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NVIDIA Shield upated with Console Mode & Gamepad Mapper

The NVIDIA Shield launched in July. It is the best android gaming device and probably one of the best portable gaming devices yet. With true HD 720p graphics, booming stereo sound, and the precise, familiar performance of a console-grade game controller - sound is great, screen is good.

The NVIDIA Shield features an NVIDIA Tegra 4 ARM Cortex-A15 quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, and a 5 inch, 1280 x 720 pixel display, stereo speakers, WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS.

With the Playstation 4 and Xbox One launching next month, gamers have several exciting options in terms of new hardware. In this episode, the company has rolled out a software update & new Console Mode.

Here’s what the OTA brings:

  • Android 4.3
  • Apps to SD
  • Gamepad Mapper lets anyone map touch-based Android games to the SHIELD controller, for use by the masses.
  • Console Mode lets you play the SHIELD on your big screen TV with a bluetooth controller
  • GameStream let you play PC games on your SHIELD
Let’s take a look at these improvements in a bit more detail.

The software update lets you map touchscreen actions to the controller buttons, making it easier to play games without reaching up to swipe the toucshcreen controller and also makes it a bit easier to use the Shield with a big-screen TV as if it were a living room console machine rather than a handheld gaming device.

The Gamepad Mapper means anybody can map the touchscreen controls to the gamepad simply by dragging and dropping directly on the device. Even better, you can e-mail your mapped configuration to mapper@nvidia.com and if it checks out, they’ll add it as a default support option.

You can set your SHIELD to automatically update and use these Gamepad Mapper configurations from the cloud. Or, if you’re particular, you’re able to set and tweak based on your liking. Right out of the gate NVIDIA is offering mapped support for over 100 games.

The new Console Mode lets you connect the Shield to a TV with an HDMI cable and then pair a Bluetooth controller so that you don’t need to hold the Shield in your hands while playing.

Console Mode also works with NVIDIA GameStream — which means if you have games installed on a PC with an NVIDIA graphics card in another room, you can use the Shield to play them on the big screen in your living room. Right now about 50 PC games are officially supported.

The software update also brings Android 4.3 Jelly Bean to the handheld device, bringing restricted user profiles, expanded notifications and other features — and if the 16GB of built-in storage isn’t enough for your gaming needs you can also now move both APK and OBB files to an SD card to free up storage space.

There are some limitations worth noting:

  • Only certain apps and games can be moved to the SD Card, but this is a choice made by the developers themselves.
  • Android – and by extension SHIELD – only supports FAT32 formatted SD cards.
  • 64GB cards (or higher) cannot be written to but the device will read files from it if they’re already on the card.