Nvidia went all kinds of serious on the gaming system spectrum, like more serious than a Judd Apatow (Read: successful Kevin Smith) flick. first surprising us with “Project Shield”, a handheld gaming console powered by android and it’s new Tegra 4 chipset, then by revealing “The Grid”, a stack of Nvidia cards super glued together to make one big card (okay-okay, I’ll admit it is slightly more complicated than that). These could very well be some serious machines.
That there is “Project Shield”, and I can’t stress enough to you how badly I want them too release a real name…I don’t want to have to keep typing in quotes. Anyway That bad body is supposedly running on some sweet hardware:
- Attached 5″ 720p touch screen
- “Classic style” gamepad
- Tegra 4 chipset
- Android Jellybean base
- Quad-core A15 CPU
- 802.11n 2×2 MIMO WIFI(prob to help it stream to your TV)
So yeah there is some cool stuff in there, but the better question is will it be a super handheld or just a mimicked Xbox controller with a phone taped to it. Going by the past I would say “yep”, but this is also a new facet for them, so we will just have to play it out. It running on Jellybean bodes well for Nvidia tho, as having an already available open source engine allows for minimal additional learning to program for the device for those whom already work with Android (this means better games faster people, get happy). Also worth noting is that the Tegra 4 chipset runs a 72-core Nvidia GeForce GPU thats 6 times more powerful than the Tegra 3, but also has a companion core that works twice as well. So…neato gang!
The Grid is a tad bit more exciting for some and more depressing for traditionals, that is because it’s a game streaming system (think OnLive). Each rack in the tower (monolith?, pillar?, obelisk?, monument?) houses 240 Nvidia GPUs!!!!! Not only that but It’s capable of 1080p creations streamed directly to whatever smart device you like (including the aforementioned Project Shield). It’s like the epic boner of a digital rendering god, just spewing out super detailed 3D manifestations to wherever you may be! Okay that was kinda gross, and I’m sorry, but that is exactly the image that was in my head and I shouldn’t be the only one to suffer thru it. Now, that was the exciting part….the other thing about it is, as I have already mentioned, it’s cloud based. And just like all other cloud based streaming the quality of the gameplay lies withing your connection…which I’m sure is just as flakey as mine. So This is yet another product that we will just have to wait to test. But the idea of playing a Skyrim-esque game in full “Extra-High” settings right on my phone baby! (yee-haw….or something to that extent).
So why has Nvidia decided to delve into the console world instead of just making super awesome monster graphics cards(think GTX690 then get back to me when you stop drooling)? My guess, along with many others in the know, is the simple fact that Nvidia’s stamp on the mass-manufactured console market is a tiny baby-stamp, one that would earn a “return to sender” from the post office. Nintendo uses ATI, Microsoft uses ATI, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the next PlayStation switched to ATI (lets face it they are cheaper and give very good performance for the price). So this is kinda like the spite-shit into the Big 3’s mouth for escaping the darkside. That’s my guess anyway, you may have a different view…like that they just got bored making “normal everyday real life renderers” for computers. Share what you think.