Nvidia has announced plans to heavily push its Shield tablet in the run-up to Christmas, promising a free controller, three classic games and use of the freshly-launched Grid game streaming service in a bundled priced at £299.
Launching this Friday as part of the distressing trend for companies to believe that the UK celebrates something called 'Black Friday,' the new bundle will see gamers get the tablet itself alongside codes to download free copies of Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2: Episode One, and Portal from the Google Play market - a pack dubbed the 'Green Box Bundle' by Nvidia, in homage to Valve's Orange Box release. Buyers also get a free Shield controller, which provides console-like control over games running on the tablet.
The latter is most important when the tablet is used on Nvidia's Grid, a game-streaming service that allows low-power devices to run triple-A PC titles by doing the heavy lifting of rendering on remote servers and streaming the resultant video and audio to the client device. Nvidia's Grid is hardly the first such effort - stand up, OnLive and Gaikai - but benefits from the company's graphics processing specialism and, in the case of in-home streaming from one device to another, encoding hardware built into its latest graphics chips.
The tablet itself is unchanged since launch, featuring a lightly-customised version of Google's Android 5.0 Lollypop. It still includes Nvidia's top-end Tegra K1 processor in dual-core 64-bit flavour, which has as its main selling point 192 Kepler-class GPU cores for desktop-class performance. The bundle also includes an upgraded version of the Dabbler drawing application preinstalled on its 32GB of flash storage.
The bundle is set to cost £299 when it goes live on Friday, with more details available on the official website