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.
Portal was released nearly seven years ago as part of the Valve Orange Box, which also included a few other games. Seven years is an eternity on the internet, but the excitement was still palpable when Nvidia announced it was working on a version of Portal for the Shield. Now here we are just a weeks later and the game is about to hit the Play Store. The questions we have to ask are...
The last update to NVIDIA's Android-powered SHIELD game machine was only a month ago, but there's another one waiting in the wings. Since SHIELD is already running the latest version of Android, this is a maintenance update, but NVIDIA seems to be sending the full software image (460 megabytes) anyway. SHIELD users should see it pop up on their screens sometime today - make sure you're near a speedy WiFi access point before you begin.
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.
Wonder Momo is one of those things that's popular in Japan, but less so elsewhere. There was an arcade game in the late 80s, an ongoing web comic, and a few game ports on other devices (also for Japan). Now we can all get a look at the weirdness that is Wonder Momo: Typhoon Booster. All you need is an Nvidia Shield and 15 bucks.
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.
Most strategy games have you working as some kind of commander-god, floating over the battlefield and handing out orders to nameless minions while building up your stronghold. In the PC strategy game Mount & Blade, you move and command your party, capture bases, and expand your territory... but you're also a fully-controllable warrior, dishing out punishing blows against your opponents right next to your carefully raised army. Mount & Blade: Warband, the second game in the PC series, is now available for the NVIDIA SHIELD and other Tegra 4 devices.
Nvidia wanted to wow us when it unveiled the Shield over a year ago at CES 2013, so naturally it pre-announced a bunch of games for the device. One of the titles mentioned at that event has only now arrived on Android. Rochard is a sci-fi platformer that was originally developed for the PlayStation Network and Steam, but now it's in the Play Store for $6.99.