NVIDIA SHIELD $199 for Limited Time; Upcoming Software Upgrade Enables Remote GameStream, And Much More

SHIELD software updates, SHIELD

The SHIELD April 2014 Update revolutionizes SHIELD's feature set once again.

In July 2013 NVIDIA launched SHIELD, a gaming and entertainment portable marrying a console-quality controller with a retinal-quality screen and Tegra 4, the world’s most powerful mobile processor. In the eight months since we’ve regularly upgraded SHIELD with game-changing features and innovations, such as GameStream, enabling gamers to enjoy PC and Android games in new, unique ways.

On April 2nd, we’ll once again expand the horizons of SHIELD with a major software upgrade, which includes a revolutionary new way to play in the form of out-of-home GameStream, significant enhancements to Gamepad Mapper, Bluetooth keyboard and mouse support in Console Mode, plus Android “KitKat” version 4.4.2 and dozens of additional tweaks and changes.

With this update, your entire library of PC and Android games become playable anywhere in the Wi-Fi connected world, and at home on your big-screen HDTV.

Remote GameStream Beta

NVIDIA GameStream has to date enabled gamers to play PC games on SHIELD from the comfort of their sofa, and remotely via the cloud in select areas with the NVIDIA GRID Streaming Beta. With the launch of the latest SHIELD Software Update, any supported PC game can be played on SHIELD from outside of the home. At work and able to do your own thing over lunch? Connect SHIELD to your network, activate GameStream as normal, and take to your Titan for a short multiplayer session in Titanfall.

If you’re concerned about leaving your PC on all day, or leaving it unsecured without a password, new GameStream enhancements enable you to use Wake On LAN to remotely turn on your system, and to enter your Windows password with the on-screen keyboard. If you have a strong LTE connection, you can even connect to your phone’s personal hotspot and stream PC games while on the go.

Remote GameStream Beta enables you to enjoy PC games from anywhere in the Wi-Fi connected world.
Remote GameStream Beta enables you to enjoy PC games from anywhere in the Wi-Fi connected world.

Notebook Support Beta

Since launch last July, the streaming of PC games to SHIELD has only been possible via a GeForce GTX-powered desktop PC. This latest update enables PC games to be streamed from notebooks with GeForce GTX 800M, GTX 700M, and select GTX 600M GPUs, with the same great set of features enjoyed by desktop gamers.

NVIDIA GameStream, now on notebooks.
NVIDIA GameStream, now on notebooks.

Console Mode: Now Keyboard & Mouse Compatible

With the launch of Console Mode, the ability for SHIELD to evolve was readily seen, transforming SHIELD into a portable game console capable of playing any PC or Android game on a big-screen HDTV at 60 frames per second, with the aid of a Bluetooth gamepad.

Console Mode makes PC games playable on big screen HDTVs.
Console Mode makes PC games playable on big screen HDTVs.

The latest SHIELD Software Update transforms SHIELD into a portable PC, courtesy of support for Bluetooth mice and keyboards, enabling 1080p, 60 frames per second HDTV gaming in League of Legends, Diablo III, Civilization V, and other games that support and play best with keyboards and mice.

The SHIELD April 2014 Update makes your entire library playable via Console Mode.
The SHIELD April 2014 Update makes your entire library playable via Console Mode.

Among our 30 million GeForce Experience users, three of the five most popular games are keyboard and mouse only. The new update gives those gamers the option to play from the sofa, making lengthy League sessions more comfortable. Combined, SHIELD’s accessory compatibility opens the door to your complete gaming library.

Gamepad Mapper

Gamepad Mapper is an innovative software feature that enables SHIELD users to play touch-control Android games using the physical, console-quality controls found on SHIELD itself. By downloading, uploading, and sharing Mapper profiles, every hardware-compatible Android game becomes playable on SHIELD, vastly increasing your game library.

In the new Software Update Gamepad Mapper has received a fresh coat of paint and a few tweaks, including the addition of a quick-access shortcut found when holding down the illuminated NVIDIA button. Never has it been easier to download, share, and rate your Mapper profiles.

