NVIDIA endorses Android hacking with SHIELD

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Back in January, at the 2013 CES in Las Vegas, NVIDIA took the wraps off Project SHIELD. With the awkward Android- and Tegra 4-powered handheld, the company that’s best known for its graphics chips thrust itself into the gaming space.

At the end of July SHIELD went on sale, at $300 (around R3 000), and people have been able to play games developed for it as well as take advantage of PC streaming – the ability to have games run on a gaming PC, and stream them wirelessly to the SHIELD handheld. And since NVIDIA knows what kind of market this device is playing in, it’s now announced that it’s releasing open source software for SHIELD.

In its blog post announcing the decision, NVIDIA explains that unlike other gaming devices it doesn’t want its handheld to be seen as a closed box that only big developers can play with. It encourages hacking, rooting, and all sorts of Android antics (with the caveat that it does reserve the right to deny warranty claims on rooted devices), all with the aim of encouraging the same maker movement that the device was developed for.

Only one problem, though: the SHIELD isn’t available in South Africa, which will precludes local developers from ever getting in on the action unless they drop three grand on one of these ungainly consoles.

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