NVIDIA Details The Building Of Project SHIELD

Without question, NVIDIA's introduction of Project SHIELD was one of the highlight moments from CES 2013. Out of nowhere, a company that has been delving into GPUs for years comes out with a new piece of hardware -- it's tough to not get somewhat excited about it. But naturally, most of the nuts-and-bolts have been kept under wraps. NVIDIA's certainly assured of its secrets, but it's making a move to let the public at large in on a few of them. This week, the company posted a blog that details how the first prototype came together.

You may have expected NVIDIA to say that this project wasn't an easy one, and it wasn't built overnight by a single mad scientist. The tale spells out "14-hour days" with an entire team "clad in blue lab coats huddled over work benches or peering through with magnifying lamps." Amazingly, we're told that the prototype approved by Andrew Bell, NVIDIA’s vice president of hardware engineering, was rolled out on stage by CEO Jen-Hsun Huang just ten days later. “We couldn’t prove that it couldn’t be done,” says NVIDIA Senior Vice President of Content and Strategy Tony Tamasi, who has quietly led NVIDIA’s interactions with game developers for more than a decade. “So we decided it could be.”

NVIDIA's goal was to open up gaming to even more consumers, which is why Android is at the heart of the product. According to the company, SHIELD has grown from an idea dreamed up by Jen-Hsun, Tony, and a handful of others into a conspiracy involving hundreds of gaming fanatics across every department at NVIDIA -- all within just a year. From the start, engineers sought to strip gaming down to just the controller. In fact, the initial prototype was "little more than a game controller fastened to a smartphone with wood." Amazingly, the project came together in 19 grueling days leading up to CES, with many working around the holidays to make this thing happen. When you see the result shown at CES, it's hard to believe that it didn't exist just weeks prior. In fact, that glimpse gives us all a mighty appreciation for how hard these companies work to make the technology that consumers so frequently take for granted.

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