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Nvidia's next Shield device rumored be an Android powered console

updated 03:22 pm EDT, Mon July 14, 2014

BBC points to the newest Shield being powered by K1, utilizing same software

The BBC has learned through anonymous sources that the next iteration of the Nvidia Shield could be used to play Android and stream PC games in a new way. The rumored device looks to build on existing technology surrounding the Shield, including the use of the GeForce Experience and GameStream to stream games from a host computer powered by an Nvidia GPU.

Alleged information in the article leans toward the release of a console from the graphics company that includes an HDMI-out port to be able to stream games directly to a television. While the original Shield contained the same type of port, the company is said to be selling a separate "budget priced" controller for the device.

Android games will run natively on the rumored device, acting much in the same way as the first generation Shield. The BBC report says that the new machine will be powered by Nvidia's Tegra K1 chip. The K1, with its packaged CPU and 192-core GPU solution, was recently showcased during Google I/O on the Unreal Engine 4.

Nvidia didn't comment on the rumor, but a spokeswoman for the company offered that there is an "awesome new gaming product that is launching soon."

Speaking with an analyst that has seen the new machine, Nvidia's new device might face the same market problems as the original handheld. Ed Barton of Ovum, who believes that the first Shield sold poorly, says that the new Nvidia device could be limited if it requires a new GPU to run. For the Shield handheld, Nvidia required a PC in the household to be powered by at least a GTX 650 video card or Kepler-based GTX 600M.

It's possible that the information from the BBC points to the tablet version of the Shield that was discovered as it sought certification for wireless use. The Global Certification Forum mentions a Shield Tablet by name in a certification declaration made public on June 26. Filings with the Federal Communications Commission over the FCC ID label show a laser etching on an Nvidia tablet-like product called the "ST8."

The controller could also be tied to the tablet as well. It could be either a standalone, such as the offerings from Moga, or a tablet attachment similar to what the Wikipad or Razer Edge used.

If the next Nvidia device turns out to be a micro-console, the company will be jumping into a crowded space. Android consoles already exist with the Ouya, the Mojo from Mad Catz and the upcoming Android TV-powered device from Razer. It could also be a direct competitor to Steam consoles if the price is right.

by MacNN Staff



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