NVIDIA dropped us a line to let everyone know that they've released the open-source materials and a factory image for the Shield. This, when paired with an easy OEM unlock via fastboot, opens the Shield to the full gamut of Android hacking — including the possibility of custom ROMs and other modifications.

Developers can use today's release to build custom kernels and a custom recovery like ClockWorkMod, and we all have a safe and easy way back to an out-of-the-box state with the factory image.

There's no telling how popular the customization "scene" will be for the Shield, and there's a good chance that a lot of folks will be more than happy with the way is comes from the factory — as a mean, lean ass-kicking game machine. But the possibilities are there, and with so many devices requiring hoops to jump through and chickens being sacrificed to get them open, we're happy about the way NVIDIA is doing the Shield.

If you're interested in either the source code or the factory images, hit the link below to grab 'em. And be sure to holler at us if you do something cool with it!

Source: NVIDIA