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Asus May Offer Gaming Device to Compete With Nvidia Shield

By - Source: G4Games | B 14 comments

Asus is working on a "Gamebox."

A recent leak provided by AnTuTu reveals that Asus is working on a gaming device called the Gamebox. The form factor is unknown at this point, but there's speculation that the device could be a handheld gaming machine like the Nvidia Shield, or a tablet like the Archos GamePad with built-in controls.

According to the leaked specs, the Gamebox will feature a Nvidia Tegra 4 clocked up to 1.91 GHz, 2 GB of RAM and 8 GB of internal storage. The built-in screen's native resolution will be 1280 x 720, meaning this device could go either way in regards to competing with Nvidia or Archos. The OS of choice will be Android 4.3 "Jelly Bean."

By comparison, the Shield sports a Nvidia Tegra 4 chip, 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal storage. The built-in 5-inch screen has a native resolution of 1280 x 720, which is identical to the Asus Gamebox. Other features include dual-band Wireless N connectivity, Bluetooth 3.0, a microSD card reader, mini-HDMI output and more. The price is $249 USD.

As another comparison, the Archos GamePad 2, which has built in controls on both sides of the screen, is powered by a quad-core Cortex-A9 chip clocked at 1.6 GHz, 2 GB of RAM, 8 GB or 16 GB of internal storage, and a 7-inch IPS panel with a 1280 x 800 resolution. There's also a microSD card slot for storing media, dual-band Wireless N and Bluetooth connectivity, and so on. The price starts at $199.99 USD.

That said, the Asus device could have a tablet or controller form factor with a screen measuring 5 inches to 7 inches. Benchmarks show that the Asus Gamebox essentially has the same performance as the Nvidia Shield, leading to speculation that it may be a handheld unit.

So why clone the Shield? Based on the specs, Asus looks to undercut Nvidia in pricing by offering a smaller internal storage size, thus providing a cheaper alternative. Unfortunately, only around 6 GB of storage is made available to the user, allowing for three or four Gameloft games to be installed at once.

If Asus is going after the tablet market instead, Asus will not only be competing with Archos, but the Wikipad 7 and several other lesser-known tablet makers. Asus could have the upper hand based on name alone -- even more so now that Asus has become the maker of Google's Nexus 7 line of tablets.

Currently, the actual pricing and release date is unknown, but perhaps we'll see more information later this month during Mobile World Congress.

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  • 0 Hide
    Datcu Alexandru , February 10, 2014 3:38 PM
    How can it compete with the shield if it can't stream from the PC? That's the main removed feature of shield in the first place. Not as an android console.

    Watch the language. - G
  • 0 Hide
    doomtomb , February 10, 2014 4:24 PM
    ASUS should stay out of this and team up with Nvidia instead. Betraying your more powerful master is a recipe for disaster.
  • 5 Hide
    Morbus , February 10, 2014 4:35 PM
    Is there really a market for this stuff? Android games are abysmal, and why stream from the PC anyway? Unless you can do it when you're not at home, it's totally pointless!
  • 0 Hide
    somebodyspecial , February 10, 2014 6:29 PM
    Quote:
    How can it compete with the shield if it can't stream from the PC? That's the main [removed] feature of shield in the first place. Not as an android console.

    Watch the language. - G


    You seem angry someone is producing a shield competitor. Odd we should want them to proliferate if we're gamers. More gamepad games on android will result and also raises the level of quality in those games. Ouya is just too weak with T3. Hopefully rev2 of their device isn't far behind since they said they'll do one yearly also. I'm for any STRAIGHT android device over Ouya's closed crap though.

    If you were correct shield would have been released as a streamer first (not beta) and android games second. That isn't the case. This is an android game device, which is Nvidia's ultimate goal. Get games on android and OFF windows/directx/x86. You see, if games start to be made even more on android (60% last GDC 2013 show, I expect higher next month for this year), you start to shift people from needing an x86 machine at all for games while also dealing a blow to consoles/AMD themselves too. This leaves Nvidia (and everyone else on arm) in a position to take x86 desktops with ARM 64bit inside instead of Wintel. Slap 8-16GB inside, an SSD or HD and boom desktop that plays great games. Until it's power gets up to snuff you stream the PC's GPU to it.

