NVIDIA’s Shield follow-up said to feature Tegra K1, controller accessory and PC gaming on Android device

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At the beginning of July, we got word that NVIDIA was hard at work on bringing the follow-up to their Shield mobile gaming unit to market, with an expected launch right around the corner. Moreover, while details were light, it was suggested that the new device would ditch the all-in-one concept and go for something a bit more “traditional” with its newest device.
The original Shield portable gaming console saw some success, but probably not as much as NVIDIA would have liked, especially for the gaming market. As an all-in-one gaming console, it was certainly a unique device, but the smaller display may have made it a nonstarter for many gamers. NVIDIA has reportedly paid attention to that potential gripe, and changed things up for the successor to the Shield branding.
We’ve heard about NVIDIA’s “notebook/tablet” device recently, with a few specifications to toss around, including a 7.9-inch display with a resolution of 2048×1536. That, along with 32GB of built-in storage, 2GB of RAM and it should be running Android 4.4.x KitKat right out of the box. A 7-megapixel camera is said to be equipped on the back, with a 4.8MP front-facing shooter for good measure.
Essentially, all of this is up-in-the-air since nothing has been confirmed yet, but a new report from BBC News suggests that one rumored feature, the chipset under the hood, could indeed be the NVIDIA Tegra K1. That means the device will be able to run Android-based games without an issue, sure, but it also means that NVIDIA’s putting a strong focus on PC gaming on the mobile device.
Specifically, the report says that the new gaming unit will be able to offload graphics processing to a desktop GPU, as long as the desktop setup includes a NVIDIA graphics card in the high-end gaming rig. If the minimum requirements are met, it means that anyone running the new portable gaming console from NVIDIA could play games like Battlefield 4 without (supposedly) any issue.
In the original report about NVIDIA’s upcoming device, it was said that it would feature some kind of physical control scheme, with some believing that the next device would feature a built-in controller, despite the bigger display. It doesn’t look like that’s going to be the case, though, as BBC News suggests NVIDIa will sell a physical controller as a standalone accessory.
The report suggests that this could be a console much like the OUYA, and perhaps not the portable gaming unit we’ve heard about in the past. Which would be an interesting move, to say the least, but it could also just go to show that NVIDIA sees strength in Android’s presence on devices like this. The real strength of the console, though, wouldn’t be the leaning on Android/mobile games, but instead on the fact it can play those aforementioned high-end PC titles, too.
Android’s push for gaming has been a slow process, but an obvious one nonetheless. With other companies like NVIDIA trying to bridge the gap between PC gaming and Android-based devices, and with Google trying to bring games to Android TV in the living room, Android could very well have a big role in the gaming market at some point in the future.
Does this new device, a rumored 7.9-inch tablet with a physical game controller accessory, sound intriguing to you?
[via BBC News]

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