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Nvidia Shield to receive Android Kitkat and a price cut

Nvidia's portable Android gaming device is set to receive a large software update next week, including Android KitKat, new streaming features, and a price cut to $199.
March 26, 2014

The Nvidia Shield may not have completely won over the gaming community, but that hasn’t stopped Nvidia from improving its portable gaming device and services, as well as securing even more exclusive games for its platform. Nvidia has now announced a few more tweaks to its portable gaming console, including a hefty price cut.

Currently priced at around $250-300, the Shield will be receiving a substantial price reduction down to just $199, in the not too distant future. The reason for the price cut isn’t quite clear, perhaps Nvidia hopes that it will help to shift more units or maybe we’re edging closer to the Nvidia Shield 2.

Next up are some changes to the Shield’s software. For starters, Nvidia will be updating the device from Android Jelly Bean to KitKat, starting from next week. As well as the slight UI changes, KitKat’s new Immersive Mode, which allows developers to take advantage of the full screen for apps and games, will allow Nvidia to better tweak the system and its software for gamers.

Nvidia is also preparing a new update for its GameStream service, which enables users to stream games from their remote server or powerful desktop PC directly to their Shield. With the latest update, users will now be able to stream games from their gaming PC at home rather than just an NVIDIA server, along with the ability to wake the computer with LAN access and log into the PC remotely from the Nvidia Shield. GameStream will now also be compatible with gaming laptops, providing that they’re powered by Kepler and Maxwell GPUs, such as the GTX 800M, 700M, and 600M ranges.

Bluetooth keyboards and mice will now also be supported when streaming games with the Shield in “Console Mode”, so when the device is connected to a TV. Nvidia is also going all out to improve steaming quality, bumping the resolution up from 720p to 1080p, at a full 60 fps. Speaking of streaming, Nvidia is also introducing user adjustable controls for FPS and bitrate, among other options, to tailor the streaming experience to your network and computer’s capabilities.

If all of that isn’t enough, Nvidia’s TegraZone, which has made available on the PlayStore recently, will also be included in the Nvidia Shield update, which contains a condensed selection of over 140 games that are optimized for Nvidia powered mobile devices.

That’s quite a big update, but is it enough to convince you that Nvidia and Android are a match made for gaming?