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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 SHIELD Launch In Europe, Google Fiber Partnership, New Entertainment Options, And More

NVIDIA finally announced launch details for GeForce NOW (formerly GRID) earlier today, but the company has still more news to share. It's expanding availability for the SHIELD hardware and adding new features to its already impressive repertoire. It's all kicking off tomorrow.

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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 Recalls Some SHIELD Pro Android TV Units For Hard Drive Failures

NVIDIA's customer service department has had a tough time of it recently. After a massive recall of last year's SHIELD Tablet for faulty batteries that posed a possible fire hazard, it's come to light that some SHIELD Android TV units will also need to be recalled. Luckily, this one isn't quite so widespread: the recall only affects the SHIELD Pro model (the one with the 500GB conventional hard drive), and even then, only a small portion of units seem to be affected. Also there's almost no chance of them exploding, which is a good thing.

According to this official post from an NVIDIA Customer Care representative, some SHIELD Pro units have hard drives that are prone to failure, making the system unusable.

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NVIDIA Pushes Upgrade 106 To SHIELD Portable And 1.4 To SHIELD Android TV

If there's one thing to say about NVIDIA's support of SHIELD devices, it's that they're doing a pretty dang good job of constantly pushing enhancements to all three devices - SHIELD Portable, SHIELD Tablet, and SHIELD Android TV.

And today, two of those are getting updates of their own, with a minor update to SHIELD Portable and a slightly larger bump for SHIELD Android TV. Let's start with the former.

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SHIELD Portable is currently receiving upgrade 106, which brings a few rather minor - but still useful - enhancements:

This update contains button functionality fixes and security improvements, including:

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If you missed the start button from KitKat, it's back.

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The NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV Is Now Available In The US Google Store [Update: Canada Too?]

Android TV still has some growing up to do, but the SHIELD is by far the best piece of hardware to run Google's new living room software. This device was conspicuously absent from the Google Store, but that changes today in the US. It still costs the same $199 for 16GB and $299 for 500GB.

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[Update: Winners] Win One Of Three NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV Bundles

 

This contest is now over.

The final results are listed below. If you've won, you will be contacted in the near future. Congratulations!

Everyone else - keep participating and stay tuned to Android Police so that you don't miss our upcoming giveaway announcements. You can follow AP on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and RSS.

Jeff Bilello

Hunter Knepshield

Casey Chesnut

Today a number of great games have all become available for NVIDIA SHIELD all around the same time. To make sure that you have something to play these titles on, we're giving away three bundles of hardware.

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NVIDIA Quietly Extends The Free Period Of Its GRID Game Streaming Service For SHIELD Owners Into September

NVIDIA's GRID gaming service, which streams high-end PC games to the company's Android-powered hardware at extremely low latency, has been promoted as one of its best exclusive features. Unfortunately, NVIDIA seems to be having a lot of trouble getting over the last few hurdles to actually launch the thing. GRID has been in beta since late 2013, and was scheduled to launch its paid service in July as of the SHIELD Android TV announcement. Now it looks like the full launch has been pushed back again.

Shortly after the SHIELD TV's product launch in June NVIDIA announced that it would be bumping the free preview period of GRID to July 31st, with a full service launch in August.

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[Sort Of Deal Alert] NVIDIA Temporarily Drops Price Of Shield Consoles With Bundled Shield Remote By $25 (Now $225/$325 Total)

Mulling a Shield purchase in the near future? Well, if you want your Shield TV/console/thing with the official remote accessory (not to be confused with the controller), NVIDIA's got a deal going temporarily that'll get you $25 off a bundled console/remote package. And yes, that means NVIDIA was valuing this remote at fifty bucks previously.

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At $25, it's definitely a hell of a lot easier to stomach (honestly, I think this thing should be thrown in gratis, but whatever). The deal is on both Amazon and NVIDIA's own website (link). You have to buy both, sadly - the remote is not 50% off when purchased alone, so current Shield owners without remotes won't be getting any discount love.

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[Update: More Details] NVIDIA Announces Voluntary Recall Of SHIELD Tablets Due To Risk Of Overheating Batteries, Offers Free Replacements

The NVIDIA SHIELD tablet came out a year ago, and it was one of the best on the market at the time. Even now, it remains a solid way to spread Android across eight inches of screen.

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