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Nvidia announces handheld console

Nvidia announces handheld console

Project Shield includes an integrated 'console-grade' controller and can run Android titles or stream from a PC's Steam library.

Nvidia has unveiled a handheld games console of its own at CES in Las Vegas.

Driven by an Android operating system and powered by an Nvidia Tegra 4 chip, also announced at the show, Nvidia's Project Shield boasts HD video capability, audio and wi-fi built into a 'console-grade' controller. Titles will be playable through its own flip-up screen or streamed to a larger television or monitor.

The handheld will run Android titles having access to the Google Play store and will also be able to stream games from a Steam library on a PC. Nvidia's press release does however state that PC needs to have an Nvidia GeForce GTX GPU installed for this to work.

'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,' said Nvidia co-founder and chief executive Jen-Hsun Huang. '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.'

Project Shield also touts a micro-USB port for accessories, a microSD port and an HDMI video output port. Nvidia expects the console to ship in Q2 of 2013 and have not issued any details on pricing.

The handheld market is considered a difficult nut to crack and 2012 saw Sony struggle to gain market share with its new PSP Vita. Handheld consoles now also have to compete against the highly saturated smartphone market.

37 Comments

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Tangster 7th January 2013, 10:43 Quote
Sega Dreamcast controller anyone?
http://www.axess.com/twilight/console/detail/dc.jpg
Hg 7th January 2013, 10:43 Quote
well that was unexpected! and seems like a wacky move by Nvidia considering they power most of the smartphone/tablet gaming platforms out there already....
October 7th January 2013, 10:45 Quote
Most Android games aren't exactly designed with a full controller in mind, and if you have a capable PC sitting there to stream Steam stuff from, why not just play on the pc...? Seems a bit redundant already.
greigaitken 7th January 2013, 10:48 Quote
this could be an amazing feature.
Scenario: ten year old wants gaming pc / ps4. get him one of these powered by GPU in dads gaming pc. If this can use gpu cycles on the fly while still letting dad use pc as he wishes.
PingCrosby 7th January 2013, 10:53 Quote
This is how I'd like my Xbox 360 so I can play Skyrim when I do my sleepovers at work
Hustler 7th January 2013, 11:38 Quote
"Nvidia's press release does however state that PC needs to have an Nvidia GeForce GTX GPU installed for this to work. "


It doesn't 'need' an Nvidia GPU, anymore than games with PhysX should 'need' an Nvidia GPU.

What it will have are software lockouts...which means it will probably take a few days,weeks,months for a hack to come along and enable ATI GPU's.
Griffter 7th January 2013, 11:41 Quote
mmm, not bad idea. but i think its trying to be something that already exists... cool, very cool, but wont buy... i think most ppl will look at it like this IMHO
greigaitken 7th January 2013, 11:43 Quote
it's a step towards a smartphone offloading gpu or cpu intensive tasks to a mains powered pc.
faugusztin 7th January 2013, 11:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hustler
"Nvidia's press release does however state that PC needs to have an Nvidia GeForce GTX GPU installed for this to work. "

If they use CUDA for converting live screen to stream, then yes, it does need NV GPU.
tyepye 7th January 2013, 12:36 Quote
Sounds exciting with the steam streaming option.

If it's priced well might be a good lounge gamer.
Baz 7th January 2013, 12:40 Quote
The problem with streaming from your PC is WiFi, which is still as unreliable and crappy as it was 5 years ago. Streaming 1080p via a connection that's interrupted when your dog walks between you and the router is rubbish.

Otherwise, there's also the problem of distribution; Nvidia usually leaves that to its army or partners, but I doubt we'll see an EVGA branded Shield.
mi1ez 7th January 2013, 12:41 Quote
I'd like to get just the controller with a clip for my phone. All the current options seem to have their own flaws...
rollo 7th January 2013, 12:55 Quote
totally depends how they stream it. If its Cuda streamed then you will require a nvidia GPU.

Id also expect EVGA and company to help with supply and distribution as they are very close to nvidia.
alialias 7th January 2013, 12:57 Quote
Kinda puts me in mind of a WiiU controller for PC. I like the idea, if I wanted to play some Dirt in bed, this would be ideal. Or go downstairs and socialise with my housemates without having to stop gaming!
sandys 7th January 2013, 13:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by October
Most Android games aren't exactly designed with a full controller in mind, and if you have a capable PC sitting there to stream Steam stuff from, why not just play on the pc...? Seems a bit redundant already.

