The controller for Sony's PlayStation 4, the DualShock 4, is one of the most popular gamepads right now. It's even a great controller for people without PlayStation consoles, since it can also be used with gaming PCs and Android devices. That's right, you could be playing Fortnite, Minecraft, and plenty of other titles on your phone with physical controls with a PlayStation 4 controller.
While Stadia's launch last year arguably packed fewer features than we initially anticipated, Google is hard at work to add long-promisedcapabilities. This Tuesday, the company announced that it would roll out wireless Stadia controller support for laptops and desktops, and it looks like the capability is now already widely available. Just like always could on Chromecast, you can finally enjoy Stadia wirelessly on your computer using its first-party hardware.
During the first Stadia AMA on Reddit, we learned that support for Bluetooth audio through the controller would be coming but not available at launch in November. The Stadia FAQ page has just been updated to highlight that the same is true of audio over USB-C.
A couple years back, Microsoft released a Bluetooth-compatible version of its Xbox One controller, further cementing the company's game controller dominance. But when it came to using one with an Android device, there was a big catch: button mapping was broken compared to other controllers. According to a recent change on Google's bug tracker, that problem has been resolved in Android P.
NVIDIA's yearly CES bash just wrapped up, and once again there's a new SHIELD coming for gamers. Well, "new" in a very limited sense. The new version of the Android TV-powered set top box looks nearly identical to the SHIELD TV that's been available since the summer of 2015. It's 40% smaller than the original - closer in size to competitors like Roku - but inside is the same Tegra X1 system that we're familiar with. (Which is still some of the most powerful "mobile" silicon around.) The big change, as hinted by the leak last month, is in the controller.
NVIDIA's SHIELD is the best stand-alone Android TV device on the market... in an admittedly limited field of competitors. At $200 with an included controller, it's at a fairly premium price for a set-top box (the top-of-the-line Roku streaming gadget is $130, for example). But if you plan to take advantage of its unique PC game streaming capability or NVIDIA's growing stable of exclusive Android games, it's not unreasonable for two bills. Now the pot gets a little sweeter: for a limited time, NVIDIA will throw in a second controller with a SHIELD TV purchase.
The second Android TV device to be available directly from Google is also the second Android TV device to be sold, period: the Forge TV from gaming peripheral maker Razer. The Forge TV bundle is now on sale in the Google Store. This $149.99 USD package includes the Forge TV itself and one Serval Bluetooth controller. Oddly, the stand-alone Forge TV (which sells for $100 and requires an Android phone, since it has no remote) isn't listed on the Google Store. It's shipping to the US and Canada.
There are a lot of solid dungeon crawlers available in the Play Store - my personal favorite is probably Mage Gauntlet. But whether it's because of the general trend towards the retro visual style or simply because it's easier to implement on mobile, most of them use a top-down 2D pixelated visual style. Not so for TinyKeep. The premiere Android game from developer Digital Tribe bucks those trends for a high-end take on the genre.
TinyKeep is actually another port from PC download service Steam, so it's easy to see where its high-end graphics come from. You'll need a powerful phone or tablet to get the most out of the experience.
Looking to get into NVIDIA's SHIELD ecosystem, perhaps before the launch of the GRID service? Perennial video game retailer Gamestop is offering the base model of the SHIELD Tablet with a $50 discount, bringing down the price to $249.99. The SHIELD Controller, which is compatible with the original SHIELD Portable, the SHIELD Tablet, and the upcoming SHIELD Android TV set-top box, is also discounted. You can grab it for $39.97, a bit more than $20 off.
The SHIELD Tablet is easily the best 8-inch Android tablet available at the moment, thanks to its plentiful power and quick software updates from NVIDIA.