Today Nvidia has released a pretty big update for their Shield gaming device. It’s probably the biggest one the Shield has gotten yet. New today is Android 4.3, a button mapping feature, and a new console mode. These will all help make the Shield a better gaming device.
Android 4.3 obviously helps gaming itself by adding OpenGL ES 3. OpenGL ES 3.0 supports more complex 2D and 3D modeling, so games should look and perform better. You also get the other improvements 4.3 brings such as Bluetooth LE and native TRIM support.
Button mapping is a great new feature. Some apps still aren’t updated with SHIELD support and some developers may not have the resources to do so. Now you can set up custom mappings and download mappings others have made. To set up up the mappings, load your favorite game and press the customization button. A screen will then appear allowing you to set up the gestures you want to use.
Finally, the Nvidia Shield also gains a new console mode. To use it, hook up your SHIELD to an HDTV through your HDMI port. The SHIELD will then automatically reboot and activate console mode. All audio and video will be automatically go through the TV and will stop going through the SHIELD’s own screen and speakers.
The resolution will be bumped up to 1080P instead of being displayed in 720P, which the SHIELD maxes out at. Make sure to plug your SHIELD into an outlet as well, as this will probably cause a drain on the battery. Instead of controlling the SHIELD with the gamepad itself, you can use a Bluetooth controller instead.
NVIDIA has certified the NYKO PlayPad Pro as a controller that is guaranteed to work with the SHIELD natively. The NYKO costs $39. But you could probably use something else, too, if you have another controller as well. All you need to do to connect a controller is pair it, like any other Bluetooth devices.
All in all, this sounds like a great update for the SHIELD. Android 4.3, button mapping, and a controller mode add a lot of improvements to an already great device. For $299, this is a good portable gaming device. Does this new update encourage you to buy one if you don’t have one already?
Source: Android Central