The indispensible Gamepad Mapper is now even better thanks to the SHIELD April 2014 Update.
The indispensible Gamepad Mapper is now even better thanks to the SHIELD April 2014 Update.

New TegraZone

TegraZone brings SHIELD’s many unique features into one central location, giving instant access to streamed PC games, Android games, GameStream settings, and the TegraZone store. In our new update, we’ve revamped TegraZone to improve accessibility, discoverability, and usability. Additionally, a news feed brings you the latest Android, SHIELD and TegraZone info, and an optional notification system delivers news and announcements direct to your SHIELD home screen.

The new TegraZone makes finding new and exciting games even easier.
The new TegraZone makes finding new and exciting games even easier.

At launch, TegraZone highlighted 60 games that played perfectly on SHIELD’s console-quality controller. Today, that number sits at 140, with new games being added each and every week. In addition, 200 of the most popular Google Play titles are officially supported by NVIDIA-created Gamepad Mapper profiles, and a further thousand are supported by community-created profiles. To assist with discoverability, the curated list of TegraZone titles are now categorized by genre, enabling SHIELD owners to quickly find a new strategy or action game, for example.

With TegraZone, all your games are just a few taps away
With TegraZone, all your games are just a few taps away.

Beyond support for traditional Android titles, NVIDIA is partnering with PC and console developers to bring full PC and Console-class games to the SHIELD portable. Most recently, NVIDIA worked with partners to bring the full PC version of Mount & Blade: Warband to SHIELD. In addition to full SHIELD gamepad support, Mount & Blade: Warband players encounter bigger battles and Tegra 4-enhanced graphics, which increase the fidelity of shadows, particles, and lighting effects, delivering the definitive Warband experience directly into your hands.

Best of all, SHIELD warriors can play online against PC players from anywhere in the world, on the very same servers; the perfect counterpoint to online commentators who deride mobile gaming as lacking depth and immersion in comparison to ‘proper’ PC and console games.

Mount & Blade Warband gives you the complete PC experience on SHIELD.
Mount & Blade Warband gives you the complete PC experience on SHIELD.

Other new immersive Android games include Rochard, a critically-acclaimed PC and PS3 indie game, and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, a game which needs no introduction.

SHIELD brings complete PC and console games to your hand.
SHIELD brings complete PC and console games to your hand.

What’s In The Box? Portal – Valve’s Popular PC Title – Coming To SHIELD

One of SHIELD’s many strengths is that it’s an open gaming platform. That means gamers have been enjoying the best of both PC and Android worlds since its launch. Those worlds are now set to collide.

We’re teaming up with Valve to bring the critically acclaimed Portal to SHIELD, as we just announced at the GPU Technology Conference.

“NVIDIA has created a very powerful and unique device with SHIELD,” said Doug Lombardi at Valve. “Our companies have a strong history working together and we’re looking forward to Portal's arrival on SHIELD.”

Coming soon, Portal will be joining over 300 SHIELD-supported Android games currently available.

Valve's Portal, coming soon to SHIELD.

Winner of over 70 industry awards and 95% MetaCritic score, Portal is a hybrid of FPS and puzzle style gaming that creates a a new genre of spatial brain teasers, offering hours of totally unique gameplay. Set in the mysterious Aperture Science Laboratories and noted for its humorous writing, the game requires player to solve puzzles and challenges by opening portals, maneuvering objects, and moving themselves through space in ways that used to be impossible.

Over 100 GameStream-Ready PC Games and More

On the streaming front, we now have one-click support for over 100 of the latest and greatest PC games, up from 20 at launch last year. The latest additions include Titanfall, the smash first-person shooter hit, and there’s support for Dark Souls II in the pipeline, too. For news of the latest official additions, stay tuned to the TegraZone news feed.

Over 100 games are now officially supported by GameStream, and more are added each week.
Over 100 games are now officially supported by GameStream, and more are added each week.

Adding yet-to-be-supported games is now also easier with the addition of a simple ‘Add’ button in GeForce Experience 2.0, which will be available for download on April 2nd alongside SHIELD’s Software Upgrade. By pointing directly to the game .exe on your desktop or notebook, the selected game will be added to your TegraZone library, ready to be launched just like officially supported titles. Many unsupported titles work without issue, but if you do encounter difficulties we recommend taking to the GeForce.com forums, where an active community awaits, willing to help one another with game streaming and emulation, amongst other things.

