Tegra-powered tablets can function as game consoles

It will be quite some time before anyone starts looking at something like the Xoom or Sony Tablet as a serious competitor to the PS3 or Xbox 360, but with some help from Nvidia, it might happen.

 The component manufacturer has posted on its official blog that it is possible to essentially turn a tablet equipped with one of its Tegra processors into a “wireless game console.”

The first game to take advantage of the feature is Riptide GP, which is available in Nvidia’s “Tegra Zone” app library. That means it is exclusive to Tegra-powered tablets, which include the Xoom, the Viewsonic G, and Samsung’s latest Galaxy Tabs.

What’s special about Riptide GP is it has support for third-party game controllers. So for example, if you happen to have a wireless Logitech controller for your computer, you can use it to play Riptide on your tablet as well; just plug the dongle into the USB or microUSB port and you’re good to go.

From there, if your tablet supports HDMI output or a wireless way to stream content to your TV, you can play Riptide GP right on your TV with a wireless controller. It’s almost as if it is in fact a game console.

Of course, the game developers need to build in controller support specifically, something that doesn’t have a lot of value for tablets right now.

Nevertheless, it’s a pretty cool concept.