New Android 4.3 update will introduce console mode, Gamepad Mapper, and allow you to install apps to your Shield’s MicroSD card
We liked Nvidia’s Shield gaming handheld system when we reviewed it back in August but one of its glaring flaws is that only a little over 100 Android games supported its controller (most of them were touch-based). Nvidia is attempting to fix that issue with an upcoming over-the-air update that will include what the green team is calling the Shield Gamepad Mapper. This new feature will allow users to manually map touch-controls to the Shield’s physical buttons via a drag-and-drop system. Furthermore, users will be able to save these profiles to the cloud and will also be able to download other user-made profiles from the community. Nvidia says the Gamepad Mapper will expand controller support from about 140 Android games to thousands of titles.
With the Shield Gamepad Mapper, you'll be able to play many more Android games with the Shield's controller.
That isn’t the only new feature that will come with the OTA update, however. Nvidia also revealed that Android 4.3 will also roll out with it (Currently, the Shield is running Android Jelly Bean 4.2.1). In addition, this update will also enable Shield’s console mode, which Nvidia revealed last week at its Montreal event, and allow you to install games and apps to your Shield’s external MicroSD card (provided they are either APK and OBB files).
The upcoming Shield update will include Android 4.3, the Gamepad Mapper, and enable Shield's console mode.
While there isn’t an official date for when Shield owners can expect to receive this update just yet, Nvidia did say it's coming “soon.” If you’re interested in purchasing the Shield but don’t have a Kepler-based GPU to take advantage of its PC streaming feature, Nvidia is offering a holiday bundle that nets you some free games along with some discount options on the device.
Have you tried the Shield? Are you interested in picking it up? Let us know in the comments below!