NVIDIA has realeased "C for graphics" ("Cg" for short), a language that can compile to their vertex and pixel shaders. News coverage is predictably incompetent. One article compares it to "[Microsoft's] series of C languages". Even NVIDIA's intro page has an inspirational graph with meaningless axes.
That's okay. Shading in hardware is cool anyway, and having an official (if not standard) high-level language is probably progress.