Nearly a year after the NVidia SHIELD was officially unveiled, the company continues to keep their gaming tablet updated and supported. Following the release of several new features and improvements to the device in the form of updates, NVidia is ready to bring Android 4.4 KitKat to the SHIELD.
In addition to KitKat, the software package will take GameStream out of beta, expand console mode, add support for streaming from any network, and a whole lot more.
The SHIELD will run Android 4.4.2 with the new update. That probably won't change the core experience of such a targeted device, but it will give users access to new features like the Android Runtime, and it should ensure better compatibility with newer games and apps. NVIDIA would also like to point out that there are now over 330 Android games that support SHIELD's controls, and over 100 PC games that integrate with the GameStream service, assuming you have compatible NVIDIA PC hardware.
GameStream is being brought out of beta with this update, which means the maximum frame rate of streamed games has been boosted to 60fps, and users will be able to output to a full 1080p using the built-in HDMI port. Hardware compatibility is expanding to gaming notebooks, though they'll need to be both high-end and recent, since it only works with GTX 600M, 700M, and 800M mobile GPUs. Streaming games in console mode (with your SHIELD plugged into your television) will support Bluetooth mice and keyboard for PC-style controls, plus USB-Y cables for Ethernet access and charging at the same time. You'll also be able to pair multiple gaming PCs to your SHIELD. Advanced settings will let users manually set frames per second and bitrate to better serve their connection.
But the biggest addition to GameStream is the ability to play your home PC games on any network. The restriction to your home LAN was one of the biggest issues we had with the initial beta release of GameStream, so it's good to see that resolved. NVIDIA requires a solid WiFi connection and at least 5Mbps up and down. For easy access on the road, you can wake your PC and log into it remotely.
Using non-supported PC games on GameStream should also get easier, or at least more flexible, because an update to the GeForce Experience PC app will let you manually add games (or even regular Windows programs) to GameStream. Whether or not that results in a good experience will largely depend on the game - good controller support will make it easier to play the game on SHIELD.
NVIDIA has also redesigned the TegraZone app with a visual refresh and a news feed, and the Gamepad Mapper is getting a usability overhaul. Users will be able to access the control mapping app via holding down the central power button or the Start button.
source - NVidia | Android Police