Two months ago, we looked at the newest member of the SHIELD family, NVIDIA's SHIELD Tablet. This eight-inch beast is one of the first devices to feature NVIDIA's screaming fast Tegra K1 processor, which makes it not only a killer gaming tablet, but an all-around great digital sidekick for general use. I've used it for everything from Trine 2 gaming sessions on the TV (in Console Mode) to writing full reviews with an external keyboard, and it has been up to the task every time.
One of the nicest things about NVIDIA's various bits of Android gaming hardware is that they get updated early and often. The SHIELD Portable is already running on the latest version of Android, but a new update (dated Tuesday, but apparently going out a little late) has fixed a few small issues with GameStream and other services. If you have a SHIELD, check your Settings menu - the 480.9MB update should be available as soon as you check it manually.
Update: the developers released another quick update on September 19th, explicitly supporting the MOGA family of controllers. The NES30 mentioned below, a generic Bluetooth HID controller, is also working. Well done, Noodlecake and RocketCat!
I've been playing the heck out of Noodlecake and RocketCat's Wayward Souls RPG-roguelike ever since it landed on Android. While the top-down action game does have some excellent touchscreen controls, there's just no substitute for a real gamepad.
It's no big secret that I'm a huge fan of NVIDIA's SHIELD. In fact, I believe I called it my favorite device from last year on a recent podcast, a claim that I readily stand behind. To me, it shows how versatile Android can be, despite the fact that the unit itself is essentially a one trick pony (it's damn good at that one trick, though).
Then there's NVIDIA's second foray into device design, the Tegra Note 7.
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.
NVIDIA just announced its second SHIELD device, the SHIELD Tablet. You can read all about it in the main post, but every gamer knows that a new device is nothing without games to play on it. NVIDIA has focused its efforts on bringing full-sized PC and console games like Mount & Blade, Portal, and Half-Life 2 to the SHIELD Portable, but with the Tablet, they've set their sights on current-generation titles.
NVIDIA's SHIELD gadget is undeniably unique in the Android world, which might be why the company has decided to go with a more mainstream form factor for its second hardware foray. The SHIELD Tablet, as it's officially titled, was leaked hard last week, but NVIDIA made it official this morning. The 8-inch device features the latest Tegra K1 processor, a 1080p LCD screen, NVIDIA's GameStream software and other specialized apps, and an optional controller that's similar to the control pad on the original SHIELD.
Gamers who've been living under a priceless hand-carved ancient monolith might not know about Uncharted, a series of PlayStation-exclusive action adventure games that have sold tens of millions of copies across three titles. The odds of us getting an Android port of Uncharted are somewhere between slim and none. But you can get a shameless copy of Uncharted-style gaming with Unearthed: Trail of Ibn Battuta, available now on the Play Store.
It's a good day to be an NVIDIA SHIELD owner. Valve's Android ports of PC shooter classics Portal and Half-Life 2 just dropped in the Play Store for $10 a pop. They're only for the SHIELD (even other devices with the Tegra 4 chipset aren't invited to the party), which is a bit of a mixed blessing - these games really require a full controller to play.
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.