Hey, how hilarious would it be if NVIDIA managed to update its SHIELD Tablet to Android 5.1 before Google updates the Tegra-powered Nexus 9? Wait, no, hilarious isn't the right word. ____ is the right word (which the Android Police style guide won't let me publish), according to N9 owners.
The original NVIDIA SHIELD (before the Tablet or the set-top box, so just called "SHIELD" at the time) was a surprise revelation at CES 2013. This high-powered Android device with an Xbox-style controller and a flip-up screen was unlike anything we had seen before, and though it never became a runaway hit, many (including yours truly) have been hoping that NVIDIA would update the design in addition to its more conventional SHIELD entries.
Exclusive titles like Half-Life 2 and Portal have served to make Nvidia's Shield devices more attractive to gamers, but that's usually about graphical optimization. The newly released OlliOlli is a bit different. This is a retro-themed skateboard stunt game that previously resided on Steam. Now it's on Android and exclusive to the Shield Portable. Yes, the Portable. Oh, and it's $12.99, just like the Steam version.
In his review of the original SHIELD a year and a half ago, Jeremiah Rice noted that NVIDIA's gaming gadget was amazingly well-suited to game emulators. Combined with a robust emulation scene on Android, especially for older game consoles, it's possible to play a ton of great games on the SHIELD without ever stopping by the Play Store. This morning NVIDIA issued a software update specifically to improve performance for game emulator apps.
Even though the Shield Tablet is NVIDIA's new baby, the venerable Shield Portable has not been forgotten. This device is getting update v99 today with a few tweaks and improvements. Hit your update menu to grab it.
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.