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Nvidia: Next mobile chip generation will outperform Xbox 360, PS3


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Milestone highlights progress in mobile chips, age of current consoles.

The next generation of Nvidia mobile chips will be able to push more polygons than current high-end game consoles, according to Nvidia Senior VP of Content and Technology Tony Tamasi. Speaking to Bit-tech recently, Tamasi noted that "The PS3 and Xbox 360 are barely more powerful than mobile devices... the next click of mobile phones will outperform [them]."

To be fair, this probably says more about the age of the current HD game consoles than the power of Nvidia's upcoming mobile chips. The Xbox 360 and PS3 both have GPUs that can handle about 200 gigaFLOPS, which is not that much better than the 80 gigaFLOPS Nvidia is boasting for its current Tegra 4 mobile chips (yes, we know FLOPS aren't a perfect measure of processor performance, but they're close enough to highlight the power scales involved). Sony's PlayStation 4 will push the console space up to 1.8 teraFLOPS later this year, of course, and it will take mobile chips a while to catch up with the 4.5 teraFLOPS possible in Nvidia's current high-end Titan PC graphics cards.

Still, passing the mark set by current HD consoles has implications for the products that will be based on those Nvidia mobile chips. This level of performance has been the de facto standard for millions of console gamers for years now, and being able to pack that kind of processing power into a cheap, tiny form factor could change the market in some interesting ways. Imagine when next year's model of the Ouya or Nvidia's own Project Shield are able to run 3D games at the level of Gears of War: Judgment or Uncharted 3 without breaking a sweat, for instance.

Sure, there's nothing really new about Moore's Law packing more computing power into a smaller space at a cheaper price over time. But it can still be striking to note just how far we've come, and how what was considered high-end just a few years ago will soon be only passable in mobile phone performance. Of course, in ten years we'll all be running PlayStation 4 emulators on our holographic Googlezon Glass displays (powered by the Samsung Galaxy 14s in our pocket) and wonder why we were ever impressed by this kind of thing in the first place.

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Impressive, hilarious and overblown at the same time.

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