    Nvidia would welcome a dozen people making all kinds of T4 game devices (consoles, handhelds etc, they said this a while back). They won't see it as competition but rather proliferating their platform for games that DON'T run x86. That's the point of project Denver. Make a desktop without WINTEL that can play decent games and eventually PC level games/graphics in a 500-1000watt box. You need that first to get people over there, then just due to massive numbers of units on android side that are VERY game capable, you get the apps to follow. Adobe and others already have rinky dink (LOL) apps like photoshop over there but with limited features. Next year I'd bet it has far more functionality in it and at some point the whole Adobe suite will be over there. Why not if Denver rev2 (M1 or rev3? V1?) can be pushed to 3.5-4ghz under a heatsink/fan it will be a very decent desktop, strap in an Nvidia discrete card for anyone with real performance gaming in mind. Unless you need a PC for a specific app that hasn't been ported (likely less than 10-15%, mostly enterprise), you can easily switch to ARM/Android and save a few hundred bucks per PC. Witness chromebooks (far below K1) already taking 21% of the entire notebook market. How hard to take at least the low-end of desktops next rev as 64bit enters the picture? Qcom 810, K1 etc all come for those desktops at some point.

    You have to think bigger picture. :)  Having said that, this thing better have an SD slot or something to increase storage or I don't see the point as games are getting pretty advanced already over there on android and now have many over 1GB downloads. IE, Magic The Gathering was a 1.5GB download for my dad's nexus 10. So 4 games fit on this thing? Shield wins unless they have some way to add storage.

    I'd be surprised if NV doesn't allow streaming to this thing though. That sells NV discrete cards so why would you block that after saying they'd like others to clone their device basically and they are selling the T4 to Asus to build it (if you're worried why sell them to them for a competitive device?)? Anyone who buys a device you can stream your NV card to, is a device that causes someone to say hmm...I think I'll buy an NV card instead of AMD since I can stream it (assuming you don't already own a 650TI or above). Then again if shield has been selling REALLY well (we'll see this Q I hope in the Q report in 2 days), I guess I'd block it too maybe but asus makes card etc for them so probably not a bright idea to alienate a partner this early in this LONG game ;)  Wait for your GPU to dominate mobile (and get something in a 500w desktop with discrete gpu) before you pull crap like that.
  • 0 Hide
    rokit , February 10, 2014 10:11 PM
    Compete with what again? Who is using this garbage? You either buy a strong phone or a tablet and if you need some games there then so be it. Its not like shield can compete with psp or something, its the same android games everyone can have on a better devices.
  • 0 Hide
    renz496 , February 11, 2014 1:18 AM
    Quote:
    How can it compete with the shield if it can't stream from the PC? That's the main fucking feature of shield in the first place. Not as an android console.


    Shield is first and foremost an android device. the streaming stuff is just an extra feature nvidia give to it. it is more to link shield to their existing technology such as GRID
  • 0 Hide
    renz496 , February 11, 2014 1:24 AM
    Quote:
    ASUS should stay out of this and team up with Nvidia instead. Betraying your more powerful master is a recipe for disaster.


    not really. with shield nvidia show what is possible with their tegra chip. the best interest for nvidia was for device manufacturer to create their own device using nvidia soc. if people expecting nvidia to compete with sony or nintendo directly on handheld console then they see it wrong.
  • 0 Hide
    renz496 , February 11, 2014 1:29 AM
    Quote:
    Is there really a market for this stuff? Android games are abysmal, and why stream from the PC anyway? Unless you can do it when you're not at home, it's totally pointless!


    it can be done. the only question is will you want it or not
  • 0 Hide
    somebodyspecial , February 11, 2014 3:13 AM
    Quote:
    Is there really a market for this stuff? Android games are abysmal, and why stream from the PC anyway? Unless you can do it when you're not at home, it's totally pointless!


    Streaming while out from your home GPU will come at some point but will probably always have latency issues for some titles. That's not too important, as the main point is to play your pc gpu anywhere in the house or out to TV. If you think android gaming sucks, you clearly haven't been to googlepay's store in a while. This list below is old, but now has grown a lot with newer versions for many. IE, Modern Combat 5 (go check a vid for that and tell me it sucks), Asphalt 8, Anomaly 2, etc etc, Unreal 4 already runs on K1, games won't look like crap when made for kepler and up and many already look good with nothing yet aimed directly at T4 and up gpus. You sound like a Sony fanboy trying to save Vita from it's impending death :)  You going to tell me hawken looks like crap too? Considering 3DS sold 40million basically BEFORE mobile got going on games, yes there is a market. 3DS is woefully underpowered vs. T4 and K1 in many ways (so is VITA). Your question should be is there any market left for Vita/3DS/Wiiu (under 6mil sales? ouch)? The same devs that made great Kepler games will either port or create new ones for Android Kepler. No homework needed to learn kepler mobile again. You're already done. There is a reason Nintendo is already showing signs of scrambling over hardware. Gestureware works with 162 games now also, adding to the fun factor on win8 devices with android/ios coming at some point they say. Most of the latest PC games already work.
    https://gameplay.gestureworks.com/
    http://www.tegrazone.com/news/gestureworks
    "We will extend our Core framework to Ruby, Android, and other languages in the future." but already on HTML 5, flash, actionscript, adobe air etc. So maybe type browser interfaces streaming the PC isn't far behind anyway regardless of the gameplay app.

