NVIDIA has made good on its promise to turn the Shield into more than a portable gaming device with a new update. With the new OTA update, the Shield not only has access to NVIDIA’s new GameStream feature, it also ships with the latest version of Android and some other great features too.
Outside of the Android 4.3 bump, the latest update for the NVIDIA Shield offers up two new features that are going to make a lot of owners of the device very happy. Gamepad Mapper and Console Mode.
With Gamepad Mapper, users can now make games that were developed specifically for touchscreen devices work with the Shield’s built-in controller. This means that games that heavily rely on the touchscreen are easily playable without using the Shield’s touchscreen, like Temple Run. The touchscreen on the Shield is best used for simple tasks, so the new Gamepad Mapper feature bring a new level of awesome for Android applications and games on the device.
There are already hundreds of Android games that support the Shield’s controller, with more being consistently added. If a profile for a specific game is available through NVIDIA’s servers, it will automatically be downloaded and available to use with the game. Moreover, you can create your own custom profiles for games and share them to the cloud or your friends. This means that the library of compatible games for the Shield will continue to grow easily.
Console Mode for the NVIDIA Shield brings a new way of interacting with the device. You’ll now be able to hook your Shield up to your TV via the mini HDMI port, and kick back on your couch with a Bluetooth controller to use the Shield on the big screen. The setup couldn’t be easier, either. All one needs to do is hookup the Shield to the TV and it will immediately ask you if you’d like to enter Console Mode. Easy Peasy.
While being able to use the Shield without having the device in your hands is all fine and dandy, but Console Mode is also ready to stream your PC games using the recently announced GameStream feature. Now you’ll be able to stream your PC games from your GTX-powered PC to your Shield on your TV without having the device in your hands at all. Of course, you also have a ton of games and applications from the Google Play Store at your disposal as well!
With such a massive update, the Shield should be looking pretty sweet right now if you’ve been thinking of purchasing the handheld. To make things even sweeter, NVIDIA is currently holding a promotion that will give you a $100 discount on the Shield, along with free copies of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Batman: Arkham Origins, and Splinter Cell: Blacklist with the purchase of select Geforce GTX graphics cards!
For more information, be sure to check out NVIDIA’s blog post here!