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Valve's Portal and Half-Life 2, despite being quite old in terms of PC games, are two of the best showcase titles for the SHIELD right now. Naturally NVIDIA (which publishes both games in the Play Store) is eager to highlight them for the shiny new SHIELD Tablet. Actually, it's not shiny - the tablet is quite matte. But anyway, both games have been updated with SHIELD Tablet support, a week before the device is released.


The app update text doesn't mention any specific changes to gameplay or graphics, but hopefully they include on-screen controls for people who buy the SHIELD Tablet without also purchasing the $60 SHIELD controller. NVIDIA representatives told us that Portal and Half-Life 2 will have at least some graphical improvements on the tablet that take advantage of the more powerful K1, above and beyond the 1080p resolution bump.

Sadly, both games are still exclusives for NVIDIA's first-party SHIELD hardware - not even the Tegra 4-powered Tegra Note tablets have access to them. That's unlikely to change any time soon.

Michael Crider
Michael is a native Texan and a former graphic designer. He's been covering technology in general and Android in particular since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

  • Jesús Cuenca

    Maybe TF2 would be great :D

    • deltatux

      I would totally download that if they port it over.

      • http://www.techreviewshop.com/ JP

        Getting hats on the road... Man that would be fun.

  • Veris K.

    android really need it's own AAA titles.... -.-

  • Matsilagi

    Wooo! Now only if GLTools worked in L so i could run them.

    I could now properly play them on my N4

  • SmithCommaJohn

    Half-Life 3 confirmed.

    It's an NVIDIA Shield exclusive.

    • http://twitter.com/anishbhalerao Anish Bhalerao

      NVIDIA SHIELD Exclusive. 3 words.
      Half Life Three. 3 words.

      Half Life 3, confirmed and ratified.

      • discotechnology

        Half -H = Alf.
        Alf was an alien, from Melmack (which is far away). Alf is 3 letters.
        The release date for hALF life 3 is far away (just like planet Melmack).
        Alf came to earth just like hALF life is coming to earth.

        What provided the confirmation we need? Could it be? ...Aliens?!!

    • StriderWhite

      LOL...this may be true!!

      • h4rr4r

        Nope, HL3 if it ever comes out will be for steambox first.
        If it ever comes out.

        • StriderWhite

          The second one you said.

          • h4rr4r

            Yeah, I don't expect to ever see it. Sad really, but multiplayer is all the kids care about. I expect at some point I am going to be stuck playing nothing but old games.

          • Tomasz Kuczynski

            I already do for the most part. Heroes of Might and Magic 3, Age of Empire 2, Commandos Beyond the Call of Duty are among the games that are irreplaceable.

        • Mkvarner

          They said they wont make SteamOS exclusives.

          • Pooka-kun

            Which is good because SteamOS is the worst Linux distro one could download and install.

          • Krystian

            SteamOS is still in Beta stage - so it's not finished OS for day-by-day usage. If someone using it - sholud be prepared for crash sooner or later ;-)

          • h4rr4r

            They won't ever make HL3 either, so it is a bit of a moot point.

  • Ghost

    I hate that Nvidia exclusive crap. Delt with it enough on PC. Luckily I played both of these games years ago.

    • StraightEdgeNexus

      True. Paying double the price of a real console for a android based PS VITA wannabe sounds bull.

      • discotechnology

        I got nvidia Shield on ebay on a whim for $95 used just to try it out. OMG it has been one of the best purchases ever for me. I have down time and work and humble mobile bundle gives me tons of games for like $1 every few weeks. I figured I would turn around and sell it right away but after a year of having it I use it more and more.

        I might feel differently if I didn't love playing old games. Virtua Tennnis is amazeballs. GTA on android is a great time suck and I never finished any except Vice City. SA was all new to me.

        Somehow I never played all of half life 2. So I went ahead and bought this. I just wish half life 1 were available so I could play it on the go as well.

        While I am happy because I can play games I never finished (great games still). I agree, they need some sort of Android killer app of a game.

        Hopefully Source OpenGL ports are so easy we will see more of them come to Shield.

  • StraightEdgeNexus

    Wow cool games coming to android. Hope android catches up quickly with ios in gaming.

  • sgtGiggsy

    Two things. Why are these games are so expensive? Neither of them are $10 on Steam, and both games are better played on PC. Second. Who the hell would buy a gamer tablet to play games that are played thru years ago, than played thru with HD mods, than played thru again for achievements? Those who know these games, played thru them so many times, they won't need it again (at least not with a new hardware and not on that price), and those who doesn't, won't try them, since they have already played with it, if they had wanted to.

    • Adrian Meredith

      because you've never played them mobile

  • philnolan3d

    No way I'm paying $10 for either of these.

    • MaqueGenio

      Right on, buddy. With so many AAA games on Android nowadays whos gonna pay 10 bucks for these 2 ancient titles. Free or GTFO.

