During CES 2013, Nvidia announced that it was working on a home console called Shield, while Valve also confirmed the existence of its own Steam hardware project. However, the already established players in the market believe that both ideas need more resources before they can challenge the Xbox, the PlayStation or the Wii brands.
Phil Harrison, the vice president of Microsoft’s European division, tells MCV that, “CES is always very interesting. But entering the hardware business is a hard thing to do. You need to have deep pockets. Hardware can be successful but it’s rare to get new hardware to scale. I’m talking tens or hundreds of millions.”
He adds, “It’s about having a supply chain and a distribution model, it takes thousands of people to make a reality.”
Microsoft had its own issues when it entered the home console market with the original Xbox and the devices almost became a commercial failure.
The company solved many of the issues with the Xbox 360, which has now been at the top of the hardware sales chart in the United States for two full years.
Nvidia wants the Shield to be a nimble console that combines the most exciting trends of the moment and uses the increasing power of its own processors.
On the other hand, Valve seems more interested in working with other companies in order to deliver Steam-powered gaming devices, although an internal console is also in development and should be revealed next year.
Both Sony and Microsoft are expected to announce their next-gen projects before E3 2013 and launch them before the end of the year.
Because of a lack of official information, a number of rumors have appeared about them, talking about improved motion tracking, NFC-powered retail disks and the potential for more emphasis on media center capabilities.