In its presentation to us at Gamescom, Nvidia emphasised its Gameworks program, whereby it works closely with game developers to help them overcome problems related to special effects, physics, performance and so on. The relevance of this soon became clear when Nvidia began speaking about how large the mobile gaming market now is (apparently 90 percent of the active 1 billion Android users are buying games) and how the needs of developers here are similar to those in the PC market – the Gameworks program applies to the PC, console and mobile markets.

*The Hardware of Gamescom 2014 The Hardware of Gamescom 2014 - Nvidia
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The original Shield is very much a gamer-only device because of the controller-based design, and while there are still 5 or 6 new games released per week for the current Shield, Nvidia naturally wants to tap into the wider mobile and tablet audience, hence the release of the Shield Tablet in Europe last week (the 32GB one will follow in September).

You can read the full low down on the Shield in our launch news coverage here, but the Tegra K1 SoC at the heart of it is undoubtedly the key selling point – it's a seriously powerful system that is really quite far ahead of the closest competition when it comes to graphics horsepower. This was made abundantly clear in the demo we were shown of the Unreal Engine 4 Rivalry demo. Running at 720p, it looked absolutely gorgeous, and put the graphics from consoles like the PS2 (and even poorly developed PS3 games) to shame. Of course, we always take pre-loaded demos with a pinch of salt, but there was no denying that it was impressive stuff.

*The Hardware of Gamescom 2014 The Hardware of Gamescom 2014 - Nvidia
Click to enlarge

We were also shown brief glimpses of the special UI Nvidia has developed when using the Shield Tablet in TV mode (since Android is designed for smaller, touch-enabled screens) and all looked good. The streaming functionality also worked without hitch, though it remains to be seen if this is the case on a more standard home network rather than when both the host and client are almost with arm's reach of the router.

The Tegra K1 has also found its way into the Chromebook market, specifically in the Acer Chromebook 13. Thanks to the efficiency of the system, it boasts a claimed battery life of a massive 13 hours, effectively double what certain Intel-based Chromebooks offer, and enough for a full working day disconnected from the mains.

That's it for our Gamescom 2014 hardware coverage – which products do you think look great, and which ones could you do without? Let us know in the forums!
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