Lots of android games work lovely with a controller and can be superior experience as gaming on my xperia play has shown.

I like the idea of streaming my PC, it doesn't even need to be 1080p if streaming to a small screen as show in image, the PSvita is 960 x 544 and games look lovely on that.
suragh 7th January 2013, 13:31 Quote
Looks bulky to hold.
Woodspoon 7th January 2013, 14:04 Quote
Hmm it's an odd thing, good idea, not sure it will work though.
Not the kind of portable device you can play on while out and about like a phone, which relagates it to home use, which puts it in competition with existing tablets, laptop's, PC's and consoles.
sotu1 7th January 2013, 14:21 Quote
This might already be detailed somewhere, but considering Nvidia's cloud based graphics solution, they could effectively be a low powered handheld delivering full console streaming experiences. Similar to what onlive attempted, but with a unified platform and controller.

If it did that I'd get one
damien c 7th January 2013, 14:56 Quote
Look's Interesting.

Will keep my eye out for reviews of this.
GoodBytes 7th January 2013, 16:02 Quote
If the console is 300-350$.... serious damage on the WiiU, and bye bye 3DS (assuming you have portable ready quality games). As the Wii U, has Nintendo first party games, which always been console sellers, and you have a unique gaming experience with the dual screen. Oh and also do some serious damage to PS4.

The next XBox will be fine as the focus of the console will be on casual gamer (Wii style, with still a focus on the hardcore), and will essentially be Windows media center, which is what Microsoft always wanted. I won't be surprised if it will be a PVR too and have the ability to record shows while playing games, and market it as: never miss a show, or something like that.

PS4 will be fine despite the damage attack, as you have a market of gamers who don't have a gaming PC at all or super old one that is completely inadequate (P4?), and want more involved games than current Android offering. What I expect from Sony is 0 innovation (in a good way). Sony like to make a traditional gaming console. That is all. So while the PS4 will obviously be marketed as 4K ready, as its Sony, and they'll push WiiU like feature with the PSVita to try and avoid Nvidia success (I mean the PSVista already have portable ready games), and easier to program, it will essentially be a basic gaming console with the same controller as the PS3/PS2.

The only show stopper I see with Nvidia console is that for 2 player game play, you need to buy 2 physical console, essentially. So how about 4 player action? That is getting pricey.

Now, if the console is more than 350$, then it won't work, I predict. And obviously, cheaper it is, the more successful it will be.

Nvidia biggest problem, is that they can't lose money on the console. As they don't have a market place to get as percentage from sales. They need to make at least a small margin of profit. So, 300-350$ looks like its a "at best". It might even cost 500$.

In any case, I say the Ouya console to fail. Nvidia offering uses a much faster processor, has 4G LTE, can be a home console or portable, can stream PC games at home, plus all that. Yes obviously it will be more pricey, but I think it will be worth the premium (again, assuming Nvidia console is 300-350$).

Those are my predictions.
October 7th January 2013, 16:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandys
Lots of android games work lovely with a controller and can be superior experience as gaming on my xperia play has shown.

I like the idea of streaming my PC, it doesn't even need to be 1080p if streaming to a small screen as show in image, the PSvita is 960 x 544 and games look lovely on that.

I'm not saying they don't work with a controller but as they have to be playable on a touch screen it slightly negates the need for lots of buttons. Obviously the like of Max Payne etc would benefit.

I just don't know why you would ever sit with a tiny screen somewhere in the same house as your pc, playing games run on your pc, but not actually use the pc itself. What's the upside?
damien c 7th January 2013, 16:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by October
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandys
Lots of android games work lovely with a controller and can be superior experience as gaming on my xperia play has shown.

I like the idea of streaming my PC, it doesn't even need to be 1080p if streaming to a small screen as show in image, the PSvita is 960 x 544 and games look lovely on that.

I'm not saying they don't work with a controller but as they have to be playable on a touch screen it slightly negates the need for lots of buttons. Obviously the like of Max Payne etc would benefit.

