Nvidia’s Shield console has been out for a few months, at least in the US market, and Nvidia insists initial sales were good, as it managed to sell out the first batch in no time. However, we are not sure this translates into high sales, as Nvidia never revealed any actual numbers.
Now the console has a new software update and Nvidia is offering a bundle discount with select graphics cards. The Android 4.3 update brings a few interesting features, such as the ability to transfer app files to the microSD card, new in-game notification and of course performance improvements. The new Console Mode allows users to connect their consoles to a TVs via HDMI and play using a Bluetooth controller, which could be tricky in some titles as most Bluetooth controllers lack touch. Quick reminder, Shield has a 720p screen but in console mode it turns the screen off and transferes the picture to the big screen, enabling 1080p gaming. The recently announced GameStream tech is also on board and it aims to reduce stream latencies.
The biggest change might be the GamePad Mapper, as it allows users to personalize the layout of Shield’s physical buttons to match different Android titles. This is really something that should have been available on day one and it's a big deal.
As for the bundle, Nvidia says it will offer up to $100 off Shield plus free copies of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Splinter Cell: Blacklist and Batman: Arkham Origins with the purchase of select Geforce cards. This is hardly surprising, as we reported Nvidia was planning to roll out Shield/GPU bundles weeks ago.