NVIDIA Shield gets Android 4.4.2 KitKat, price drops to $200, Portal exclusive [WOW]

NVIDIA-Shield-2

Gotta hand it to NVIDIA, they’re doing their best to make the NVIDIA Shield a thing and if you though the chip maker would just up and quit the Android handheld, you’d be wrong. So very wrong. Announced just today, NVIDIA will begin updating Shields to Android 4.4 KitKat, introducing a boatload of new software features.

Said to arrive on April 2nd, Shield owners can expect a revamped UI for the Gamepad Mapper, ability to stream PC games outside of the house, Bluetooth keyboard and mice compatibility, charging the device while using USB connected peripherals, as well as PC wake ups and remote logins. While NVIDIA recommends a “robust” WiFi connection for streaming away from home, there are new settings to adjust the bitrate/frame rate of the incoming stream.

And that’s only the half of it, NVIDIA will also be dropping the price of the Shield down to $200, finally bringing the cost of the device low enough to rival handhelds like the Sony PS Vita, and Nintendo 3DS. That price is only good for the month of April, so if you were thinking about picking one up, you have a few weeks to think about it.

At $200, we wouldn’t exactly call this a fire sale, but it makes us wonder if NVIDIA isn’t trying to clear up some stock before introducing a sleekier, more powerful Tegra K1 powered Shield in the very near future.

When it comes to actual games, legendary game developer Valve has announced an Android port of their hit title Portal will be making its way to the Shield. No word on a release date just yet, only NVIDIA CEO Jen Sen showing off the game running natively on the Shield during their GPU Technology Conference keynote. For anyone that never got the chance to play the game when it was released back in 2007 — now’s your freakin’ chance.

Buy an NVIDIA Shield from popular retailers here.

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  • Nathan Bryant

    NVIDIA has just been nothing but hype since they came out. Companies are moving if not already moved away from them.

    • Jody Schoolcraft

      I totally agree, I remember back when this phone has tegra and that phone has tegra but now all I hear is crickets…

      • fourthletter

        *hear

        Was the Nexus 7 not big enough for you?

        • scoter man1

          Are you insinuating that the Tegra 3 was good? Stop kidding yourself. It was horrible with battery and the Snapdragon S4 Pro kicked it’s butt all over the place.

          • renz

            of course S4 is faster and better than T3 since it came later and use much smaller node than T3 (40nm vs 28nm)

        • WhoaManWtF

          The Tegra Nexus 7 was utter crap actually, it was slow and buggy compared to the Qualcomm Nexus 7.

    • Gabe

      Just in the mobile market. They are still the most complete GPU manufacturer in the personal computing world. I don’t know why they chased cell phones in the first place…

      • WhoaManWtF

        A lot more people out there buying smart phones than there are buying GPU upgrades for personal computers.

        • renz

          smartphone and discrete gpu is two different market. but despite that fact nvidia still doing fine in laptop/dekstop/HPC market. their SoC might not as successful as their gpu business but they still haven’t given up on it. they keep improving their SoC every year. while not much success in phones their SoC are doing fine in automotive

    • fourthletter

      Well they have made most of the world’s graphics chips for the past twenty years, plenty of phones and tablets have used their ARM based chips including the Nexus 7, Microsoft Surface, HTC One X+ – what are you on about?

      • Montisaquadeis

        ANything released recently has all been using Qualcomms S600/800 including the 2013 Nexus 7 So yeah they have not been in anything recently and not a lot came out in 2013 with the Tegra4 to be honest that is what he means about companies staying away from the NVIDIA arm SOCs

        • Del373

          I think fourth’s point was that there isn’t really a reason to be stating nVidia’s seeming lack of success in the mobile sector. They’re not going anywhere anytime soon as their primary market is the sale of desktop GPUs, which they’ve been handling quite well for a long time.

  • domahman

    was waiting for the shield 2 but this is tempting. I might just pull the trigger at this price. I would buy this just for the GRID. I hope it’s still free.

    • synplex

      it is.

  • Delmar

    Nvidia releases a new graphics card every damn year, one more powerful/expensive than the next. They are doing fine

  • Ryan5609

    I want more AAA games like this on mobile. If they do Portal they could certainly do Half Life or HL2, might even want to throw in Left 4 Dead. It seems like were at that stage where that could be possible.

    • Cesar Ortiz

      L4D!!!!!!!!! I WOULD TOTALLY BUY THIS JUST FOR HAVING L4D OR HL