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Nvidia Shield Hits $199, Adds Remote GameStreaming in KitKat

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 15 comments

Nvidia Shield Android 4.4.2 KitKat update will add a few new tricks to the Tegra 4 handheld.

Nvidia today at GTC shared some exciting news for current Shield owners, as well as an enticing offer to try to attract new buyers.

Shield will see a temporary price drop down to $199 through to the end of April, reflecting a $50 price drop. Shield originally launched in July 2013 at $299. Nvidia didn't share whether or not the price will go back up to $249 after April, but those who have been eyeing up the Tegra 4-powered portable will now have a lower barrier to entry.

Read more: Nvidia Shield Review: Tegra 4-Powered Handheld Gaming

Nvidia's also introduced a few new features to Shield that will be rolling out by early April as a part of the upgrade to Android KitKat 4.4.2. One big change is that now Shield owners will be able to GameStream from their Kepler GPUs not just from their home networks, but anywhere. The new version will allow gamers to use Wake on LAN and Remote Login to get their portable gaming going. Gamers can also stream from their notebooks as well, though the use case for this will be a bit more unique given that the host machine itself is portable.

We asked Nvidia what the bandwidth requirements are for a decent experience, and we're told that a 5 Mbit upload is one of the key ingredients. Mirroring that, of course, is the data connection for the Shield, which in theory should also be on a 5 Mbit download. Latency will likely be the biggest wildcard of all. Nvidia's also added new controls for Shield owners to set maximum bit rate and frame rates independently when on Wi-Fi or Ethernet.

Also a part of the KitKat update is a new GamePad Mapper UI that will better allow Shield gamers to play touchscreen games but with physical controls. There's also new Bluetooth keyboard and mouse support for Shield's console mode, which opens up the door for some impromptu big screen gaming setups on your couch.

A new version of TegraZone will also be on the way, improving the interface for gamers to find the games they are looking for. In related game news, Nvidia revealed that Valve has created a version of Portal for Shield. We hope it won't be long before we see that.

Look for our hands-on with the new Shield update coming soon.

Read more: Nvidia's Shield Revisited: Console Mode, Streaming, And More

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Add your comment Display all 15 comments.
  • 2 Hide
    kawininjazx , March 25, 2014 12:23 PM
    So I could leave my PC on at work, and play Titanfall at home on the shield?
  • 2 Hide
    Marcus Yam , March 25, 2014 1:00 PM
    If your network is up to the task, then yes!
  • 0 Hide
    ragenalien , March 25, 2014 1:01 PM
    Other way around usually. You would leave your gaming computer on and be able to play on any decent wireless network.
  • 2 Hide
    r1Master , March 25, 2014 1:34 PM
    Only have 3MB Upload at home... oh well... Not for me...
  • 2 Hide
    icemunk , March 25, 2014 1:36 PM
    Only if it worked on all video-cards.. not Nvidia only. Proprietary tech annoys me.
  • 0 Hide
    Exia00 , March 25, 2014 3:55 PM
    Quote:
    Only if it worked on all video-cards.. not Nvidia only. Proprietary tech annoys me.
    it is made by Nvidia so of course it will be only on their cards if it was like a company like Asus or MSI then it would of worked for all cards
  • 2 Hide
    Djentleman , March 25, 2014 3:56 PM
    @icemunk Well you do have to admit it's controlled through their drivers. But yes, it is rather irritating.
  • 0 Hide
    Djentleman , March 25, 2014 3:56 PM
    I just bought the tegra note 7, and this happens!?!? Ugh....
  • 0 Hide
    Exia00 , March 25, 2014 4:14 PM
    Quote:
    So I could leave my PC on at work, and play Titanfall at home on the shield?
    yes you can do that
  • 0 Hide
    kawininjazx , March 25, 2014 5:37 PM
    Oh crap I just installed an AMD 260x so I guess nevermind.
  • 0 Hide
    knowom , March 25, 2014 6:08 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Only if it worked on all video-cards.. not Nvidia only. Proprietary tech annoys me.
    it is made by Nvidia so of course it will be only on their cards if it was like a company like Asus or MSI then it would of worked for all cards
    Honestly I'm with them on this in this case it is annoying. I would think any Cuda based Nvidia card from like a 8800GT would be capable of streaming. I'd imagine the load is dominantly CPU and network dependent anyway and probably doesn't really tax the GPU any harder or a limited amount on the host PC. The shield handheld itself is probably taxed a fair bit in order to stream the data fluidly, but I doubt the host PC is bogged down much by it.
  • 0 Hide
    sarinaide , March 26, 2014 4:00 AM
    Mobile tariffs must be astronomical on this, mobile services providers must be loving this feeding off gaming addictions.
  • 2 Hide
    gopher1369 , March 26, 2014 6:09 AM
    Quote:
    I would think any Cuda based Nvidia card from like a 8800GT would be capable of streaming. I'd imagine the load is dominantly CPU and network dependent anyway and probably doesn't really tax the GPU any harder or a limited amount on the host PC.


    Nope, the Kepler cards have additional hardware built into them that handles the encoding of the game automatically so there is no impact on the rest of your system. Earlier cards lack this hardware so are not compatible.
  • 0 Hide
    teh_chem , March 26, 2014 7:02 AM
    Still won't buy it.
  • 0 Hide
    Djentleman , March 26, 2014 1:26 PM
    @gopher1369 Completely forgot about the H.264 encoder, good point.
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