Skip to main content

Huge Nvidia Shield update brings PC streaming and home console mode

Huge Nvidia Shield update brings PC streaming and home console mode
Believe in the Shield

The Android-powered Nvidia Shield handheld console has received a sizable boost in the shape of a software update that brings Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and tonnes of new functionality.

The over-the-air update brings the GameStream mode, announced alongside the console but missing in action so far, which allows users to stream their PC games directly to the handheld device.

The feature supports 50 of the top games initially, including the likes of Batman: Arkham Origins, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag and Splinter Cell: Blacklist.

Another significant addition is Console Mode, which enables the unit to be hooked up to the big screen for gaming and entertainment in full 1080p HD. It'll also facilitate the streaming of those aforementioned PC games to the TV.

Console Mode requires the assistance of a secondary Bluetooth controller, but will allow the Shield to challenge other Android consoles such as Ouya and GameStick which plug directly into the TV.

Later, touchscreen

If all that wasn't enough, Nvidia has also added the compatibility for thousands of games on the Google Play Store that were originally designed for the touchscreen - games like Temple Run and NBA Jam.

Using the Gamepad Mapper, Shield owners can create their own custom physical controls for the games or let download Nvidia's pre-assigned auto profiles for the cloud.

Finally, the presence of Android 4.3 gives users "a range of new features, such as restricted profiles, expandable and actionable notifications, and improvements that make everything feel even more fluid, fast and smooth," the company says.

Is this the day Nvidia's handheld vision comes to fruition? Has it laid the smack-down on its Android-powered rivals, while raining on Valve's Steam Machines parade? Let us know your thoughts.