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Nvidia Shield Tablet gets Green Box Bundle including Half Life 2: Episode One

Half Life 2, Portal and HL2: Episode One for free with Shield tablets

The Orange Box was something of a masterstroke by Valve, packing in a visually unique update to a cult classic (Team Fortress 2) and a mind-bending puzzle game with a deliciously comical story (Portal) with its anticipated Half Life 2 Episode 2. Nvidia is looking to do something similar for its Shield tablet, just in time for Christmas: it has just revealed the Green Box bundle, which includes free copies of Half Life 2, Portal and Half Life 2: Episode One for Android, for anyone buying a Shield tablet.

Half Life 2 and Portal have been available on Android, exclusively for Nvidia’s Shield devices, since August, when they received optimisations for Nvidia’s Tegra K1 chipset, but today’s announcement marks the first time players will be able to continue the Half Life saga into Episode One while on the move. All three titles run at 60fps, include high resolution textures and have 1:1 content parity with the PC, meaning mobile gamers aren’t missing out on any of the story, action or physics-based puzzles.

All three games require a Shield controller to play, which isn’t included with the base tablet, but even factoring in the price of buying one separately a Shield tablet is still cheaper than Google and HTC’s Nexus 9. Each game can be played on the big screen in Console mode, where the tablet disables its own screen and uses all its processing power to output to a TV, as well as on the tablet itself.

The bundle will be available from today onwards to new Shield Tablet owners picking up the 32GB version of the device. It will include a code in the box which can be redeemed through Nvidia’s website, in a similar way to how GTX graphics card customers redeem their free games when buying a new GPU. Codes will then be issued for downloading through the Google Play store.

Nvidia won’t be stopping with Half Life, either. The company pledged to bring more exclusives to Shield handhelds and tablets before the end of the year, with Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath, Strike Suit Zero and Pure Pool all on the release schedule.

If free Half Life wasn’t a big enough incentive, the Shield tablet will be one of the first third party devices to get Android 5.0 Lollipop – although Nvidia still has to commit to an exact date, we were told it would be arriving ‘very, very soon’ for all users.

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