Nintendo and Sony are the primary companies in the mobile-gaming market. Nintendo has the Nintendo 3DS (N3DS) and the Nintendo Wii U (the portable version of the Nintendo Wii) while Sony has both the Playstation Portable (PSP) and the Playstation Vita (PSV). Microsoft, which has the Xbox 360, has yet to come out with a portable gaming console. It seems that Microsoft may only focus on the Xbox and Windows OS games. One would question if there anybody who may step out and provide viable competition to those two companies in regards to the mobile game console market. So far, that answer may come from the company Nvidia which is known for making computer components such as sound cards and video cards.
Currently, Nvidia is working on its mobile gaming device which is currently using the pseudonym of “Project Shield.” From the looks of it, Project Shield looks like the “love child” of the Nintendo 3DS console and a random Xbox controller. Project Shield looks somewhat like an Xbox controller due to the controller layout; but, it has the Nvidia brand logo on it. It also has a flip-screen which is similar to Nintendo's DS console series. So far, there's no release date of Project Shield at the moment. Since there's no date, it's unknown if or when Project Shield will end up coming out. That means the project could get scrapped at any given moment or time.
IGN Entertainment, in a recently uploaded video, reports that Nvidia says that Project Shield will ship out sometime in the second quarter of this year. At the earliest, Project Shield could be out on the market come the spring season to early summer season.
It is reported that Nvidia's Project Shield will run on the Android Jellybean operating system. Also, this portable console will have a custom quad-core CPU. Also, it is reported to be able to stream games from your PC straight to the device. Will Project Shield be a viable competitor to Sony and Nintendo in terms of mobile console gaming? Still, it's unknown as neither a price nor a release date has been given out.
The processor for Project Shield, the Tegra 4, is reported to be currently found on various smart phones and tablet computers such as Google's Nexus 7. It's said that the Tegra 4 will be more potent than the Tegra 3. With regards to graphics, the Tegra 4 processor will have 72 graphics-dedicated cores. It is six times the number the Tegra 3 has. In short, the processor is supposed to be more powerful than the processor that the fourth generation Apple iPad is using. The back of the console has a Micro SD port, an HDMI port, and a USB port.
Machinima, in a recently uploaded video, reports that while the Nvidia Project Shield console will let you play Android games and allow you to stream games from the Steam Network via PC Streaming. If you have a Steam account, that may be more reason to get this console when it comes out. There's also the question: Will this console have any compatibility with the “Steam Box?” Steam Box is the current name given out to a possible console that the company Valve has admitted to having plans for.
While the verdict is too early to give, this “Project Shield” from Nvidia might be potential competition to both Sony and Nintendo. For game developers and publishers, it spells out another console and OS to port their titles to.