The Stunning Art of The Witness on NVIDIA SHIELD TV

The Stunning Art of The Witness on NVIDIA SHIELD TV

Jan 26, 2017

Much has been made of the puzzles featured within The Witness, the recent release from Jonathan Blow (developer of Braid), and they deserve any admiration they receive. The game is more than just a series of mind benders, however. It also offers the chance to tour a beautiful island paradise, one that comes to breathtaking life on the new NVIDIA SHIELD TV.

Rather than go the hyper-realistic route, the developers at Thekla Inc. adopted the cel-shaded style memorably used in a number of other games. In The Witness, that simple but effective art style is used to perhaps its greatest effect yet, turning the varied island environments into a true wonder to behold.


As you explore the island, you’ll encounter a variety of trees. Some are naked, black skeletons that rise toward the sky while the desert sand stretches around them like a blanket. Others are covered in foliage: greens and oranges, even pink. Their hues bring to mind the cycle of the seasons, and they contrast beautifully with the surrounding foliage and architecture.


Water is also rendered beautifully, whether that be the placid shoreline as it plays over the shallow sea bed, or the foamy caps of waves colliding with boulders. There also are cascading waterfalls, and turbulent rapids. Water greets you at every turn, constantly in motion, not the lifeless backdrop to which gamers have often become accustomed.


The island’s attractions, though a pleasure to view up close, often look even better when glimpsed from afar. As you climb the cliffs near the center of the region, you can see roots embedded in the clay wall, protruding the patches of soil that rest between large boulders. Continue along the trail and, at several points, you’ll find yourself looking out over a sea of trees, to distant towers and the endless ocean beyond.


Such views have rarely been so beautiful within the medium, and the knowledge that you can walk virtually anywhere you see adds another layer to the experience. It’s a seamless experience that makes every boulder, fern, and stretch of rocky trail feel more genuine.


The Witness is available now on NVIDIA SHIELD TV for $19.99 (half the price of the PC edition). As you solve the island’s puzzles, enjoy beautiful sights such as those pictured above and find favorite places of your own. There are plenty to go around…

This article is sponsored as part of Steel Media Preferred Partner’s.

Nvidia Unveils Its Own Tegra-Supported Tablet Platform, Tegra Note

Nvidia Unveils Its Own Tegra-Supported Tablet Platform, Tegra Note

Sep 20, 2013

Tegra Note 1

Nvidia has announced the Tegra Note, an Android-based reference tablet that has some powerful stuff inside of it, as well as an extended stylus support system, DirectStylus. The target price for manufacturers is set at $199, and release dates for any tablets using the technology are floating around the ether, so wait for further announcements. Technical and other details can be found here: Official NVidia Blog

GDC 2013: Nvidia Demos Project Shield

GDC 2013: Nvidia Demos Project Shield

Apr 1, 2013

Nvidia gave Project Shield, its Android device with a controller built-in, an open showcase for GDC 2013 convention-goers to play with a variety of new and upcoming titles, such as Dead Trigger 2 from Madfinger Games.

The Tegra 4 hardware definitely enables games to go to a higher level of detail than on most mobile devices. Vivid Games showed off Real Boxing on both the Tegra-4-boasting Project Shield and the Tegra-3-sporting Nexus 7, and the game had noticeably more detail on the Tegra 4 device compared to the venerable Android tablet. The touch controls still work for that game too, and while the devices were tethered down, it was still possible to anchor the device against one’s body to play a game on the 5″ touch screen. Will it be as comfortable or convenient as playing games with the Shield’s controller support? Probably not, but based on a short test, it seems at least possible.

The Shield, as promised, runs stock Android, with the only noticeable deviation being that there is an Nvidia button on the controller that immediately opens up the Nvidia hub app with Shield-compatible games. Otherwise, titles can be downloaded from any other source available. The TegraZone hub app has always pointed to Google Play, so nothing seems to change in this circumstance.

The hardware is not final, though Nvidia reps claim that it is about 90% complete. One demo unit had a washed-out screen, and the d-pad was very inaccurate, like the original Xbox 360 controller, to where it was difficult to select menu items. However, these kinds of things can be modified in a short bit of time – OUYA’s d-pad was being finalized just weeks ahead of its launch, so an improved d-pad is not out of the question. The joysticks and triggers all had a solid feel to them to where playing first-person shooters felt accurate and comfortable. It’s easy to flip the device open thanks to a little lip that has been added to the end of the screen. There’s a mini-HDMI output available on the device, along with Miracast support.

