Nvidia plans hybrid Android, PC gaming device, report says

Nvidia's next gaming device will reportedly feature a separate controller and run both mobile games and PC games.


Graphics processor maker Nvidia appears to be working on its next Android-based gaming device.

Nvidia is working on a "new gaming device" that will play Android games as well as high-end PC games, reported the BBC on Monday. Similar to the Nvidia Shield handheld game console, this new device will run mobile games and native Android apps when being used as a standalone device, said the BBC. When connected to a PC running one of Nvidia's GeForce graphics processing unit (GPU), the device can be used as a high-end gaming console that streams PC games to a television via an HDMI-out port, according to the report.

Unlike the Shield, the company plans to offer a "budget-priced separate controller," according to the BBC's unnamed sources. It's possible that this new gaming device could be the "Shield Tablet" that has been hinted at in recent weeks.

The device will run PC games using Nvidia's GeForce Experience system, said the report, which means the linked PC will need one of Nvidia's more powerful graphics cards. For Android games, the device will rely on Nvidia's new Tegra K1 chip, said the BBC.

A Nvidia spokeswoman would not confirm details of the device to the BBC, but said the company will launch an "awesome new gaming product" soon. CNET has contacted Nvidia for comment. We will update this story when we have more information.

Nvidia has for years been making components used to power mobile and desktop computing hardware. Last year, Nvidia unveiled it's first piece of consumer hardware for the gaming space: the Nvidia Shield. The portable gaming device features a 5-inch screen attached to a large game console-style controller. While it's considered a powerful piece of gaming hardware, the Shield has so far failed to find an audience.

If details of the BBC report are true, Nvidia will find itself competing against both traditionally PC-focused game companies and companies focused on mobile gaming. The company has several chips designed to be bundled with their smartphones and tablets, including the 192-core Tegra K1, to capitalize on mobile gaming. Nvidia also appears to be positioning itself against gaming companies like Valve, with is Steam Machine hardware range set to lunch in 2015, that are trying to bring PC games to the television.

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