The South Hall is a paradise for gamers, bookended by powerhouses NVIDIA and Razer. NVIDIA is best known for its GPUs, which act as the graphics engine behind some of the world’s most powerful gaming computers. Razer is generally thought of as a high-end peripherals manufacturer, but is making an aggressive push into gaming hardware.
Last year, NVIDIA showed off the NVIDIA Shield gaming handheld, which allows users to stream games from their NVIDIA-powered PC to the Shield via Wi-Fi. This setup grants the full graphics processing power of their PC to a handheld device. This year, the potential for game streaming becomes even greater through the NVIDIA Grid, a service allowing mobile devices to render sophisticated 3D graphics by handing off the processing to cloud servers which then stream back the game at 60 frames per second. This revolution will remove the hardware barriers from mobile gaming and allow any device to perform like a top-of-the-line gaming PC. The story of CES 2014 will be around how NVIDIA plans to leverage and roll out this service and how quickly consumers will get this technology into their hands.
Razer brings an increasingly robust lineup of peripherals and hardware, including updates to its Razer Blade tablet. The most buzzworthy addition to its lineup could be the heavily-rumored Razer Kazuyo, one of several products looking to build on the game controller API that Apple released along with iOS 7. Previously, third parties were unable to create peripheral controllers for the iPhone due to a lack of API access. Now, companies such as Razer and Logitech can turn the iPhone into a complete gaming platform. The Kazuyo is a dock which places a familiar D-Pad and button arrangement on either side of the phone, resulting in a setup similar to dedicated gaming devices like the Nintendo DS. This more intuitive structure will greatly expand the capabilities for deeper gaming experiences on the iPhone and marks a new era at Apple in opening up its platforms to third parties.