'Half-Life 2: Episode One' lands on NVIDIA's Shield tablet, skips handheld

After successfully porting two of Valve's most popular franchises to the NVIDIA Shield, today's news is only natural -- Half-Life 2: Episode One is now available for download on Google Play as a Shield exclusive. The expansion's launch is notable not only as yet another high-profile PC game worming its way into the Android ecosystem, but also as a possible marker of something else: the slow death of NVIDIA's original Shield handheld. NVIDIA's original gaming portable is still available, but it won't run the platform's latest release: That's a tablet exclusive.

It's not the first tablet-exclusive game to come to the Shield: The slate launched with a handful of Tegra K1-optimized games, including a handful of native Android games and Trine 2. There were enhanced ports of Half-Life 2 and Portal on the tablet too, but those titles were available on the company's handheld Shield as well. Leaving out the portable isn't too surprising (Half-Life 2 ran significantly better on the tablet, after all), but be warned: Tegra 4 is apparently getting a little long in the teeth.