Nvidia’s Shield, the underdog of portable consoles, is getting better and better. The company on Monday announced the handheld is getting a substantial “December Software Update,” adding an improvement to both Console Mode and PC Gaming Console Mode, which now supports 1080p at 60 fps. Despite going up against some formidable opponents from Nintendo and Sony, the Nvidia Shield is looking better by the day—you have to give credit to Nvidia for continuing to show support for the handheld.
In October, Nvidia introduced a number of big features to the platform, including Console Mode, Gamepad Mapper and a fresh coat of Android 4.3. This month’s update builds on that, with the aforementioned update to PC Gaming Console Mode supporting games such as Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Batman: Arkham Origins, Battlefield 4 and Crysis 3, among others. Nvidia says 1080p will be enabled for many more games on a weekly basis, with an up-to-date list on the Shield website.
In addition, Gamepad Mapper has been extended to mapping gyroscope and motion-based movements to physical controls, so you can now very easily play games like Temple Run and Bike Race without having to turn your Shield awkwardly on its side. When Gamepad Mapper was introduced, Nvidia offered up pre-created profiles for those that didn’t want to create their own. But for those who do, Nvidia has opened up a new community-generated profile section that gives users the ability to share, browse and rate gamepad mapping profiles.
There are other small tweaks, like the ability to hide the Android task bar, and exclusive access for Shield owners in Northern California to a new Nvidia Grid cloud gaming feature, which lets players stream PC games to their Shield. Some wonderful updates that show Nvidia is clearly committed to its gaming console; it’s refreshing to see such frequent updates.
If you haven’t picked up a Shield just yet, the company is actually holding a sale on the Shield (with some free goodies) until the end of today.