It’d be naive of us to think NVIDIA isn’t working on a successor to the SHIELD gaming handheld, and rumors are already swirling that NVIDIA is prepping a Tegra K1 gaming tablet. Another device could be headed our way if the BBC is to be believed, though.
NVIDIA is reportedly looking to launch an Android-based console not unlike the OUYA, one that can be paired with a special console controller for home gaming. The device would use NVIDIA’s Tegra K1 chipset, though we can’t imagine that’s too much of a surprise for anyone.
We imagine the console will highlight Tegra-optimized games from the Google Play Store, but if the currently available SHIELD is anything to go by you should be able to play pretty much anything that runs on Android (granted, those games would probably require controller support if there’s no touch-based input embedded somewhere). NVIDIA will also likely use the console as a vehicle for GameStream, their home streaming service that allows you to stream games from your GeForce-equipped PC to compatible devices (which only includes the SHIELD as of the time of this writing).
While you might first assume NVIDIA is looking to compete with OUYA and MadCatz, their scope likely reaches far beyond that arena. We imagine this set-top box will be more about challenging the Linux-based Steam Box PCs Valve is planning to launch. It’s a necessary development for NVIDIA if they really want to push their GRID-powered GameStream service as the SHIELD hasn’t exactly taken the gaming market by storm since its launch.
Things shift into a multiple front battle when you consider how this could help NVIDIA in other markets. This move would give folks more incentive to equip their gaming computers with NVIDIA hardware instead of AMD, an especially important factor in a GPU war that’s starting to become a lot less one-sided in the past few years. We won’t say everything is riding on this strategy for NVIDIA, but it certainly should prove to be an important cog to help the Santa Clara company keep up with this fast-evolving market.