Nvidia's Shield handheld gaming console to get KitKat upgrade

Nvidia is also pushing game streaming updates with the Android 4.4 over-the-air upgrade

Nvidia's GeForce Experience software setting to add streaming games

Nvidia's GeForce Experience software setting to add streaming games

Nvidia will upgrade its Shield handheld gaming console to Android 4.4.2, code-named KitKat, with updates being pushed out over the air starting April 2.

In addition to the latest Android features, the OS update will also bring a better console and remote gaming experience, said Andrew Coonrad, technical marketing manager for gaming technologies at Nvidia.

The Shield console has a 5-inch screen on a protective hatch that pops out of a gaming controller. The device runs on Nvidia's Tegra 4 processor, and has the buttons found on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One controllers. Shield can also be a mini-tablet and the screen can display images at 720p resolution. Other features include 802.11n Wi-Fi, a Mini-HDMI port and Bluetooth 3.0.

Games for Shield can be downloaded from Google Play store or Nvidia's TegraZone app, which will have more than 330 games with the OS update. The remote game-streaming features aim to make PC games easily accessible to the Android-based consoles.

The console's enhanced GameStream feature will allow users to stream PC games to Shield consoles located remotely. Users will be able to play streaming PC games from thousands of miles away by connecting Shield over the Internet to a gaming PC with a compatible GeForce graphics processor.

The GameStream feature will discover a host gaming system within a home or wide-area network, Coonrad said. Wireless streaming of PC games to a Shield is currently only possible over home networks.

Shield's game-streaming features are only compatible on specific graphics cards. Nvidia in February announced the latest GeForce GTX 800M-series graphics processors for thin-and-light laptops, which support wireless game streaming. The streaming features are also being introduced to the latest desktop GPUs from Nvidia.

Remote and cloud gaming features are already available on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles. However, Nvidia is providing a different take to cloud gaming by drawing Shield closer to the fast-growing PC gaming market.

Beyond games, the Shield can now also function as a remote desktop and run applications such as Microsoft Word delivered by host PCs. But the Shield does not have a keyboard, making the utility of this feature limited.

Users will also have better control over the quality of PC gameplay on Shield. Users will be able to set the frames per second and bit rate per second at which games are delivered from PCs to Shield. Games were being played at the wrong resolutions, and this feature will improve the quality of gameplay, Coonrad said.

The level of customization can be zeroed down to each game and such settings are useful when Shield is connected to an HDTV and used as a console.

Games and applications to be streamed can be selected in the GeForce Experience software on compatible PCs. Shield works with the PC software to apply the individualized streaming settings to each game.

Nvidia also said it was cutting the price of Shield to US$199 as part of a promotion through the end of April.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags gamesconsumer electronicsnvidiaHandhelds

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?