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.
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.
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.
If an always-connected tablet is something your heart has always desired but your brain won't let you open your wallet long enough to pay what carriers are asking for their branded tablets, the heavens may have just opened up for you. NVIDIA is unleashing a mobile network-connected version of the the EVGA Tegra Note 7 on the world, which will be available sometime in Q2. And the timing couldn't be better – the Wi-Fi TN7 just got updated to Android 4.4.2 last night, which also brings NVIDIA's GamePad Mapper to the device.
If you have EVGA's Tegra Note 7, it's time to dive into the settings menu and grab the latest – NVIDIA is currently pushing Android 4.4.2 to the device right now.
This, of course, brings all the goodness of KitKat to the device (and makes it drastically more appealing in my opinion), so you'll want to pull this one ASAP. No word on what else is new just yet, but we'll be sure to update this post with anything that we uncover.
Those SHIELD owners who are lucky enough to be eligible for NVIDIA's GRID game streaming service, you've got two new options for cloud-based entertainment today. NVIDIA has added the zany open world sandbox game Saints Row: The Third and atmospheric zombie shooter Dead Island to the GRID beta, bringing the total number of streaming PC games to twelve.
For those of you who don't frequent the PC gaming scene, Saints Row is sort of the madman's alternative to Grand Theft Auto.
If the Internet had a pantheon of deities, Linux kernel creator Linus Torvalds would surely be among them, with a big white beard and a laurel wreath. Torvalds has been a vocal detractor of corporations that don't offer support for Linux, including an especially expressive denouncement of NVIDIA back in 2012. But yesterday, Torvalds gave NVIDIA a thumbs-up - which is two whole fingers away from his previous gesture - for posting an early open-source driver for the Tegra K1.
If you've been following our CES coverage, you know that NVIDIA is quite proud of its next-generation mobile chips. To make sure you get the message of "unearthly technology," they paid a bunch of artists to create a crop circle outside of Salinas, California with a design inspired by the Tegra K1 and its Kepler GPU. I bet Dell's Alienware division is asking, "why didn't we think of that?"
The design of the crop circle roughly mirrors the actual layout of the Tegra K1 chip: you can see the five square CPU cores on the bottom of the central square.