It is difficult to break into. I have managed this industry, so I know,” said Kazuo Hirai, chief executive officer of Sony, in a brief interview with PCWorld web-site.

At the Consumer Electronics Show 2013, Nvidia announced project Shield, a gaming portable device for open platforms. As an Android-based device, Nvidia Shield gives access to any game on Google Play. As a wireless receiver and controller, it can stream games from a PC powered by Nvidia GeForce GTX GPUs, accessing titles on its Steam game library from anywhere in the home. Nvidia Shield is based on Nvidia Tegra 4 system-on-chip (four ARM Cortex-A15 cores, Nvidia GeForce graphics adapter with 72 stream processors), is equipped with a 5” capacitive touch-screen with 1280*720 resolution (294ppi) and features 802.11n Wi-Fi technology with 2*2 MIMO antennas to stream PC games. Project Shield's ergonomic controller was built for the gamer who wants ultimate control and precision. The portable device also has integrated high-quality speakers.

Considering the fact that Nvidia Shield will have the same hardware as advanced media tablets or smartphones based on Android operating system, it is hard to expect it to be truly affordable, specially keeping in mind additional parts like gamepad elements. Since Shield is designed for open-platform titles, Nvidia will not get money selling games for it (except from royalties that it may get from Tegra-exclusive titles), but will have to sell hardware at a profit. All-in-all, do not expect Nvidia Shield to be sold at a discount price or below the hardware costs.

Given that Nvidia Shield will be rather expensive, will not feature any titles designed exclusively for it and will stream PC video games only within the range of one’s home , it is likely that only hardcore gamers will actually buy it. By contrast, portable consoles from Sony and Nintendo feature numerous exclusive titles and Sony’s latest PlayStation Vita even has integrated 3G to connect to the Internet when Wi-Fi networks are unavailable.

While the head of Sony admits that gamers want their games everywhere and on any device, he remained tight-lipped over potential success of Nintendo Shield.

“Customers are used to playing video games on not just consoles anymore, but a variety of devices. […] It is too early to tell [whether Nvidia’s timing with Shield was right],” said Mr. Hirai.

Tags: Sony, Playstation, Vita, Nvidia, Tegra, Shield, Android, Google, Grid, Geforce

Discussion

Comments currently: 1
Discussion started: 01/09/13 01:28:25 AM
Latest comment: 01/09/13 01:28:25 AM

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Lol...Nintendo Shield typo.

It's almost warranted given the similar-thinking to Wii U (in the way a game can be streamed to the controller. Obviously Nintendo does it with their console, nvidia lost the console wars so their 'console' is a locking down a PC to their proprietary GPUs for a similar function.)

Also, they have gone out of their way to state games WILL be developed toward the thing, not simply limited to what will run on a standard Android device.

All-in-all, it looks very solid for what it is, the question primarily being if it has a place. Given there will be other mobile devices with strong GPU performance and similar abilities before too long, people seem content with the gaming ability vs convenience of their phones, and in your home you could simply use a (perhaps non nvidia-powered) PC...I don't know.

Looking outside the device it's important to realize what this REALLY is. This is nVIDIA's attempt to jump in front of the moving target that is mobile device performance and develop a standard. The more input they have in creating such a standard, the more control they have in how the market develops. That, more than selling any one device, is obviously their goal.

Given their approach to developing and emerging technologies/platforms, which is to lock them down and make everything proprietary so the consumer relies on their products as exclusively as possible rather than actually helping them reach the broadest base possible, I will be cheering for them to fail, just like PhysX, sli on only nvidia chipsets, CUDA, etc etc.

Again, it's not the tech, which is nice...

It's the methodology, which is quite simply evil.
3 0 [Posted by: turtle  | Date: 01/09/13 01:28:25 AM]
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