GeForce Experience 2.0 makes adding unofficially supported games to GameStream even easier.
GeForce Experience 2.0 makes adding unofficially supported games to GameStream even easier.

On top of enabling the easy addition of unsupported games, the new feature can support the streaming of applications too, launching iTunes or remote Windows desktop, for example. As with many of SHIELD’s features, we’re certain our active community will find innovative and helpful uses for this addition, and as always, we’ll evaluate the very best for inclusion in an official update.

Even More Enhancements in This Update

Android 4.4.2

The SHIELD Operating System will be upgraded to Android 4.4.2, otherwise known as “KitKat”. Hundreds of Google-developed changes are included, all of which are detailed on the official KitKat website.

The SHIELD April 2014 Update upgrades all SHIELDs to KitKat, the latest version of the Android operating system.
The SHIELD April 2014 Update upgrades all SHIELDs to KitKat, the latest version of the Android operating system.

GameStream Quality Controls

A new TegraZone option screen enables SHIELD users to manually control the quality of GameStream for Wi-Fi and Ethernet. With a few taps, bit rates and frame rates can be fine-tuned, or left on Auto for the perfect out-of-the box experience.  Additionally, for folks who really like to manually adjust their game settings, they can disable Streaming Optimizations for any or all of their PC games.

GameStream Quality Controls enable manual control over Wi-Fi and Ethernet streaming,
GameStream Quality Controls enable manual control over Wi-Fi and Ethernet streaming,

Multi-PC Pairing

If you have multiple desktops, and perhaps a notebook too, you can now pair them all to SHIELD using GameStream’s new PIN-based multi-PC pairing tool, enabling you to stream games from each system. For example, if your significant other is camped out on your desktop playing League of Legends, you can now stream your Titanfall match from a secondary system without any additional fuss.

Multi-PC Pairing enables instant access to all PC games on all linked systems.
Multi-PC Pairing enables instant access to all PC games on all linked systems.

1080p Console Mode Battery Charging

When utilizing Console Mode at 1080p, an Ethernet connection is required. To aid multi-hour gaming in this mode, the new update enables the use of a Micro USB Host OTG Y Cable, which allows for simultaneous gaming and battery charging, keeping you in the action for as many hours as you desire.

Game and charge with the SHIELD April 2014 Update.
Game and charge with the SHIELD April 2014 Update.

NVIDIA SHIELD: Just $199 for a Limited Time

Haven’t picked up SHIELD yet? To celebrate the upcoming release of the software upgrade, NVIDIA is promoting SHIELD at just $199, starting today through April 30th.

For a limited time, the NVIDIA SHIELD is just $199.

At just $199, NVIDIA SHIELD offers unbeatable value, giving gamers access to more games and more features than any other tablet, phone, or gaming portable. Untether your gaming experience from your PC rig, and experience all the new ways to play your library of PC and Android games.

NVIDIA SHIELD, Eight Months On

In eight short months, NVIDIA SHIELD has come on leaps and bounds, gaining over half a dozen game-changing, innovative, revolutionary features that cannot be found elsewhere. Furthermore, existing features and support have been radically enhanced, and all round extra care and attention has been lavished upon SHIELD’s software.

SHIELD, then and now.
NVIDIA SHIELD, then and now.

We’ve enhanced the day to day experiences of our GeForce GTX gamers, giving them new ways to enjoy their PC and Android games, and introducing them to new horizons, like Gamepad-mapped, on-the-go PC gaming, and cloud-based GRID streaming. And let’s not forget Google Play movie, TV and music playback, which gives you high-quality, acoustically refined experiences on SHIELD itself, and through your TV using Console Mode.

The sky’s the limit with SHIELD, and we’ve only just begun to explore the possibilities.

If you are a SHIELD owner, the new software update is only a week away – landing on April 2nd.  If you are still on the fence about getting a SHIELD, there has never been a better time to buy – pick up a SHIELD for just $199 at participating retailers and e-tailers.

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