Nvidia’s New Android Console Closes the Gap between PC and Mobile Gaming

When Nvidia launched the Shield Android gaming console last year, it made some ripples, as the device packed quite a few never-seen-before features. The next iteration is meant to be even better.

The following information isn’t coming directly from Nvidia, but from BBC, so it should be taken with a grain of salt. The news network claims that the tech company is looking to tighten the knot between PC and mobile gaming by enabling people to stream PC games on the handheld console. Even though BBC’s sources are currently unknown, one thing’s certain: the new gaming machine developed by Nvidia will be based on one of the most powerful SoCs on the planet, the Tegra K1.

In January, at CES, Nvidia told Jared Newman from PC World that GameStream will be implemented in tablets this year. With recent rumors of a Shield Tablet piling up, the possibility of the Shield handheld console’s successor being a tablet becomes more probable.

A simple tablet wouldn’t impress the world, even if it were based on the Tegra K1 chipset. Xiaomi MiPad is already a beast, and it’s based on the very same SoC. Nvidia’s Shield Tablet could stand apart if it included some budget-priced external controller for gaming. In the absence of this controller, the device could still be used as a regular tablet, so no functionality would be lost there.

Still, Nvidia’s products are not without downsides. The Shield could only stream games from PC if people had a GeForce GTX 650 or newer. In other words, owners of cards older than 2012, or even worse, owners of AMD graphics cards (no matter how new), could not stream games. It’s one thing to encourage gamers to buy products from the same manufacturer, but limiting the functionality so drastically could’ve meant game over for Nvidia.

On top of that, Nvidia Shield’s initial price of $300 (that was prior to the $100 price cut) put it quite close to the $400 PS4. Now I’m not sure about your preferences, but I’d gladly give up on mobile gaming for such a gaming beast that is Sony’s PlayStation 4.

It remains to be seen what form factor Nvidia will adopt for its next gaming machine. The price will definitely be a factor that will attract or deter gamers.

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