One of the big features of the NVIDIA Shield handheld is the mostly-untouched build of Android that it runs, which enables NVIDIA to push out major updates to the device without a ton of effort. After launching with Android 4.2 in mid-2013, NVIDIA bumped the Shield up to Android 4.3 last October, and today the company revealed that its Android gaming machine will soon receive another important update.
NVIDIA has announced that the Shield will begin receiving an update to Android 4.4.2 on April 2. Along with all of the goodies that come along with a bump to KitKat, including some UI tweaks, the Shield is also getting a major update to its GameStream feature. The new version of GameStream allows users to stream games from their own PC, wake the computer with LAN and also log into it. Users can also play with a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse when streaming to a TV and also enjoy a resolution bump from 720p to 1080p. Rounding out the GameStream update is support for notebook computers and advanced control settings.
In addition to updating GameStream, NVIDIA has also refreshed its TegraZone app with a refreshed user interface that's meant to help make games easier to discover. That includes a new feed to keep tabs on TegraZone games. TegraZone isn't the only app to receive a UI revamp, though, as NVIDIA's Gamepad Mapper is also getting a makeover that should make it easier to share and find profiles.
If all of that sounds enticing to you but you don't actually have a Shield to enjoy it, well, I've got some good news for you. NVIDIA also announced today that it's slashing the price of the Shield to $199 through the month of April, a discount of $100 off the regular price. Oh, and Portal is coming soon to the device.
NVIDIA has done a pretty good job of supporting the Shield since its launch, and it's good to see that the device will soon be updated to the latest version of Android. Heck, it's even getting KitKat before some smartphones! All of the new features that are coming with that update, combined with the $100 April price cut, make the Shield pretty tempting for anyone that hasn't yet picked up a unit.
How many of you already own a Shield? If you don't have a Shield yet, has today's news got you thinking about buying one?