    Spellforce2 Demons of the Past just hit, already supported. They seem to be fairly quick at adding these. You also completely ignore you can output to TV which replaces the need for consoles. Most of us don't have our PC in the same room as our big screen. There are many games I wouldn't mind playing from the couch, either on shield or on TV. There are some I just don't think are a good fit, but many ARE especially with gestureworks simulating a mouse/keyboard like gameplay. Surely android is the 2nd version they'll come with as it is taking over mobile.

    http://www.tegrazone.com/news/mobilegrowth
    You also must be ignoring the news. IF forecasts are true mobile will be a ~$24Billion dollar market by 2016 (already $13Billion vs. Consoles $44Billion for 2013).
    https://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2614915
    Look at handhelds already dying vs. mobile. IN 2016 we'll see 10nm show up possibly by end of year. Watch for consoles to look like Handhelds in that chart by then if not sooner depending on next gen sales. Devs making games that will appear this year already show these numbers are true or conservative (60% making mobile games, vs. under 5% for 3DS an 2.5% for Vita, it will only get worse, next gen have below 13% showing any interest).
    "Mobile games are the fastest-growing segment of the market, with revenue set to nearly double between 2013 and 2015 from $13.2 billion to $22 billion (see Table 1)"

    You're ignoring the obvious. It's happening right in front of your face ;) 
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/markrogowsky/2014/01/17/dismal-wii-u-sales-move-nintendo-closer-to-game-over/
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-01-17/nintendo-forecasts-net-loss-on-stagnating-sales-of-wii-u-games.html
    Wiiu/3DS dying. Nintendo needs to start porting to android ASAP or die. 1.2B units of smart devices sold YEARLY say Nintendo needs an android shot in the arm ASAP. Wiiu/3DS sales haven't hit 50mil AFAIK TOTAL combined. With more than 25x the size of the audience of wiiu/3ds combined, they can sell the next zelda on android for $10-20 and probably make a billion one after another. In 2-3yrs that's double going to double again most likely as desktop gpus take over mobile. So an opportunity to sell to another 1.2B on top of today maybe. I'm sure Zelda at $10 sells FAR better than Zelda at $50-60. Nintendo has some great software, but not enough machines to sell them to. Bring Zelda, Mario, Sonic to android and make a few billion each rev combined. No point in them doing hardware any more. Android is killing both the 3ds and wiiu sales (on top of damage xbox1/ps4 do to wiiu and even old consoles sell well vs. wiiu). I think they make money on every 3ds/wiiu they sell so might as well keep selling them, but don't bother with the next models. Go MOBILE. Hit your own devices first then a delayed launch to android for all titles - say 1yr to maximize sales at $30-50. Then go mobile for $20 for everyone left.

    http://www.ign.com/articles/2014/01/29/these-are-nintendos-lifetime-hardware-and-software-numbers
    Is the biggest seller only 2.6mil units? Android sales of their games would likely be 10mil+ on a regular basis. We are talking about 25x the size of the audience (1.2B vs. 48mil 3ds/wiiu as of jan 29). Note the DS had many titles selling 10mil+ with one hitting 30mil+, so clearly you could sell somewhere near that or better on 8x original DS audience and growing right? At $20 they would sell like crazy. Heck they might be able to charge $25-30 and sell well.

    Here's my pretty old list with a few added but basically ignoring sports totally:

    Head to google play and check out some of these games, the 1st THREE are unreal engine based check out the movies of the games...this is the first freaking wave (not angry birds now):
    Demon Score (square enix)
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.square_enix.demonsgp&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEsImNvbS5zcXVhcmVfZW5peC5kZW1vbnNncCJd

    Wild Blood
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.gameloft.android.ANMP.GloftWBHM&feature=related_apps

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.gameloft.android.ANMP.GloftD4HM
    Dungeon Hunter 4 looks pretty much like torchlight 1 or maybe between 1-2. Either way this game doesn't suck. Looks great.

