Nvidia Shield update adds official PC streaming, console mode, more Android support

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With the Nvidia Shield's PC streaming function now out of its beta phase, the handheld's latest update should bring more flexibility to an already innovative device. The machine's new patch also introduces a new console mode and increased gamepad support for touch-screen games alongside Android 4.3, according to a press release today.

The Shield's PC streaming functionality, called GamesStream, puts it in a unique category. But as we saw in our recent review, it took some tinkering to get streaming up and running with acceptable control latency while in its beta phase. Previous Nvidia demonstrations, however, seemed to hint at its enormous potential. But now that it's officially released, Nvidia is billing it as a way to beam bleeding-edge games like Batman: Arkham Origins and Assassin's Creed 4 at 720p resolution onto a—hopefully—massive living room setup. This is possible when paired with the system's new Console Mode and a compatible Bluetooth controller, according to Nvidia.

The update also adds controller support for a new batch of Android games originally conceived with a touchscreen control scheme. The Shield does have a touchscreen built-in, but the addition of physical controls should make adapting more Android games to the machine even easier, depending on your preference as a player. If nothing else, it gets your thumbs out of the way and opens up more of the screen. The controls can be custom-mapped or you can download pre-made control schemes direct of Nvidia. It's a very PC-friendly nod to customization that is much appreciated.

You can check out the Gamepad Mapper process in the video below.