We are seeing more and more high-end games make an appearance on Android. However, high-end games need powerful hardware, and as recently launched games like Dungeon Defenders have shown, many of the high-end Android phones (read Snapdragon phones with Adreno 200) might not have enough in them to support games with next-gen visuals. The good news is that the next generation of Android phones should solve the problem.
Dual-core processors are clearly going to be the way to go in 2011. Baring Sony Ericsson, all other popular Android handset manufacturers are expected to introduce dual-core CPU driven handsets. In fact, some like LG (Optimus 2x) and Motorola (Atrix 4G) have already made their move.
Most of the upcoming dual-core handsets as well as tablets will be powered by nVidia’s Tegra 2. NVidia clearly expects Android gaming to take off in a big way. Besides actively working with developers, nVidia is also working on its own app store. It will be launching a market called Tegra Zone for Tegra 2 enabled Android devices.
Galaxy on Fire
Tegra Zone will be an Android market dedicated to high-end games. It will be using the Android Market’s payment backend, which means that you will be able to use your Google Checkout account for payments (and carrier billing, if available). Since Tegra Zone is meant only for games, there will be no file size limit. It will also feature HD video previews, unlimited screenshots, reviews from 3rd parties and gameplay videos. The first five games to be included are Dungeon Defenders: First Wave, Monster Madness, Fruit Ninja THD, Backbreaker THD, and Galaxy on Fire.
Acer is holding off its tablet family for now as Google has not released the tablet-optimized Android version- Honeycomb. Though, Engadget points out at how unsuccessful they have been in doing so.
Three videos of Acer’s 10-inch tablet have popped up on YouTube and it looks like it will be powered by Nvidia’s dual-core Tegra 2 platform and offer custom Acer Android apps. The videos also display how Acer has implemented touc-free page navigation with the use of Gyroscope. In the videos, we can clearly see that Acer has used Froyo on the tablets but Acer had previously mentioned that they will be waiting for Honeycomb release by Google. And if Digitimes is to be believed then we aren’t going to see any Honeycomb tablets before March even though they’ll be on display at the CES 2011.
Check out the videos:
You can check out all the three videos on Engadget blog.
Android lovers have high expectations from the still unannounced Motorola Olympus. The Olympus is expected to be based on NVidia Tegra 2 and will be fully’ loaded with all the latest technology. The handset is expected to be announced by Motorola sometime early next year.
Now, Engadget has got their hands on what is arguably the Olympus. At first glance, the Olympus looks like the Motorola Defy. However, on closer inspection it is clearly evident that the screen of the device is bigger than 3.7-inch (4-4.3-inch possibly). From the images, it is also clear that the handset will sport a front facing camera.
Android And Me suggest that the Olympus will pack an 8MP camera with 1080p recording and a mini-HDMI port. Earlier it was though that the Olympus will be a Verizon exclusive device but now it looks like the handset will come to multiple carriers with AT&T launching the phone first.
LG has been seeing a lot of sales for the LG Optimus One lately, with it selling about 1 million units since launch. It is now planning to launch a high end addition to the Optimus line up, and we have some details about the new phone.
It is codenamed the LG Star, and like the upcoming LG Optimus tablet, it will be powered by the Nvidia Tegra 2 platform. It will sport Android 2.2 Froyo, or even Android 2.3 Gingerbread by the time it launches. It will have a 4 inch capacitive touchscreen display with a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels.
It will come with an 8 MP camera and can record 1080p HD video. It is supposed to sport the vanilla Android OS with no custom UI embellishments. It will also have a secondary camera for video calls, and will be powered by a 1500 mAh Li-ion battery.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab should soon see some serious competition; according to a report by a Chinese blog, the LG Optimus Pad will be launched in Q1 2011.
The only two major contenders in the tablet market today are the Apple iPad which has captured over 95% of the market and the Galaxy Tab which has just been launched.
LG had earlier stated that the current version of Android – Android 2.2 Froyo was not suited for the tablet form factor; that it was holding out for a more suitable variant.
Today, it announced that it will be launching the LG Optimus Pad in Q1 2011. It will run Android 3.0 Honeycomb which will natively support higher resolutions. It will be powered by the Nvidia Tegra 2 platform and will have a 8.9 inch capacitive touchscreen display.
The tablet wars are soon going to start, and the iPad is what each of the new tablets has in its crosshairs.
A few days ago, Pallab told you about Tegra 2, Nvidia’s system-on-chip mobile processor, which was unveiled during CES 2010. The chip is so powerful that it could be used to also play Unreal 3.
A few weeks back Epic Games demoed Unreal 3 on an iPod Touch, however, it looks like it is soon going to make its way to Android based devices, according to a report from Android and Me. Unreal 3 on Android will give mobile gaming a real boost and handheld gaming device like PSP a run for its money.
These are definitely exciting times for gamers who would want to start playing anywhere without having to carry huge gadgets along. Heck, I would prefer to play games like Unreal and COD:MW2 on a mobile phone.
However, don’t get so excited yet as Tegra 2 is based off the ARM Cortex-A9 core and the hottest Android devices right now, Motorola Droid and Nexus One still run on ARM Cortex-A8, so it might take a few months before they start manufacturing devices with Tegra 2.
Watch a video of Tegra 2 in action.
What do you think? Will this enhance your gaming experience? Will you be more inclined to buy a smartphone than a gaming console.