Has Nvidia made next-gen consoles obsolete?

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obsolete

The next generation console from Microsoft and Sony – both running AMD GPU’s – aren’t even out yet, and they may have already been made obsolete by new mobile GPU tech from Nvidia. Utilising some sort of dark, black magic, Nvidia has managed to shrink its Kepler-based GPU tech on to something the size of a fingernail; something that could change mobile and tablet gaming forever.

NVIDIA’s next-generation mobile processor, “Project Logan” has been showcased at Siggraph this month – and it’s pretty darned impressive. The folks at Epic games, who’ll be using the thing to demonstrate its Unreal 4 Engine.

“This bridges the gap between highly desirable PC game experiences and what we are already achieving on mobile devices with Unreal Engine 4 and Logan,” said Epic Games. “Mobile games soon will be built using the same architecture as PC games, following the latest standards, and using the most powerful, scalable tools.

“We think the next generation of games will be the most incredible one yet, and we’re just getting started.Today marks a new technological milestone in Unreal Engine history.”

According to Epic, the thing is capable of delivering graphics that are on par with the sort of stuff Pc gamers are used to with DirectX 11. On Tablets and smartphones.

“The big news here is NVIDIA’s support for the OpenGL 4.3 feature set, which brings to mobile devices the same high-end graphics hardware capabilities exposed via DirectX 11 on PC games and on next-generation consoles,” said Epic CEO Tim Sweeney. “And this isn’t your father’s GPU: NVIDIA’s mobile graphics technology is built on the same Kepler graphics architecture found in its latest generation of PC GPUs.

“It’s the same Kepler architecture on top of which we’ve created high-end Unreal Engine 4 PC demos, which have taken advantage of over 2.5 teraflops of computing performance. More than ever before, we see the opportunity for developers to create high-end games and ship them across multiple platforms on a wide variety of devices, including tablet, smartphone, Windows, Mac, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

“It’s all running on a chip no bigger than a fingernail, and is just a taste of what mobile Kepler will make possible.”

Could this lead to the death of consoles as we know them? I can quite honestly see next, next gen consoles being tablets or handhelds that can be taken out and about, and then connected – wirelessly – to TV’s for the full console experience.

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However, I don’t think consoles are obsolete just yet – thanks to exclusives and other features that just aren’t available on mobile right now, there will be a place for them. However, the one thing that this new mobile GPU has made largely redundant? Nvidia’s own Shield – which starts shipping at the end of this month.

Last Updated: July 25, 2013

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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