CES, the annual influx of techies on Las Vegas has not even opened its doors yet and has already provided a couple of surprises. In a step away from the norm the kick off keynote speech will, for the first time since 1995, NOT to be delivered by a notable Microsoft employee. Instead Paul Jacobs the CEO of wireless chip giant, Qualcomm will take to the stage on the topic of ‘are you born mobile?’ Promising an offering including famous faces and big announcements, which sounds reminiscent of a rock show, tuning in at 1830 tonight is one not to be missed.
Whilst the 2012 event was all about tablet devices it seems all things mobile are back in fashion again this year. But this time the first big announcement of the Show was not about a smartphone or network provider but in fact takes advantage of the recent gaming explosion from the most unexpected source.
Nvidia, whilst already a big name in the gaming industry, has taken a step away from providing graphics cards for others to launch their own handheld gaming device. The success of console gaming is by no means new. But with the rise of smartphones and tablets meaning even the most casual observer is carrying a gaming device with them at most times, the Nvidia Project Shield aims to capitalise by bringing the two together. The combination of a larger screen size with a functional gaming controller including joystick means the handheld offers something that even the Nintendo DS is yet to deliver. Allowing users to connect to games via Android Jelly Bean and a networked PC’s Steam channel, the device will be one of the first to play big box games on a mobile screen. Additionally, a further bonus means a HDMI output could potentially turn the handheld back into a console by connecting it to a big screen TV.
Whilst it may look a bit retro, it’s being described in the first reviews as “essentially a modern tablet in new casing”. It is refreshing to see CES being used as a platform for gaming also, further demonstrating its growth outside of core followers into the wider tech sphere. Although, with the sleekness of many tablets around Project Shield might have a way to go before we see people swapping their kit.
Photo courtesy of Nvidia.