This is an exciting day for all owners of the Nvidia portable Shield gaming console as it updates to Android 4.3 with a huge expansion in its access to mobile games, while GameStream leaves beta, and that’s official. From today, the Shield is going to be compatible with just about any Android title, thanks to the launch of the Shield Gamepad Mapper. This will allow nearly all Android games to be converted. Nvidia plans to release these button mapping profile week by week , updating them over-the-air but that is not going to stop users from setting their own configurations and sharing them around.
When it first came out, the Shield was only compatible with a few Android games. The Shield Gamepad Mapper is going to change all that. The folks at Nvidia have sure kept their word when they promised big upgrades all round to the Shield system.
GameStream previously operated by sending compatible PC games to the Shield from a GTX ready rig, streaming via beta. The updated version is already reviewed as performing very well, with much fewer issues with slow connection. Its bye bye to beta and updates all the way.
As well as these improvements to Nvidia GameStream they are also launching Shield Console Mode. This exciting development allows a hook up to High Definition TV using an HDMI hookup. A Bluetooth controller then lets play commence as gamers play the compatible PC titles on their TV sets. Nvidia is pretty excited by this move, and say that current speeds onto HDTV are 720p but they are confident of getting the resolution up to 1080p by adopting an Ethernet dongle with a gigabit USB. While it was possible, to some extent, to do this before, the Shield now has a clever prompt to advise that console mode is possible. GameStream over WiFi will stay at 720p until an Ethernet connection is established.
In addition to all of this, Nvidia has gone on to make updates to their GeForce experience with the software now on version 1.7. Streaming to Twitch will now happen with one press of a button as ShadowPlay functionality records the PC gameplay.
Gamers out there who do not yet own a Shield are encouraged to get on board with Nvidia offering deals on new purchases. Copies of Batman:Arkham Origins, Splinter Cell: Blacklist and Assassin’s Creed 4 are being thrown in with $100 off deals. This tempting bundle also includes a GeForce GTX graphics card. This money saving incentive and all the upgrades are nicely timed for the approaching holiday season, as well as the transformation into a truly complete living room gaming experience.
The upgrade to Android 4.3 and the introduction of Console Mode, letting players steer their Shield onto their TV via a Bluetooth gamepad is an exciting step forward, and taking GameStream out of beta opens up the doors to many more hitherto inaccessible titles. It has got to be good news all round for Nvidia Shield addicts.
There’s a lot to get excited about here, but probably the biggest news is that the PC Streaming is no longer beta, and the new name, GameStream, is the sign of a gateway to a whole lot more games. According to Nvidia, the Gamepad Mapper extends the Shield library from hundreds to thousands of Android titles.
GameStream coming out of beta is a great sign of progress. No wonder Nvidia is excited. No doubt they are banking that Shield players soon will be too.
By: Kate Henderson