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    Portable Gaming

    Portable gaming is not just a fad. Since the humble beginnings of gaming technology, gamers have always been fascinated by the idea of game devices we could take with us. When technology is available and the devices are at our fingertips most of us will happily dive into a portable experience for hours.

    Unfortunately, up until recently the focus has largely been on newer and better home entertainment solutions and portable gaming was left behind for a while. However, as we continue to upgrade the phones, tablets, gaming devices and consoles that surround us in our day to day lives, technology is being developed that will shape a new generation of what we call portable gaming, in some cases without any extra technology required.

    With everyone racing to embrace this new streaming craze, Sony has realised that expanding its reach to all of its current devices gives it an edge over the competition in the minds of Playstation 4 owners. Touchscreen controls still can’t make up for the tactile feel and mastery of a proper controller, so Sony have decided to meet its users halfway. Set to retail at under $50, this harness easily straps around your PS4 controller and pairs up to your Sony Phone or tablet to give you a perfect hand held
    experience, with the bonus of having the PS4s powerful hardware do the work and simply stream this across a network. The result is a promising proof of concept, the PS4 might be the first to the party with this technology, but it does not mean we won't see more of this in the future. Other consoles are sure to follow in Sony's footsteps here, also raising the question of whether we will see Steam streaming options to phones and tablets, or what the future holds for companies like Nvidia who are out on the forefront of this technology right now.

    Though it's yet to make a massive splash in Australia, Nvidia continue to fight the good fight with the Nvidia Shield and Shield tablet. With only a 1280x720 display on the Shield, it is falling behind a little as far as HD gaming goes. But a custom made Android controller with a screen attached capable of live streaming from your desktop PC gaming smoothly around your home definitely appeals to
    some gamers out there. This item is only the beginning for Nvidia: the company has new chipsets to expand the potential of this idea and being on the front line of this technology has given them time to learn from mistakes made and design something even better as they go along.

    Of course, Nvidia has already made forward momentum with their gaming tablet. Though a tad heavier than the new range of tablets available on the market, the Nvidia Shield tablet has an upgraded 1920x1080 panel on its 8inch design.

    It also has Nvidia's high end Tegra K1 processor, 2GB of RAM, stylus support for freehand sketching and also has handwriting recognition as well, making it a good pick for graphic artists as well as gamers. This platform links up with their dual analog controllers and can have up to four people playing off one tablet.

    However it’s worth considering that those users will probably be better off using the tablet’s console mode for this, because the Shield tablet can jack into a TV in this mode and give users a bit more screen real estate when playing with others. Huddling more than two people around one 8” screen doesn’t sound the the most comfortable gaming experience.

    Nvidia are definitely on the forefront of the revival of portable gaming tech. Its tech may be a little slow to take hold, but the idea of a flexible gaming device that fits in amongst your daily life is technology to keep your eye on as it develops.

    Data caps in Australia may be expensive at the moment, but as we begin to get better value for money, gaming across 4G networks becomes a more promising idea. Having seen the beginnings of this technology hit our shores with the PS Vita's cellular model, the idea is at this stage only hindered by a lack of attention and high data cost. However, as phones and tablets grow more powerful and mobile gaming starts to offer more multiplayer games like Real Racing 3, Order and Chaos and the Modern Combat series, connecting larger numbers of gamers together on these platforms, gaming with your friends has never been such a mobile idea, and a terrible blight on workplace productivity everywhere. The speed of this mobile network also opens up the world to more streaming options. Though most of it is still a bit bleeding edge to get excited about yet, especially if you are still on ADSL2+ broadband, the tech heads are beginning to develop ways to stream HD gaming content out of your house and with you as you travel. Soon a portable device will be able to offer you any experience you want, be it movies or games direct from your home entertainment devices or PC, as long as you can get a good signal.

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