Nvidia updated the GeForce website with news that its Shield handheld Android console will receive the December Software Update starting today. The release follows a previous October Software Update launched months ago that introduced Shield owners to Console Mode, which brought native 1080p output of Android games, and 720p PC game streaming at 60fps. All Shield gamers needed was an HDMI cable, a Bluetooth controller and for PC streaming, a Kepler-based gaming rig.
According to the blog, the December Software Update provides a number of enhancements including improved PC game streaming at 720p/60fps, and the addition of 1080p PC game streaming at 60fps in Console Mode. Games that now support this feature include Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, Batman: Arkham Origins, Battlefield 4, BioShock Infinite, Borderlands 2, Crysis 3, and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Additional 1080p games will be enabled on a weekly basis.
"The December Shield Software Update also introduces new features and functionality for Gamepad Mapper, another one of October’s game-changing innovations. With Gamepad Mapper, Shield users can map any touchscreen game function to a physical button on the console-grade Shield controller. For example, if a platform game requires repeated upwards swiping to jump, jumping can instead be mapped to ‘A’. With the December update, that functionality is extended to mapping gyroscope, motion-based movements to physical controls," reads the update.
Nvidia provides two examples – Temple Run and Bike Race – that requires players to angle the device to the side to dodge enemies and obstacles, or to rotate the bike for the perfect landing. Now these movements can be mapped to analog thumbstick movements, allowing players to map a leftwards lean to a leftwards push of the analog stick.
"For first-person perspective games such as Mass Effect Infiltrator, we’ve enabled a new analog stick function, which allows the left thumbstick to be bound to movement, and the right thumbstick to look around, making such titles far more enjoyable to play. And in cursor-controlled games, like Angry Birds, we’ve introduced a new function called accelerated cursor that keeps the cursor at the point where it was left, rather than having it return to the center of the screen," Nvidia’s update reads.
Because all of this can be time consuming, Nvidia automatically downloads pre-created profiles for the most popular titles direct to the Shield device. To help facilitate the creation of these profiles, the company has introduced a new community profile beta feature that gives users the ability to share, browse, and rate gamepad mapping profiles provided by other Shield owners.
Nvidia’s update also talks about getting into the Nvidia GRID cloud gaming beta, which can be read here.