CES has started with a bang for chip maker Nvidia. They have shown off a new handheld gaming system dubbed Project Shield. It will feature the new Tegra 4 processor, which is very impressive itself.
The processor will have the ability to play 4K content over HDMI connected displays. It seems that 1080P is already being bypassed for 4K, which is still in its infancy. The Tegra 4 now boasts 72 Nvidia GeForce GPU cores and comes with a quad core processor on board. This is equivalent to six times the GPU power of the current Tegra 3.
The company’s CEO Jen-Hsun Huang says that “the Tegra 4 is the world’s fastest mobile processor”.
Project Shield features high end audio and a 33Wh battery that will give users anywhere from 5 to 10 hours of gaming juice. The same battery should last a full 24 hours on HD playback. The 5″ screen is 720p that Nvidia is calling Retinal multitouch. The included controller looks very similar to the current Microsoft Xbox 360 controller. A standard Micro-SD slot is also ready to add more content. This extra storage capacity option could come in handy with any type of 4K content that becomes available as videos can easily jump into the multiple gigabyte range.
Stock Google Android fans can rejoice that it will ship with pure Android. Nvidia has no skin or overlay on top, but it will ship with Gmail and the Play Store from Google. This is a pretty significant feature for gaming as it will be able to play standard Android games along with regular console like games available from the Tegra Zone.
Standard Windows gamers also have an option for game play. Windows PC’s that pack a GeForece GTX 650 or higher can stream games to the Shield over Wifi. This is accomplished by accessing the game on the PC and then it runs them virtually on the go while on the Shield. A wireless method to stream games and content to TV’s is currently being planned by the manufacturer.
In a market where most mobile gaming has diminished and companies are fleeing, it appears Nvidia is attempting to get into it with a high end device. Both Nintendo and Sony have seen sales in this segment come to a a near stand still. This new concept from Nvidia could be an answer to the changing marketplace. They have not released a price or a date, but hopefully the product is quick to market from this announcement.
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