We’re all excited about the forthcoming release of the new Playstation and Xbox later this year, but other new video game consoles like NVIDIA’s Project Shield and the Steam Box have a lot to get excited about as well. NVIDIA is a behemoth in the gaming industry and Xi3 are pushing the boundaries of current technology. This means that both their products will be under a great deal of scrutiny upon release. Project Shield will be facing a fierce fight against the PS Vita and Nintendo 3DS while Piston will have to prove it’s own against other PC’s.
New Video Game Consoles
NVIDIA Project Shield
NVIDIA’s Project Shield is a portable Android gaming device that also play PC games that are streamed to it For those that want to play Android games on your HDTV, check out our top Android gaming consoles.
There’s plenty space on the mobile console world for another contender and it’s about time someone stepped up to challenge Sony and Nintendo. From the looks of it NVIDIA seems to have done their homework and have put together a system that will kick some serious ass. It’s quickly starting to look like the best handheld gaming device we’ve seen in years.
This portable gaming system has all the features that other handheld systems have failed to implement. Firstly, and most importantly in my eyes, is the inclusion of a full-size controller. As much as I enjoy playing games on portable devices, I miss the depth of control that only a full-sized controller can accomplish.
A great gaming experience…
When I talk about it being an Android gaming machine, people might scoff, but with the level of games being released now, you will soon be having a great gaming experience buying low cost games. Project Shield boasts a Tegra 4 chip, the fastest mobile processor available. It has a 5″ multi-touch screen and comes standard with Android Jelly Bean, so it should be simple for most users to get the hang of it. The controller is reminiscent of the original Xbox controller, though a lot more flattened out.
For playing PC games, you’ll need a PC that has a NVIDIA graphics card installed. NVIDIA will releasing more info on which cards will be compatible closer to the release date. Now I love playing PC games on my big screen TV, but sometimes I want to sprawl out on my bed and do some gaming from there. Project Shields streaming feature is exactly what I need to play graphically intensive games, in all their glory, on a portable device. Early tests have shown almost no lag when streaming games, meaning that you can have the same PC gaming experience you know and love from anywhere in your house via Wi-Fi.
Piston (Steam Box)
Following the trend of the new Android gaming systems, the Piston is also quite a compact unit. Though instead of running mobile games on a big screen, the Piston is a modular computer that will be running graphically intensive games that you’d usually need a pretty good PC for.
Piston looks to fill the gap between console and PC gaming. PC’s provide the best possible graphics you can get in a game, but require a fair amount of configuring and constant upgrading to keep your PC running newer games smoothly. Consoles are great plug-and-play devices that require no fiddling about with drivers, but they can never quite reach the graphical quality that PC’s can. Gamers have been able to upgrade their hard drive on their console, but that’s about all we could change.
Piston hopes to take advantage of this gap in the market by providing a console that both sides of the spectrum can enjoy. Console gamers can quickly and easily load games from Steam and play them on their HDTV and PC gamers won’t have to deal with a big bulky desktop PC anymore. The hardware is still upgradeable, for those that want a bit more “oomph” in their games.
A marvel of technology
The Piston is really a marvel of technology in that they can fit so much power in such a small space without it overheating. It’s a modular PC, which means that they’ve basically cut up a PC’s motherboard and are playing a game of Tetris with it, to get it to fit in a smaller space. They’ve also found a way for it to use a lot less energy and give off less heat.
I’m waiting to see how well the Piston does with gamers but I reckon the specs aren’t great for a gaming rig. My gaming rig play everything I throw at it, but the space it takes up and the noise it makes while I’m trying to write is awful. Though I wouldn’t pick one of these up for extreme gaming, I’d love to own one of these to use for work and lighter gaming. As a hater of laptops, I do all my work from home and need something that’s quick and quiet and not an eyesore in my living room.
With further development and price drops, we might get to see better graphics cards in these tiny cases. The Piston is definitely something that we needed on the market. I’ll be watching it closely, and will be sure to pick one up when the price drops.