SHIELD Portable and SHIELD Tablet owners, mosey on over to the Play Store for your latest app update. NVIDIA has pushed a 4.0 upgrade for its SHIELD Hub app (previously called Tegra Zone), which ties into most of the unique gaming-related software on the devices. The new version has a Material Design upgrade to make it play nice with the Lollipop build on the Tablet itself, though it uses NVIDIA's usual green-on-grey color scheme, so you'll have to look closely for the changes to the animation and layout.
So maybe you haven't picked up one of those fancy new Shield Tablets yet—no worries, the original Shield portable is getting a nice little update to release 82. The OS is still based on Android 4.4 KitKat, but this is the biggest update Shield has seen in a while. It should be available for download now.
If dramatic price drops and expanded software capabilities haven't convinced you to shell out for NVIDIA's Android-powered gaming machine, maybe a little free Play Store credit will do the trick. This referral link for NVIDIA's SHIELD store will net you a $25 Google Play Store credit for purchasing the SHIELD, which is still going for its reduced $199 price. C'mon, you know you want to.
You don't have to spend any of that $25 on games, but if you were so inclined, it could buy SHIELD versions of Valve's Portal and Half-Life 2, and maybe a movie and a cheap album to take advantage of the device's impressive audio.
It says it all, really.
PC gamers will recognize the logo for Valve's much-loved science fiction shooter Half-Life 2 emblazoned on the bar, which is the iconic starter weapon for the game. "What Would Gordon [Freeman] Do?" and NVIDIA's SHIELD logo, along with NVIDIA's signature green color, makes this a not-so-subtle indication that the game is coming to the Android-powered SHIELD at some point.
Has the prospect of KitKat and streaming PC games from anywhere not sold you on NVIDIA's SHIELD gaming machine? Not even the promise of Portal? Well aren't you hard to please. How about a price cut, bringing the final retail cost of the SHIELD down to $199? That's cheaper than the Nexus 7, and it puts the SHIELD in the same range as dedicated gaming portables like the PlayStation Vita and the Nintendo 3DS.
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.
So, you may or may not have noticed that a pretty special thing happened recently: we surpassed 500,000 followers on Google+. Five hundred thousand. Half-a-million people now get their AP fix directly from Google+, which we think is pretty great.
As a huge thanks to all of our G+ followers (and everyone else who reads AP, of course), we teamed up with NVIDIA to offer a giveaway that's just as special as the occasion it represents: we're giving away two SHIELDs.
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.
If you're a SHIELD early adopter, you may want to head into the settings menu and grab the latest update – it's a good one. Update 59 brings improved PC streaming stability, along with support for more PC Games, like FIFA 13, Call of Jaurez: Gunslinger, Mortal Kombat: Komplete Edition, and several other. There are now 31 officially supported PC titles. Not bad.
Aside from that, it also adds support for Tegra developer tools and possibly the most anticipated feature: the ability to move apps to the SD Card.
While we published an exhaustive list of all the content currently availably for SHIELD yesterday, many of the more graphically intense titles were ports of games you may have completed years before. Blood Sword is a fresh piece of eye candy just raring to help you break in your new device.
This is a top-down action RPG in the style of Diablo and Baldur's Gate - or, if you've only played mobile games, SoulCraft.