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Nvidia Diversifies with Project Shield

The portable Android device is supposed to stream both Android and PC games over Wi-Fi to high-definition TVs

In an example of Microsoft-like vertical integration Nvidia under the code-name Project Shield is going to take parts it builds for other people's videogame consoles like the new version of its Tegra 4 processor and build a game machine of its own that it sells direct to consumers.

The portable Android device is supposed to stream both Android and PC games over Wi-Fi to high-definition TVs and its own five-inch 1,280×720 screen. Gamers will be able play in bed or from a sofa instead of sitting at a computer.

The move will put Nvidia in competition with Apple, Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo. It could also unsettle Nvidia's established customers, which have, however, been drifting over to AMD.

The streamed games will also have to be instantly responsive.

According to Nvidia consultant Patrick Moorhead the widget is "disruptive" and "sent a shock wave through the gaming industry."

He says the company is leveraging its VGX Technology, the technology used in its commercial VDI and cloud gaming technology. Because of Nvidia's Kepler architecture gaming latency should be minimized, apparently by bypassing the CPU and doing the rendering on the GPU. He says "Shield sends gameplay commands wirelessly to the gaming PC."

Nvidia, which made the announcement at the Consumer Electronics Show Sunday, didn't mention the price of the anticipated dingus. It could be out in Q2.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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