By 9 January 2013 | Categories: news


Amongst the flood of news emerging from the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), currently being held in Las Vegas, is an interesting announcement from Nvidia that it was entering the portable gaming space with Project Shield.
The company explained that the device, which has been designed to cater to open platforms, will be able to accommodate both PC and Android titles on the 5”, 1280 x 720 (294 dpi) HD multitouch display.
Not surprisingly, the core of Project Shield is the newly announced mobile processor, the Nvidia Tegra 4.
While players will be able to access Android titles available on Google Play as well as Nvidia’s own TegraZone, and the device does have internal storage, there is no mention as yet as to its capacity. On the positive front, it does support microSD cards, so presumably downloading and storing large titles on it won’t be a problem.
Graphics card required
In order to play PC games though, players will need a PC with a Nvidia GeForce GTX graphics processing unit (GPU) from which to wirelessly stream PC titles. This would enable players to access titles on their Steam gaming library from within their home.
For a device that caters to both Android and PC titles, it seems to have borrowed from the consoles for its control scheme, as the bottom half of it resembles a familiar Xbox 360 controller.  
"Project Shield was created by Nvidia engineers who love to game and imagined a new way to play," commented Jen-Hsun Huang, co-founder and chief executive officer at Nvidia. "We were inspired by a vision that the rise of mobile and cloud technologies will free us from our boxes, letting us game anywhere, on any screen.
We imagined a device that would do for games what the iPod and Kindle have done for music and books, letting us play in a cool new way. We hope other gamers love Shield as much as we do," he continued.
Emphatic support

No word was given on this point as to when, and at what price point the company’s offering will be made available.Working in Nvidia’s favour is some emphatic support from game developers.
For example, Yves Guillemot, the co-founder and CEO of Ubisoft, commented that Project Shield promises to bring both mobile and PC gamers a great new gaming experience, continuing that seeing the PC version of Assassin's Creed III run on the device was a great example of this.
Mark Rein, vice president and co-founder of Epic Games, added that, "With Project Shield, Nvidia brings an uncompromising, high-performance console experience to mobile devices. Amazing games including Real Boxing and Hawken, which utilise the latest Unreal Engine technology, look fantastic on Project Shield. This is just the beginning, and we're truly excited to see what more Unreal Engine developers will do with so much horsepower in such a compact gaming device."
To the point
Admittedly, Nvidia isn’t the only company with its eye on bringing PC era gaming to a world besotted by Android or tablets. Razer’s Project Fiona, which has earned itself the new moniker of Edge. This though, is a wholly different beast to Nvidia’s vision, resembling a 10” tablet, with PC internals, that has been spliced with two Move controllers.  

Nonetheless, what both companies have in common is an apparent unwavering belief in the ongoing future of PC gaming, even as last year was characterised by pundits asserting the imminent demise of the PC. 


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