I just don't know why you would ever sit with a tiny screen somewhere in the same house as your pc, playing games run on your pc, but not actually use the pc itself. What's the upside?

Would be perfect for the quiet times at work or dinner break, when I could easily just play a few games off my pc.
digitaldunc 7th January 2013, 17:09 Quote
Smells of fail to me, but good luck to them.

Any divergence of the gaming market is a good thing.
Jipa 7th January 2013, 17:54 Quote
Can't wait to see someone actually use one in public... I can already sense the rofling.
sandys 7th January 2013, 18:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by October
I just don't know why you would ever sit with a tiny screen somewhere in the same house as your pc, playing games run on your pc, but not actually use the pc itself. What's the upside?

A reduction in nagging from the missus because she never sees me when I am gaming, for some reason she wants to put me through the torture of evening soaps for company when i'd rather be anywhere else :'(

With a portable she can still blabber to me which keeps her happy even if she perhaps does not get my full attention.
maverik-sg1 7th January 2013, 18:57 Quote
Some interesting comments here - I don't subscribe to Goodbytes forecasts though.

I think consoles will genuinely need to be more, do more, offer more, more impact on the media side of things including pause, record and rewind TV, there should probably be some cloud computing too that makes them part of a larger eco-system - the specs of these new consoles don't sound as impressive as they could be given the amount of CPU/GPU power that they had to choose from, but with the right level of innovation from a 'what can we use this for or part of' they will be on everyone's shopping list over the next 2-3yrs.

As for this Nvidia product, looks good, probably needs a 'diet' version for those that don't require a mobile connection beyond bluetoot/ wifi. In terms of power, this should be as capable as the current XBox or PS3 with the quad core TEGRA4 with it's 72core gpu power in tow....I'd say it needs to look at a different colour scheme too.
Roskoken 7th January 2013, 19:32 Quote
Why do they pretend wireless internet exists everywhere we go?

It ****ing doesnt.

Maybe if it lets you tether to your super trendy smart phone, it might, but you'll get bum raped on data charges for even thinking about streaming a game and as soon as you even try to connect to steam your mobile operator will tell you to go **** yourself.

**** the cloud and **** this. Maybe in 30 years or so when governments are enlightened enough to just give everyone unlimited net access everywhere we are for free, maybe, until then, **** this.
OcSurfe 7th January 2013, 23:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roskoken
Why do they pretend wireless internet exists everywhere we go?

It ****ing doesnt.

Maybe if it lets you tether to your super trendy smart phone, it might, but you'll get bum raped on data charges for even thinking about streaming a game and as soon as you even try to connect to steam your mobile operator will tell you to go **** yourself.

**** the cloud and **** this. Maybe in 30 years or so when governments are enlightened enough to just give everyone unlimited net access everywhere we are for free, maybe, until then, **** this.

I hear you dude, i hate it, i work in london and still theres not wireless internet everywhere even in a built up area like canary wharf!
i think Nvidia will struggle to get a decent slice of the handheld market, though this looks like it could be the final blow for nintendo
GoodBytes 7th January 2013, 23:14 Quote
What are you guys talking about? Nvidia console is a game console.. AND it can stream your games from the PC WHEN you are at home.
rollo 8th January 2013, 00:16 Quote
people hoped it was on the move not just at home goodbytes. Thats what people kinda want from this device.
Sloth 8th January 2013, 00:19 Quote
Seems like a cool idea... if there weren't already various projects aiming to attach existing smartphones to a controller for a portable Android console. Many prospective buyers either already have smartphones or, with the money it'd cost to buy a Shield, could buy one.
GoodBytes 8th January 2013, 01:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
people hoped it was on the move not just at home goodbytes. Thats what people kinda want from this device.

I also like my phone to make toasts on the go but there is the possible and currently impossible (or ridiculously expensive to made). It has the same limitations as the WiiU for that feature. And it will have the same draw back, where the father you are from your router, the higher the input lag, and increase disconnections/reconnection, as the signal gets slower and weaker. Plus, unlike the WiiU (as it's built-in and you can only use the system of the console, and therefor limited to only streaming the console games), is if you don't have a powerful wireless router, you are in for a disappointing experience.

Lucky, this is not the the main purpose of the console. The console will kill or hurt a lot (most likely not on purpose) the OUYA console and make it portable (assuming it is not 500$ or something ridiculous). Everyone interested in the OUYA, is interested in this Nvidia console.

