Nvidia releases GeForce Experience, Shield software updates

Looks like Nvidia was busy over the holiday weekend. On Monday, the company rolled out two software updates: one for its GeForce Experience utility and another for its Shield handheld gaming device.

The GeForce Experience 1.8 update includes a new feature called Adjustable Optimal Playable Settings. Previous versions of the GeForce Experience software let you click a button to apply optimal graphical settings for a given game. Now, it's now possible to customize the tradeoff between performance and image quality by moving a slider, like so:

Nvidia says the Adjustable Optimal Playable Settings feature supports resolutions up to 3840x2160 and display modes including full-screen, windowed, and borderless windowed.

On top of that, GeForce Experience 1.8 polishes up Nvidia's ShadowPlay video recording feature. The company has added multi-source audio recording and support for video capture at "native resolution and aspect ratios up to 1920x1080." Stuttering during video playback has been reduced, and some of the limits imposed on Windows 7 users have been lifted. Folks running Windows 7 can now save "up to 20 minutes" of video in shadow mode, and footage is no longer restricted to one 3.8GB file in manual mode.

Nvidia rolled out its December Software Update for the Shield today, as well.

Most notably, the update increases the resolution limit for Console Mode, the feature that lets you hook up the Shield to your TV and control it with a Bluetooth gamepad. Console Mode was previously restricted to 720p, but Nvidia says 1080p gaming at 60 FPS is now supported in 22 games. You'll find the full list of compatible titles here. Nvidia expects this list to grow "on a weekly basis."

The new Shield software also improves Gamepad Mapper, which lets users bind touch controls in Android games to the Shield's gamepad. Gamepad Mapper can now map "gyroscope, motion-based movements," and it includes better support for first-person and cursor-based games. In the former, Nvidia says you can use the standard dual-analog-stick scheme to move and look around. In the latter, a new feature called accelerated cursor "keeps the cursor at the point where it was left, rather than having it return to the center of the screen."

Today's Shield update features an option to hide the Android task bar automatically, too, and it adds "exclusive access" to Nvidia's GRID cloud gaming beta for folks in Northern California. Check Nvidia's blog post about the update for more details.

The new GeForce Experience software can be downloaded here. The new Shield software should be available as an over-the-air update directly on the device.

(Thanks to SH SOTN for the heads up on these releases.)

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