First, on the topic of games, I have a small update to a story we ran last week. I had been speculating that Epic Games would announce the Unreal Engine for Android and I was completely wrong. Epic unveiled the Unreal Engine for Palm’s webOS and that was it for mobile.
We did however, get a glimpse of future mobile technology at the recent Game Developers Conference.
Imagination Technology, makers of the PowerVR GPU chip that powers the Motorola Droid, said we will definitely have “graphics comparable to the PlayStation 3 in three years”.
They can predict this with certainty because the chips are already being designed and it takes about three years for them to reach an actual handset. The new chipsets will be focused on multiprocessors and Imagination Technology claims you could theoretically have three or four in your phone.
Only Motorola produces Android phones with PowerVR chips inside, but we expect more handset makers to adopt them as performance increases. (HTC is also working with PowerVR.)
Advancements in mobile graphics technology is exciting because we are finally starting to see HDMI out on upcoming phones. Users could essentially carry around a high powered gaming device in their pocket that would easily connect to a HD TV.
Additional improvements are also in the pipes for current PowerVR chips on the market right now. A possible software-based update could bring Flash acceleration (up to 300% performance boost) and OpenCL support (which utilizes the GPU for help out in general purpose computing).
For a quick demo of what PowerVR is working on right now, check out this GDC video from PocketNow.