Quick Warning! Part of the demo above is taken directly from the game Battlefield 3 and contains PG-13 language.
Gaming graphics for smartphones and tablets have rapidly improved over the past two years. For some time the hardware manufacturers have been claiming they were the first to bring "console-level" graphics to the mobile world. For the most part this has been a huge exaggeration. While games like Infinity Blade 2 and others have come very close, there are still a number of things about these games that miss the mark if you compare them to current top-of-the-line console graphics.
Apparently, NVIDIA has been working really hard to change that, and will likely realize the promise of console level graphics on a mobile device with their 5th generation of mobile technology. CEO Jen-Hsun Huang, recently demonstrated their Kepler Mobile technology at an investors meeting. The technology is due to come forth with Tegra 5 late next year, and the results are spectacular.
As you can see in the video above, Mr. Huang first shows off current iPad gaming graphics. He then calls them "vintage 1999" (which seems like an apt description). He then shows Battlefield 3 running on a Kepler Mobile equipped tablet prototype, and the difference is stunning. Obviously, the graphics demoed are still not quite up to a high-end PC gaming rig, nor will they compare with the next-gen PS4 and XBOX 720 graphics, but they definitely compare to the same game running on current consoles.
The most amazing advancement of this technology isn't just the graphics horsepower however. It's also the fact that NVIDIA has been able to shrink the technology to such a level that it draws power in the hundreds of milliwatts instead of watts.
During the demo, Mr. Huang said, “We want to get multiple years ahead of the competition. It was worth the sacrifice.” Indeed, it certainly looks like they have done just that. Last year, the Tegra 3 was the go-to device for many Android devices. This year we have seen a resurgence of Qualcomm. Could we see the cycle turn back around toward NVIDIA in late 2014/early 2015? It could be a distinct possibility...