Project Shield and Razer Edge excite in Vegas
A new breed of gaming tech wowed the crowds at CES 2013
We may have spent much of our time in Vegas drooling over ultra-sharp TVs, but a new breed of gaming tech left us more excited than a teenager meeting Justin Bieber.
Subject to much deserved hype during CES, Nvidia's Project Shield and the Razer Edge brought much praise from fawning tech hacks like me during our seven days on the Strip.
Project Shield is a handheld gaming system which can produce console-standard graphics on the go. It can run Android and streamed PC games on its own screen as well as PC games through ultra HD TVs.
The Shield was described as an " iPod Touch, an Xbox controller and a Jambox gaffer-taped together" by an Nvidia spokesperson.
Basically, it looks like a regular gaming controller with a screen attached to the top. This may not be the sleekest description, but the Shield is all about what's going on under the hood, baby.
Running Nvidia's most powerful Tegra 4 processor, the Shield throbs like a '66 Mustang, delivering ample juice to run the next-gen graphics engine Unreal Engine 4.
Those behind the Shield said they imagined a device that would do for games what "the iPod and Kindle have done for music and books".
The iPod and Kindle have redefined how we listen to tunes and
read, so this is clearly revolutionary talk.
Thankfully the Shield means business, with its heavyweight tech creating the potential for high-end Android games, among other things. The screen atop the controller is a five-inch multi-touch display, while gamers can expect hours of play on a single battery charge.
Jen-Hsun Huang, co-founder and chief executive officer at Nvidia, said: "We were inspired by a vision that the rise of mobile and cloud technologies will free us from our boxes, letting us game anywhere, on any screen."
Another gaming device to rip it up on the Strip was the Razer Edge. From the minute we checked out the laptop/tablet hybrid we were down with it. We weren't the only ones, either - it also won a host of gongs including CNET's People's Voice.
Featuring an Intel i7 processor and a 10-point touchscreen, the Razer looks like a tablet with two handles glued to the side - these are gaming controllers, and yes, they're detachable.
Previously known as Project Fiona, the Razer combines the sleek looks of a Windows 8 tablet with all the wallop of a high-powered gaming ultrabook. Solo gaming can get lonely, but if you want to play with a friend additional Xbox-style controllers can be used.
Portable gaming is the main thrust of the Razer, but it's also good for couch-based joypad sessions thanks to HDMI connectors that allow it to be plugged into your TV as a mini-console.
Recent years have seen us go gaga for gadgets of a slender disposition - tablets and iPods small enough to follow us wherever we go.
Many of us have opted for a tablet over a desktop PC, and now - with the Razer Edge and Project Shield - we have seen devices designed to lure PC gamers from the comfort of their gaming lair and their treasured desktop.
CES 2013 - talkin' 'bout a revolution.