This Nvidia portable console is for people who want:
-> better control setup for Android games on the go.
-> people who like playing indi games
-> developers of all ages
-> Plus, with the OUYA and this, you have enough market share to have specially designed games for both, like a console game.
Jedra 8th January 2013, 02:18 Quote
I don't really get why they are doing this - sales of the Vita haven't exactly gone well for Sony. They are competing against the tough mobile market.

If I wanted to use this to it's potential I would have to buy an nVidia card for my PC as well, which kind of puts me off even thinking about it. Now, if they bundled one of these with the high-end cards then I might be persuaded to switch from AMD. Otherwise being locked into an nVidia card kind of puts me off - I can only see it as an attempt to reduce the competitiveness of the market with AMD - if you can call a two horse race competitive that is!

I can see from the blurb that you can stream games from the PC, but haven't seen anything on whether you can use it in conjunction with the PC similar to Smartglass on the 360 or the WiiU controller. Having owned a WiiU for a couple of weeks and used what smartglass enabled games there are on the 360, I can see great potential in the supplemental use of a handheld screen along with your normal screen. For instance, ZombieU may not be the greatest game in the world but playing it in conjunction with the WiiU controller is great - it really adds another dimension and a sense of tension when you are searching through your backpack on the controller while being surrounded by Zombies on the main screen.
wafflesomd 8th January 2013, 04:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baz
The problem with streaming from your PC is WiFi, which is still as unreliable and crappy as it was 5 years ago. Streaming 1080p via a connection that's interrupted when your dog walks between you and the router is rubbish.

Otherwise, there's also the problem of distribution; Nvidia usually leaves that to its army or partners, but I doubt we'll see an EVGA branded Shield.

I think you've got an issue with your network. I steam 1080p just fine over wireless.
fluxtatic 8th January 2013, 07:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baz
Otherwise, there's also the problem of distribution; Nvidia usually leaves that to its army or partners, but I doubt we'll see an EVGA branded Shield.

True enough, but that could be interesting, to have Nvidia's usual partners producing their own take on Nvidia's reference design. I doubt we'll see it happen (only so much to be done, after all, with it being Tegra 4, x number of buttons required, etc), but it would be interesting.

I, too, am having a bit of a hard time figuring out what sort of mass appeal this is supposed to have - there are, of course, some people above that seem taken with the idea, but I'm just missing it, I suppose. Not a lot of people are going to want to lug this around when they likely have a capable smartphone in their pocket. Not a lot of people will be sitting on the couch with it when their gaming PC is across the room. If we're talking something for less than $100, sure, that's practically an impulse purchase for electronics these days. But somewhere in the neighborhood of $300-$500? Best of luck to Nvidia with it.
leexgx 9th January 2013, 00:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wafflesomd
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baz
The problem with streaming from your PC is WiFi, which is still as unreliable and crappy as it was 5 years ago. Streaming 1080p via a connection that's interrupted when your dog walks between you and the router is rubbish.

I think you've got an issue with your network. I steam 1080p just fine over wireless.

I have agree that was an nice rant, an silly one at best

problem with VM in your area[packet loss, use thinkbroadband ping monitor see if you got packet loss ] or problem with router settings, don't use auto for channel pick 1 6 or 11, and use single 20mhz not 40mhz for N wireless or try wireless G only, or replace the router
maverik-sg1 9th January 2013, 14:40 Quote
Some good wifi tips there, but I have to say when you live in a well populated area finding a decent non conflicting channel becomes a challenge - also the very fact that you have eff about with your router to make it properly is exactly the same as it was 5years ago.

I also agree with people talking about data charges of 3G or now4G, 3G is going trough an upgrade process right now, 4G is being rolled out - yet still data charges are ridiculously high and connections are unreliable on the go....outside of work, I don't use or pay for it.

I feel certain that there's a misunderstanding about the Nvidia system - surely, it is not meant to be used only at home and is in fact a tool for doing more on the go - with all that hardware under it's belt, I sincerely hope it's not simply a console that plays games - one thing is for sure, the Tegrazone eco system and this (or similar) hardware should see an explosion of ever-improving gaming titles for Android.
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