A major update to the Nvidia Shield will allow owners to operate their handheld consoles through their televisions and play a wider variety of Android games that don’t support controllers.
The Nvidia Shield, which merges a full-sized game controller and 5-inch display into a handheld device, was upgraded on Monday morning. The update bundles several new features with Android’s Jelly Bean operating system. The console previously ran on Android 4.2.1.
Nvidia unveiled Shield’s new Console Mode, which lets gamers plug the handheld into their televisions with an HDMI-out cable. The Shield can then act as a game console, responding to a Bluetooth controller to play Android games and watch movies. It also works with the Shield’s PC streaming technology to stream games from a compatible computer to the TV at 720p.
The other fresh feature is GamePad Mapper, which unlocks thousands of other Android games to controller play. Players can create a profile for each game that maps virtual joysticks, buttons and gestures to the Shield’s physical controls, for games such as Angry Birds and Jetpack Joyride. They can share these control schemes with their friends or download ones Nvidia created.
Nvidia Shield owners can download the update now. The company is also offering a rebate program through the holidays to lure in new customers. Those who purchase certain Nvidia GTX graphics card will receive a $100 discount on a Shield, plus free copies of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Splinter Cell: Blacklist and Batman: Arkham Origins.
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