Just in case you slept through the first week of January, take a peek back at our coverage of Project Shield, NVIDIA's attempt to inject the Android gaming market with a Tegra 4-powered supersoldier serum. There's still no word on exactly when shield will hit the market, but the boys in green want to make sure it stays in your mind. To that end, they've just posted a short run-down of a year's worth of Shield development on their blog, including the frantic construction of show-ready units less than two weeks before NVIDIA's CES presentation. Fried chicken was apparently a vital component of the limited manufacturing process.
The "Shield" branding seems more appropriate than ever, as the chronicler details engineers and samples being flown from the US, Europe and Asia into an unmarked building in Oregon. Under conditions of extreme secrecy, hardware director Andrew Bell rushed to get the software and the units themselves into a presentable condition before the tech world's biggest show. The secrecy aspect may be the most impressive here: after a year's worth of development, Shield was still a complete surprise at the pre-convention presentation. In a world where every major smartphone release seems to be leaked a month or so before it's revealed, that's a downright miracle.
The blog post is basically an advertisement - there are no major revelations about timeframe, pricing, compatibility, or software updates. And some of you (those of you who have an ATI graphics card, certainly) will balk at NVIDIA's frequent mention of their commitment to open standards. But for anyone desperate for a peek behind the curtain, it's a good read.
As NVIDIA’s smart, funny marketing VP Ujesh Desai put it, when cynical gamers ask the eternal question – ‘but can it play Crysis’ – NVIDIA will have a simple answer ‘yes it does.’
Well played, NVIDIA. Well played.