      • niuguy

        Nah, a few bucks is a good deal on something like this.

    • http://hugehog.blogspot.com/ Herman

      You do realise these are real games, eh?

      • Pooka-kun

        You do realize these are OLD games, eh?

        • Krystian

          Do you are a programmer? What experience do you have with porting engines and games? They are not so old (in these terms you must be dinosaur with your age).

          It's port, and programmers spend their time to port whole game to a new platform - it's not something that takes 5 minutes.

          I recommend to resize your perspective. Maybe HL2 is not fresh new, but it's real AAA - not some mobile crap for 15 minutes.

          • Pooka-kun

            Duh, your post is fail. I don't care about the porting or the programming; its old, and people beat the dead horse out of it ages ago. This is the inevitable truth.

          • http://hugehog.blogspot.com/ Herman

            Some people like watching movies more than once.
            In the same way, some people like to play through games more than once. And this, being available on mobile devices, is a valid reason to start over again to get all nostalgic.

            But you cannot appreciate nostalgia I presume.

          • Pooka-kun

            Can't see how its nostalgic to repeat a shooter that goes for 24 hours and more before its done. And there's nothing new about it apart from the tiny weeny screen instead of the big screen of the monitor. Same controller for same gameplay on the monitor. Nothing new to see here like touchscreen controls.

          • Krystian

            Touchscreen controls - worst controls i've ever used :-) It's cool and OK, but for specific types of games.

            Some games was good at least to play it again. I'm still playing Half-Life and Unreal 1 from time to time, and both are from 1998.

            What i think, that you need to be from modern generation of players - today games are a little different and more easy than old games. Of course i could be wrong.

          • WhoaManWtF

            It is a controller only game, no touchscreen support. Also the Shield Tablet has console mode and the fact that they have ported over the engine is huge because tons of games could follow.

          • discotechnology

            Glad its been made available. I don't think they force anyone to buy it yet. This isn't city 17 we live in. Amirite?

    • Krystian

      It's a real AAA - not another crap for 15 minutes with ads or micro-transactions.

      *Big games = few $$ because they are not small, crappy games

      *Most games (mobile) = 1-2$ because are not worh more (+ micro-transactions or ads)

      • Pooka-kun

        An old AAA that people got tired from.
        I could even laugh at calling it a AAA.

        • Krystian

          What is a real AAA today then? Call of Duty? Battlefield? They are AAA, yes, but they are casual AAA.

          Indie are just Indie and not everybody like playing it (most Indie games should not be created or it should be for free). Mobile games on the other hand - are just mobile games, mostly simple games for 15 minutes waiting for the bus (most AAA are just port's from PC like GTA, Max Payne or old Final Fantasy).

          Maybe i just live longer thay you and probably im older than you, so i got distance perspective.

          • Pooka-kun

            The term triple A is so so so new. Can't see how Half-Life could be called one, considering its ancient. And its no different than the ports, which most are again, not even AAA because the term didn't exist back then.

            Why, I need to get onto HL1's age and pick up a shooter better than it for sur- Duke Nukem 3D...!

          • Krystian

            From what i remember, Triple A term was used around '90's, it was not so popular as today, but it's not something new (it was first used in '90's on E3, but i can't remember which year).

            Old AAA, old games had a little different mechanic's than modern games and that's the reason, why younger players don't like old games much. But it's OK, i have 39 years and not all old games are fun today like back then - mostly because mechanic's.

            Maybe HL2 is not new, but it have features that modern games don't have - a good narrative story for example :-)

          • discotechnology

            And the physics it uses are pretty much the first example of the physics being used in the best AAA fps games today.

        • discotechnology

          You could laugh at calling it AAA? Ok.. I agreed with some of your points above but now I realize you are just stubborn. AAA has been around since half life 2. That game basically helped set the bar for what AAA even means.
          When they say AAA they used to mean (production approaching the quality of HL2)

        • discotechnology

          While I see your point that the game is old this game DEFINED what AAA games are today. It's more AAA than a lot of the "AAA" games to come out every year now.

          • Pooka-kun

            The AAA games of today are more AAA than it. No amounts of mute protagonist, aliens or going across entire cities without meeting humans will change that. Its a good game, but no more fun than any other.

  • Marcus

    Its a shame Steam isn't integrated into these games so you can access your friends lists etc. Still not going to get them cause I don't have a sheild.

  • Spence1115

    See, I can deal with it being exclusive to NVidia processors like Tegra 4 and K1, the games are taking advantage of the hardware etc. But the Tegra Note tablets or the Xiaomi MiPad with its K1 processor can handle this just as well as the Shield Portable/Tablet, so there's no legitimate reason to not allow it. NVidia should want people to buy its processor etc, not just its devices...