I was able to also briefly demo the PC game streaming, trying out Borderlands 2. While I wasn’t able to get too long to judge how things like if any latency becomes apparent, the game’s video was being replicated on a nearby PC, and it performed just like playing with an Xbox controller. This was done via an ethernet connection; convention wi-fi was too spotty for Nvidia to use it on.

While Project Shield’s actual possibilities as a consumer product remain up in the air, there’s definitely some promise with the device itself, and it definitely showed that the Tegra 4 will boast some pretty visual.

CES 2013: Nvidia Announces Tegra 4 Chip, Project Shield Gaming System, and Nvidia Grid Cloud Gaming Server

CES 2013: Nvidia Announces Tegra 4 Chip, Project Shield Gaming System, and Nvidia Grid Cloud Gaming Server

Jan 7, 2013

On the Sunday night before CES, Nvidia had some big announcements for Android and cloud gaming with some interesting new hardware, including their first self-manufactured Android device.

The biggest announcement is Project Shield, a handheld gaming console. It features a 5" 720p touch screen attached to a gamepad and be powered by the new Tegra 4 chip. The gamepad is similar to the Xbox 360 controller, and serves as the bottom part of a clamshell design with the screen on a hinge. It runs a stock version of Android, not a special fork of it.

Interestingly, it not only will be able to play games from Google Play and TegraZone, it also has the capability to stream and play games from Steam, by using a home PC as an OnLive-esque server, that streams the game to the Shield over local wifi. As well, with the Shield’s HDMI output and purportedly-forthcoming wireless video output, it can also serve as an easy way to play games on a local TV. Project Shield is scheduled to release in the second quarter of 2013.

As for what’s under the hood, the Tegra 4 chip was unveiled. While horsepower claims are extremely subjective, Nvidia is claiming that the chip is more powerful than the A6X that powers the 4th-generation iPad. It features 72 GPU cores (outweighing the 12 in the Tegra 3), is actually produced at a smaller 28nm size versus the 40nm size of the Tegra 3 (in layman’s terms, this means potentially less power consumption), and other things to make game like Dead Trigger 2, announced at the conference, look super-sweet.

Finally, Nvidia announced their Nvidia Grid cloud-based gaming server architecture, which purportedly has the power of 700 Xbox 360s in one 24-rack tower, and they demoed an Android client playing a game powered by the technology, though practical applications are not yet available. Still, this is a major player getting into cloud-based gaming, potentially a huge push for this type of processing after OnLive’ fizzling out in 2012.

Nvidia Launches Digital Magazine for Tegra Tablet Owners, NVision

Nvidia Launches Digital Magazine for Tegra Tablet Owners, NVision

Apr 16, 2012

Nvidia has launched a special digital magazine for owners of Tegra-powered tablets to help them find info on games, entertainment, and technology, entitled NVision. This slick app features categories for news and reviews on Android games, with the ability to swipe to find additional stories. There’s a section on Android apps, featuring content like lists. News on gaming in general, covering console and PC games (those are still a thing, apparently). Want movie news, including the ability to watch featured trailers? That’s here as well. News on the latest gadgets including Android devices? There’s a Gadgets section for that. As well, there’s a general tech news section. All articles can be shared via email, Twitter, or Facebook.

All this content is produced exclusively for the magazine, which is free to download, but exclusive to Tegra devices on Google Play. This includes the Motorola Xoom family, and the Transformer family of devices. Just don’t forget about us after reading it!

You Are Now Entering — The Tegra Zone

You Are Now Entering — The Tegra Zone

Jan 10, 2011

It’s undeniable, NVIDIA and their Tegra 2 mobile super chip absolutely dominated CES and this years lineup of devices. Powered by the world’s first mobile dual-core CPU, these devices promise to bring a whole new gaming experience to the mobile world. Think of Angry Birds as todays smartphone processing power and then Tegra 2 as “Exorbitantly Infuriated Raging Feathered Projectiles!”

Glu Mobile Announces Partnership With NVIDIA

Glu Mobile Announces Partnership With NVIDIA

Jan 7, 2011

CES has been full of announcements and goodies for us Android users. This year is gearing up to be the year of Tablets, LTE phones, Honeycomb, and Tegra 2 dual core processors. Android devices are becoming faster and more powerful than ever and these advancements are sure to catapult the mobile gaming industry into a whole new era. One gaming publisher planning to take full advantage of these advancements is Glu Mobile.