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.
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.
So far NVIDIA has been making good on its promise of regular updates for its SHIELD portable gaming console, and this month is no different. Update 65 is rolling out now, and it brings a handful of new enhancements to some of SHIELD's flagship features, like Gamepad Mapper and Gamestream. Before we get into the details, here's a look at the full changelog:
- Stream from your PC at up to 1080p @ 60 FPS in Console Mode when using Ethernet (via micro USB Ethernet adapter).
Just in case you didn't see this in our enormous Black Friday deal roundup, we thought the discount on NVIDIA's SHIELD gaming device was worth highlighting all on its own. Today you can score the SHIELD for just $250, $50 off its retail price, plus some free goodies that shift based on which retailer you buy from.
The official NVIDIA SHIELD store has the device for an even $249, plus a free SHIELD T-shirt, a free first-party NVIDIA case ($40 on NVIDIA's store), and free standard shipping.
Zombie games are more played out than Star Wars at this point, but combining them with new and interesting genres is a way to get my attention. Thus we have Zombie Tycoon 2, the latest game to jump from the PlayStation 3/Vita to Android. But this one is unique: in keeping with its console gaming roots, Zombie Tycoon 2 requires a controller to play. That officially makes this the first SHIELD-exclusive title for the time being.
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.