    Note the unreal engine 3 is just kicking off on mobile, a lot more in the pipe and now that unreal 4 runs on K1 & presumably all Tegra socs going forward, so the flow of games will only continue. Also forgot Real Boxing (among other sports games, not really hitting them here, but there are many).

    Bloodsword (very nice!)
    http://www.tegrazone.com/games/bloodsword

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.madfingergames.deadtrigger2
    Dead Trigger 2 looks pretty good also.

    Nearly all recent gameloft games are pretty good and all from june/july, get ready for this years coming soon:
    http://www.gameloft.com/download-games/all-android-games/

    ChoplifterHD fron inexile (more than 10mins of fun...LOL)
    http://www.tegrazone.com/games/choplifter

    TaintedKeep (for those adventure rpg types)
    http://www.tegrazone.com/games/taintedkeep

    Riptide GP2
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.vectorunit.red&referrer=utm_source=nvidia&utm_medium=site&utm_campaign=TegraZone

    Gun Bros 2
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.glu.gunbros2


    Modern Combat 1-4:
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.gameloft.android.ANMP.GloftM4HM&feature=more_from_developer

    Make sure you up the video to 1080p... It rocks. This is PRE-T4. These are made for current crap T3 etc...OLD, some even T2 games below.

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.gameloft.android.ANMP.GloftM3HM&feature=related_apps#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEwOSwiY29tLmdhbWVsb2Z0LmFuZHJvaWQuQU5NUC5HbG9mdE0zSE0iXQ..

    Eternity Warriors 2 (1-5mil installs in the last 30 days...wow):
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.glu.ewarriors2&feature=more_from_developer#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEwMiwiY29tLmdsdS5ld2FycmlvcnMyIl0.
    WOW, no, there will be no good games on tablets/phones etc. :) 

    Iron Man 3 (impressive to say the least)
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.gameloft.android.ANMP.GloftIMHM&feature=related_apps

    Frontline Commando
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.glu.flcn_new&feature=more_from_developer#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEwMiwiY29tLmdsdS5mbGNuX25ldyJd

    Nova 3 (nova 1 & 2 aren't bad either)
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.gameloft.android.ANMP.GloftN3HM&feature=more_from_developer

    Dark Knight Rises:
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.gameloft.android.ANMP.GloftKRHM&feature=more_from_developer

    Gangstar Rio
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.gameloft.android.ANMP.GloftG4HM&feature=related_apps

    Shadowgun (still think tablets are crap?)
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.madfingergames.shadowgun_thd&feature=related_apps

    Bard's Tale (hey, isn't this a CONSOLE game...LOL)
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.inxile.BardTale&feature=related_apps

    ArmA2: Firing Range (not impressive, but this was 2011...LOL)
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bistudio.a2fr&feature=more_from_developer#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEwMiwiY29tLmJpc3R1ZGlvLmEyZnIiXQ..

    Again for Tegra2...
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.slitherine.gbm&feature=also_installed#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEwNCwiY29tLnNsaXRoZXJpbmUuZ2JtIl0.

    Renaissance Blood
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.Bridea.NC.THD.RenaissanceBlood&feature=related_apps

    Zombie Driver THD (just updated Aug1 specifically for shield)
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.exor.ZombieDriver&feature=also_installed#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEwNCwiY29tLmV4b3IuWm9tYmllRHJpdmVyIl0.

    Chaos Rings 1 & 2:
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.square_enix.chaosrings2gp&feature=related_apps#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEwOSwiY29tLnNxdWFyZV9lbml4LmNoYW9zcmluZ3MyZ3AiXQ..
    Please realize it's in english when you buy it...LOL

    Blazing Souls Accelate:
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.hyperdevbox.blazingsouls&feature=more_from_developer#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEwMiwiY29tLmh5cGVyZGV2Ym94LmJsYXppbmdzb3VscyJd

    Final Fantasy 3 in 3d (2006 game but on current handhelds)
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.square_enix.android_googleplay.FFIII_GP&feature=more_from_developer#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEwMiwiY29tLnNxdWFyZV9lbml4LmFuZHJvaWRfZ29vZ2xlcGxheS5GRklJSV9HUCJd

    Amazing Spiderman:
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.gameloft.android.ANMP.GloftAMHM&feature=related_apps#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEwOSwiY29tLmdhbWVsb2Z0LmFuZHJvaWQuQU5NUC5HbG9mdEFNSE0iXQ..

    Need for Speed Most Wanted:
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ea.games.nfs13_row&feature=related_apps#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEwOSwiY29tLmVhLmdhbWVzLm5mczEzX3JvdyJd

    Asphalt 7
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.gameloft.android.ANMP.GloftA7HM&feature=more_from_developer#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEwMiwiY29tLmdhbWVsb2Z0LmFuZHJvaWQuQU5NUC5HbG9mdEE3SE0iXQ..

