Nvidia has finally brought the latest version of Android to its portable gaming tablet known as the Nvidia Shield. This update grants device owners access to “thousands more Android games originally designed for touch screens.” It also adds a new Console Mode, which allows users to beam the new games, as well as others in the library, to their TVs. The last, and arguably the biggest change, comes in the form a Gamepad Mapper, which allows users to map traditional touchscreen controls to the Shield’s built-in gamepad.
When we reviewed the Shield, one of the biggest problems was the location of the touchscreen, which made playing traditional games from Google Play an unpleasant experience. Now, users can open the Gamepad Mapper and customize those controls to work with the physical buttons on the Shield. This expands the potential library for Shield owners by an exponential amount.
With the Console Mode, the Nvidia Shield essentially becomes an OUYA, allowing users to pair a Bluetooth gamepad to the Shield and then sit back on their couch playing their favorite games on a TV screen instead of the Shield’s small offering. Web-browsing, and the Shield’s PC game streaming is also supported, which goes a long way towards expanding the functionality offered by the device.
Nvidia is dropping the beta tag from its PC streaming feature, which means it should work much better than it has in the past. It now supports more than 50 titles, including new games like Batman: Arkham Orgins and Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag.
All in all, this is exactly the update Shield users have been crying out for. It all sounds great in theory, but time will tell how it all works out as more and more users upgrade. Speaking of which, if you have a Shield, hit the comments section below and let us know how this update has worked out for you!