Nvidia Shield gets Android 4.3, button mapping for unsupported games and GameStream


Nvidia’s Shield was only modestly-received when it was released in July, as it had limited game support and only allowed games to be installed to its 16GB of internal storage.

A new OTA update from the company updates the portable gamepad to Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, and adds a number of impressive features. The stock Android experience now has an app called Gamepad Mapper, which lets you literally map onscreen buttons to the Shield’s physical equivalent. This lets users play games on the Shield that have yet to be officially supported by their developers, and users can share the super-simple maps with others.

Console Mode is a new feature of Shield that, for all intents and purposes, uses the Tegra 4 silicone as a vehicle for true TV-based console gaming. By pairing a Bluetooth controller like Nyko’s PlayPad Pro, and plugging the Shield into a TV via HDMI, it can stream Android games at 1080p and mimic the interactions of a larger console. By pairing Console Mode with GameStream, Shield users can play high-resolution PC games on their TVs.

GameStream is the last major feature addition. It is the evolution of an earlier beta feature, and it lets PC owners with a Kepler-based GPU stream games like Bioshock: Infinite and Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag to a TV over WiFi. It’s a pretty amazing feature. Of course, Android games are also available over this mode, and they stream at 1080p as opposed to the 720p resolution of the Shield’s screen itself.

Lastly, Shield now lets users store entire games, including their data, on a microSD card, which is a huge improvement over the previous implementation.

Shield is available in Canada through NCIX, Canada Computers and Newegg for around $310 CDN.

[via]Android Police[/via]