    • WhoaManWtF

      No the lame thing is that I know for a fact Qualcomm 800 devices can play it because I have played both of these games on my LG G2 with no lag at all.

  • saradduclos

    Start working at home with Google! It's by-far the best job I've had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this - 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to tech tab for work detail

    ✒✒✒✒✒✒ Jobs700.Com


  • WhoaManWtF

    Too bad they haven't taken away the restrictions (They do not have to add support it is already there) for other devices... They are going to look at the piracy numbers and think they are high when in reality they just are just plan not offering it sell it to the majority so we have to take it.

  • http://mekakiwi.blogspot.com.br/ ED-Z が あらわれた!

    It's time for more developers start to remake/convert/port AAA titles to Android. Maybe if more hardware developers make more Xperia Play/JXD S5800 like phones, they will get motivated to. Because, play on touchscreen is not nearly good as play on physical controller. This will also push sales of bigger storage cards (you can't put many 12GB games on a 32GB microSD).
    I wish Borderlands for Android...

    • primalxconvoy

      Why hasn't Android Police reviewed the JXD S5800?

  • Pooka-kun

    This is why Valve is terrible; they don't care about the already still borked Steam client (itp: still borked from three years ago), they waste time doing exclusive ports to not all of Android, and idiotic Linux distros.

    Valve, either redeem yourself, or I'll always say Origin is better.

    • Krystian

      What problem do you have with Steam for Linux? ;-) Why Steam client is broken? For me - it's running just fine :-) In that case i can say that Valve wasting their time with "idiotic Windows" or "idiotic Mac" :-)

      There are broken games with bugs, yes (ex. Anna for Linux, Half-Life: Opposing Force with his last-boss-bug where game cannot be finished). But Steam as a service working fine.

      • Pooka-kun

        What problem do you have with Steam fixing their client and the servers? It sure is borked as hell, three years of experiencing the same things is just enough.

        Steam as a service needs to be destroyed then rebuilt again with new staff. Somebody headshot Gaben please.

        • Krystian

          It's impossible to write non-bugs software and servers are just machines. I've had problems with Origins as well - somentimes i can't log-in, few times game cannot be downloaded (some internal Origin problem, maybe servers), sometimes server's are slow (almost like in old dial-up modems times).

          Steam and Origin - both just software based on servers infrastructure with their problems. Nothing more ;-)

          • Pooka-kun

            Except Origin is doing better in stability than Steam, and I can't notice that the servers are down. Even when they are, EA tweets about them in advance.

        • discotechnology

          What issue are you having for 3 years? I have not had any issues so I am not familiar with the problems you are having.

          • Pooka-kun

            Like all the other blind oblivious PC gamers, you should know that A) Steam could outright refuse to log into itself even if you had a connection capable of getting you into heavier services or Origin, B) freezing at occassions or even crashing, C) slower access to the community features from the client as opposed to accessing the same community features from an internet browser, and lots more I'm not gonna name now.

          • discotechnology

            You know how people become less blind and oblivious to stuff right? Thanks for all the snark. Sorry to hear your experience sucks. I never had any issues so I asked...

            Mine works great. I have had issues with EA games through LIVE on 360 but they pretty much told me I am SOL so I started buying my games for ps3. I was able to connect to every online game except EA ones. MS said my connections seem fine but to call EA. EA said they don't see any issue but my router must be the culprit. (I was plugged directly into my modem finally as part of troubleshooting)

            That was a few years ago but I have had issues before. I never knew what caused it but when I moved the problem finally went away. (Using the same router and modem)

            I hope whatever the issue is it is cleared up. But I don't experience the same problems and had to ask.

          • Pooka-kun

            On the contrary, Origin so far acted up on such issues much less than Steam did. Its like EA took the initial criticism seriously and twice, while Valve either looked down those with the criticism due to how small they are or never bothered to see criticism in the first place.

            Meanwhile, you mentioned buying games for PS3, then calling MS? For your PS3 games? You either didn't prioritize your sentences well or forgot that you were supposed to say Sony.

          • discotechnology

            I called MS about connecting to games on LIVE from EA. EA has their own servers and MS said my settings and connection to them was perfect and couldn't explain why EA games wouldn't work. I then called EA and got the run around. SO THEN. I bought my games for PS3 from then on.

            I know, you don't have to apologize. Anyway.... Back to playing current PC games that are released solely on steam.

  • Nathan J

    Is it just me, or is it weird hearing games that are exclusive to one device being called "Android" games? If it's exclusive to the nVidia Shield platform, or the Kindle Fire platform, it's not an Android game. It's an nVidia Shield game or a Kindle Fire game. While both platforms are technically Android, they're both opposed to the open/sharing spirit of Android, so they're kind of not.

  • Devil Mon

    Could i get this at http://bit.ly/1pYwBRU ?