I’m beginning to wonder why Nvidia included a screen on its Shield gaming handheld. I’ve barely looked at it in over a month, thanks to the Android handheld’s GameStream console mode, and now that it can stream games from my PC to the TV at 1080p? I might never open it again.
This week’s update for the portable Android console I rarely use to play Android games makes it even more unlikely that I will put down my Nexus 7 anytime soon. Games streamed from my PC to TV through the unit at the wireless-supported 720p worked well enough. At 60 frames-per-second 1080p? Forget about it.
Mind you, 1080p is not happening wirelessly -- if that's all you've got, then really forget about it. You'll need an ethernet cable for 1080p, and it'll have to not only go through the system's micro-USB port, it'll need a pass-through if you want to keep the power going.
There are ways of making it work -- I don't have one yet, but I am just fine playing Assassin's Creed IV at 720p. Not all games support 1080p streaming yet anyway, so we have time.
Also included in the latest Shield update is community functionality for the Gamepad Mapper, allowing folks to share control mapping configurations for Android games, which seems lovely.
You can read about all the enhancements on Nvidia's blog, while I shop around for an ethernet solution of some sort.