    COD Black Ops Zombie game...Who knew?
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.atv.blackops&feature=related_apps#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEwOSwiY29tLmF0di5ibGFja29wcyJd
  • 0 Hide
    vithrell , February 11, 2014 6:09 AM
    Razer Edge-like gamepad controller dock for Asus T100. How cool it would be?
  • 0 Hide
    hoofhearted , February 11, 2014 6:32 AM
    The main thing that holds me back from embracing Android is the whole freemium, DLC, always online, ads, etc business model. Nintendo and Sony still come in game carts so I still feel confident that I am getting a complete game without having to read the fine print or research reviews and forums to make sure I am getting what I want. Plus I know they will work without forcing some sort of expiration, update or other online shenanigan or such. Android seems to have improved though as the play store now labels apps with "in-app purchase". I just wish they would further detail this (1-time fixed price unlock for full game, DLC content, DLC art/costume, microtrans = pay for ingame currency, life potions, requires alway on internet, requires internet auth every 10 plays, requires initial internet activate, etc).
  • 0 Hide
    coolitic , February 11, 2014 2:40 PM
    For a seconds I thought this said "gamecube". Anyways, Asus doesnt seem to be very creative with the name but this probably isn't a final name.
  • 0 Hide
    tcb1005 , February 11, 2014 2:43 PM
    How many Android Microconsoles will it take for manufacturers to realize that there is no market for them.
  • 0 Hide
    somebodyspecial , February 15, 2014 12:36 AM
    Quote:
    How many Android Microconsoles will it take for manufacturers to realize that there is no market for them.


    K1 is as fast as an xbox360/ps3. Those still sell very well. What you're calling micro consoles are quickly becoming just as fast as last gen which still sell. The goal isn't this year anyway. It's the next 5-10yrs of better an better android games making these things well worth the money considering their other features. No need for a roku with a full android box that plays games with gamepads too right? If all you use roku for is netflix, amazon etc, most of these micro-consoles can get all that stuff and play any movie you throw at them via many media players that run on android. Unless you're playing discs, you don't need a bluray either. Roku3 can't play half the crap I throw at it on flash drives (x264 with many types of audio failing etc, no DTS etc on roku), but an android console can just like my bluray. Same with browsing, which is not a roku job but again you can get that done on a console with BT keyboard/mouse & even from any tablet or phone via miracast/hdmi etc etc. So there is a market for these stealing from roku type devices, consoles at some point themselves (the last gen and even next gen as K1 and everything after it comes out closing on next gen consoles), handhelds in shield's case and maybe this Asus device as 3DS sold 43mil or so, so far etc. They can also do the job of chromecast type devices which is basically just a crappy roku right? :)  But they sell very well also and so well they now have clones coming...LOL. Many people don't associate android with great gaming, but that will change soon as more people find out about full featured games like I listed before. It's not angry birds crap anymore.

    Priced right, with the right features I think the next gen of these will sell very well. Once K1 hits, they'll all be claiming "xbox360/ps3 graphics on our new android console". Hopefully K1 versions will come with a killer game or two showcasing it's power. Nvidia would be wise to fund a game for this purpose. Surely they could make a great exclusive for under 5mil (Vita/3DS games are made for under 3mil, witcher/witcher2 were made for PC for 7mil each, console port parts only cost another 8mil) and easily get their money back. I'm sure they could work with the unreal guys to get something done, as K1 is the only soc running unreal 4. But I'd rather have an unreal 3 game (already easy to port everywhere with unreal 3 engine) with maxed out graphics at 720p or something. Something that sells well to a general audience but showcases the gpu (a Sonic, or Super Mario type game, platformer etc with really great graphics, or a better infinity blade type game). Something comparable to top xbox360/ps3 games would be good but with a few extra effects K1 can pull off. Gameloft etc will eventually get there, but why doesn't NV start making games for their own hardware to really kick some great ones off on android? If they don't sell well enough on your own hardware just allow them to run on other android hardware and sell them in googleplay as a last resort, or port to PC (if in opengl, html5, webgl, etc easy to port). Either that or throw a few million at gameloft for K1 specific optimizations or games made JUST for it. They just made 146mil this quarter surely they could afford funding 20mil for 5 great exclusives for K1. If they made them themselves their game dept would have direct access all day to the hardware/driver guys. IN HOUSE games. Seems like a no brainer for both AMD & Nvidia at least for a few games a year.