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.