The NVIDIA SHIELD just got more awesome! Following the public availability of the gaming device, NVIDIA has just released a number of files and images that will help developers to create custom images for the SHIELD. NVIDIA also threw in a recovery image to allow users to restore the stock NVIDIA SHIELD configuration.
We've been impressed by this portable gaming console on every aspect, from technical specifications to hardware design to actual performance. Although it might cost you a bit if you plan to stream PC games and don't own an NVIDIA GTX 650 or higher, the SHIELD is almost the perfect Android gaming handheld. And NVIDIA is now upping the ante by appealing to another section of the Android community: modders and developers.
NVIDIA has released several pieces of software to make it easier for Android hackers to modify and create custom ROMs for the SHIELD and do all kinds of cool stuff that their creativity can warrant. NVIDIA is providing open source code as well as binary packages for both the preinstalled stock firmware as well as the first OTA update that was rolled out. It has also given access to a recovery image for reverting to the default factory settings. NVIDIA has even included step by step instructions on how to install the images to help developers get started.
While most OEMs provide only the minimal bits required for legal compliance, NVIDIA has decided to go the other route and encourage SHIELD owners to tinker with their device. This is quite a generous move by NVIDIA and shows how well they know their target audience. It will be interesting to see what modding community will come up with to improve the SHIELD experience or even take it to a completely different direction.