The Stardock-funded 64-bit Nitrous Engine was the talk of the shininess-obsessed town during CES - well, when everyone wasn't yammering endlessly about Steam Machines and Oculus Rift, anyway. The engine is being created by a small company called Oxide, and it's focused on strategy games, which aren't dead despite being the new adventure games in terms of how often everyone tries to shove them into grasping graves. In its current state, it can display nearly 10,000 ships at once, each with its own individual AI, firing solutions, enemy tracking, physics - everything. The end result? Pretty darn impressive, even at this early stage.
The "game" on display here, Star Swarm, is only a tech demo. But Stardock is already developing three new games with Nitrous under the hood, one of which is a Star Control reboot.
It's quite an exciting prospect, although it'll probably be a little while before we see anything with real meat on its bones. For now, though, I can exclusively confirm that the Nitrous Engine is very shiny. When reached for comment, I explained, "Oooooooooooooo." And then I tried to lick it.