The Shield’s “console mode” allows users to hook the device up to a TV and Bluetooth controller and use it like a console.
Nvidia’s $300 Shield Android-based handheld has just received a substantial system update, offering, among other features, a “console mode”. To enable Console Mode, users connect their Shield to an HDTV via HDMI and pair it with any Bluetooth controller. You can then enjoy the handheld’s library of games on the big screen from the comfort of your couch.
And if you get tired of playing Android games, today also marks the arrival of Nvidia’s “GameStream” streaming service. GameStream, which is of course compatible with the new console mode, allows users to stream games through the Nvidia Shield to their television set at 720p, 60fps. Nvidia plans to support 1080p sometime later.
The service only supports around 50 games, including the recently released Batman: Arkham Origins and the soon-to-be-released Assassin’s Creed IV – Black Flag. Furthermore, to take advantage of GameStream, you’ll need a PC with a GeForce GTX 650 card or better.
Call me cynical if you will, but this sounds like Nvidia has simply put the Shield’s capabilities on-par with a really long HDMI cable. In fact, it’s worse than the long HDMI cable option, as it only works with 50 games! I still think $300 is way too expensive for a device that only plays Android games, no matter how fancy its streaming capabilities are.