So, it looks like Nvidia’s SHIELD is getting a huge update to Android 4.4.2, which they’ve been very good about constantly updating. Nvidia is probably one of the best companies when it comes to delivering Android OS updates to their devices. Now, in this update there are a lot of new features being included, so pay attention. SHIELD will be gaining Remote GameStream support which allows you to stream your games from outside of your home (over a friend’s WiFi or 4G connection). SHIELD will also be gaining Bluetooth mouse and keyboard support in addition to notebook GameStreaming capability. This shows a great improvement of where Nvidia is today compared to where they were when they first launched SHIELD less than a year ago.
There are also some minor features being added to the SHIELD in the ability to manually add unofficially supported games to your GameStream list from the GeForce Experience. There will also be the ability to have PIN-based PC to SHIELD pairing in order to be able to pair multiple PCs with your SHIELD. There will also be USB Y-cable support so that you can charge your SHIELD while using ethernet in console mode with a MicroUSB OTG Y cable. And last but not least, there will be the ability to manually set the bitrate, FPS and optimal performance settings in TegraZone.
In addition to the device features, Nvidia will be updating the TegraZone with a new interface in order to make finding the games you want more simple. There is also a new Gamepad Mapper which should make it easier to download and share mapper profiles, so that you don’t have to create your own from scratch if someone has already made one for the game you’re playing. Additionally, they’ve added quick access to the mapper using a long press of the Nvidia button or start.
As if all of that wasn’t enough, Nvidia is also dropping the price of the SHIELD to $199 through the month of April, there are no quantity restrictions, however, it seems like quantities will be limited to what’s available on hand. I’m not sure why Nvidia would do this, unless they really do want to celebrate this major software update by dropping their price 50%. While I’m not entirely convinced of that, when Nvidia was asked if this was a price cut in anticipation of a Tegra K1 SHIELD they denied it, even though I think we all know it will probably happen soon.
Either way, there’s no denying that SHIELD delivers a unique gaming experience compared to any other device out there purely because of the ability to play PC titles on a non-PC device. The added portability also gives users a chance to enjoy PC-like gaming virtually anywhere, as long as the latency and bandwidth are good enough, which in the US they aren’t most of the time, for now.