Rumors have been circulating for about a month now that Nvidia was planning to release a tablet to complement its Shield handheld gaming device, and I think I found the first evidence to show that the rumors are true.
A new page was uploaded to Nvidia's TegraZone.jp website over the weekend. The page, which is actually listed under games and not as a device, doesn't tell us anything about the Shield tablet beyond the name, but I may have found a few interesting details hidden in the metadata.
While the page content may not say anything about the tablet, the keywords list says a few things:
SHIELD Tablet, SHIELD Tablet android, SHIELD Tablet app, SHIELD Tablet tegra, SHIELD Tablet review, SHIELD Tablet video
TBH, I'm not sure whether that tells us anything; it looks to be the same keyword list auto-generated for every page. What's more, the TegraZone site is focused only on apps which have been customized to take advantage of Nvidia's Tegra CPUs; the site doesn't even have pages for Nvidia's own hardware (the Tegrra Note 7" tablet and the Tegra Shield handheld).
Or at least, the site doesn't have the pages yet; this could be a sign that Nvidia is planning to add such pages. This would make some sense, but it's just as likely that I am grasping at straws.
At this point, folks, we really don't know anything. But even so, this is the first time we’ve seen the words “Shield” and “tablet” next to one another on an Nvidia website, and that gives us the hope that there is some truth to last month’s rumor.
For those just tuning in, the Shield is Nvidia's name for a cutting edge handheld gaming device which launched last year. It runs Android on a Tegra 4 CPU, and offers near-desktop quality graphics on a 5" screen.
The rumor which circulated last month alleged that Nvidia was going to release a tablet to complement the handheld. According to the rumor, the tablet is going to be powered by the new and super powerful Tegra K1 chip. This is Nvidia's best CPU, and it's only been used in a couple devices so far (the Google Project Tango tablet and the Mi Pad from Xioami).
On a related note, there was also a set of benchmarks for an "Nvidia Mocha" tablet, and while that device does have a Tegra K1 CPU there's also a good chance that the Mocha tablet is a reference design which has since been announced as the Mi Pad.
There has been speculation that the Mocha tablet is going to be the Shield tablet, but given that the Mocha appears to have already launched with Xioami's brand I don't think the Mocha is the Shield tablet.
But TBH no one knows for sure at this point. While I think it is very likely that Nvidia will release the Shield tablet, at this point that is pure speculation.