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Hands-On With NVIDIA GeForce Now: Is The World Finally Ready For A Game Streaming Service?

Let's get this out of the way right up front: I'm not a PC gamer. I'm not really a gamer at all; while I of course love to kick back with the occasional game, I don't consider myself a member of the "hardcore" gaming community by any measure. I've had every Playstation since the original (and, in fact, still have the 2, 3, and 4), but even then I'm an enthusiast at best. My favorite games of all time are basically anything from the Metal Gear series, Red Dead Redemption, and The Last of Us. You can probably already tell from that list what kind of stuff I like to play — I'm a third-person action gamer all the way.

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NVIDIA Announces GeForce Now, Its Next-Generation Game Streaming Service Designed And Built Exclusively For SHIELD Devices

It's no secret that NVIDIA has been working on a game streaming service for quite a while — it's called GRID, and anyone with a SHIELD device has been able to test it out for the past several months. Today, the company is announcing the result of all that testing: GeForce Now.

GeForce Now is, at its core, a gaming service. It lets subscribers stream over 50 high-end PC games (at launch), as well as buy and play others instantly. That's pretty huge in itself — without the need to wait for hours for downloads, it removes a lot of the hassle of picking up something new to play.

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NVIDIA SHIELD Set-Top Box Hands-On And Gaming Breakdown

In a lot of ways, NVIDIA's SHIELD (not to be confused with this SHIELD or that SHIELD) is a typical set-top box. And in many ways it isn't: though NVIDIA has built its living room invader on Android like the previous products in the line, the OS underneath is merely a means to an end. And that end is selling you games, in every form and fashion that the company can come up with.

SHIELD will release its Android TV-powered console sometime in May with a suggested retail price of $199. We took a good long look at both the hardware and the games that NVIDIA hopes you'll play on it.

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Update 72 Now Rolling Out To NVIDIA's SHIELD, Here's What To Expect From Remote Gamestream, The New Tegra Zone, And More

Recently, NVIDIA announced SHIELD's biggest update yet – a slew of new features and the bump to KitKat are currently rolling out to the handheld gaming system. For those who may not have seen the news, here's a quick recap of what's present in the roughly-465MB download:

  • Android 4.4.2
  • Improved GamePad Mapper
  • Improved Tegra Zone
  • GameStream support for certain gaming laptops
  • Remote GameStream
  • The ability to manually add any PC game to your GameStream library
  • Bluetooth keyboard and mouse support for GameStream/Console Mode

As you can see, the bulk of the new stuff has to do with GameStream, and it seems that NVIDIA is delivering exactly what SHIELD owners have been asking for, namely with remote GameStream and keyboard/mouse support.

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NVIDIA SHIELD KitKat Update Will Add GameStream Anywhere, Mouse And Keyboard Support, Revamped GamePad Mapper, And More On April 2nd

More than a year after NVIDIA revealed its SHIELD hardware, the company has maintained its commitment to keeping the platform updated and supported. The company has added huge chunks of new features to its Android gaming machine at long intervals, and the upcoming KitKat release will be no exception. In addition to Android 4.4, the software package will take GameStream out of beta, expand console mode, add support for streaming from any network, and a whole lot more.

TZ_My Android Games (1)

SHIELD will run Android 4.4.2 with the new update. That probably won't change the core experience of such a targeted device, but it will give users access to new features like the Android Runtime, and it should ensure better compatibility with newer games and apps.

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NVIDIA Pushes Update 65 To SHIELD, Brings Gamepad Mapper Enhancements, 1080p Gamestream Console Mode Support, And More

So far NVIDIA has been making good on its promise of regular updates for its SHIELD portable gaming console, and this month is no different. Update 65 is rolling out now, and it brings a handful of new enhancements to some of SHIELD's flagship features, like Gamepad Mapper and Gamestream. Before we get into the details, here's a look at the full changelog:

GAMESTREAM improvements

  • Stream from your PC at up to 1080p @ 60 FPS in Console Mode when using Ethernet (via micro USB Ethernet adapter).
  • Improved PC streaming quality at 720p @ 60 FPS and Wi-Fi performance.

Gamepad Mapper improvements

  • New community profiles BETA feature – ability to share, browse, and rate gamepad mapping profiles.
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Latest SHIELD OTA Brings Huge Changes: Android 4.3, Button Mapping Software, Console Mode, And More

The first time I went hands-on with the NVIDIA SHIELD, I knew I was playing with something awesome. At the same time, I knew there was so much hidden potential under its hood – like the ability to play all those games not optimized for controllers. You know, like NBA JAM or Paper Monster. I desperately craved one thing: button mapping software. Hell, I made that desire pretty clear when talking about the new Archos Gamepad 2. It's like NVIDIA heard my plea from afar and delivered with haste, because the newest OTA includes what NVIDIA is calling Gamepad Mapper, a stupid-simple button mapping solution that makes virtually any game compatible with SHIELD's controller.

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