This post has been sitting as a draft for quite some time, but tonight’s Playstation Phone news reminded me that I needed to publish it. I’m sure that the Playstation Phone from Sony Ericsson will be a huge hit with it’s combination of the Playstation brand and the unique gaming controls, but at the same time there will be competing devices that offer 5x faster gaming performance.
Now of course graphics aren’t everything (as Nintendo proved with the Wii), but games do matter. So what platform will have the best games?
It is tough to say who will win at this point, but NVIDIA’s dual-core Tegra 2 platform seems to be generating the most interest among current game developers.
Do you remember how I’ve been saying that the Unreal Engine 3 was coming to Android? NVIDIA showed off a demo of Unreal Tournament at the last CES, but Epic Games never officially confirmed they would support Android (although they hinted at it).
The Unreal Engine is so important to mobile gaming because they have some of the best middleware developers in the industry that make the tools the game studios need to create the most advanced and detailed titles.
Current publishers who have worked on Unreal Engine games include Capcom, Electronic Arts, Konami, Square Enix, THQ, Ubisoft, and the list goes on. Check out Wikipedia for a full list of Unreal Engine games.
I’m still not certain if Epic Games has announced support for Android, but we know they eventually will since there are already several Android games in development.
And which platform did Trendy Entertainment pick when they decided to developer for Android? You guessed it, Tegra 2.
When a gamer with a Nexus One asked if Dungeon Defenders would run on his phone, he got this response: “Currently the Android version of Dungeon Defenders only runs on next-gen Android devices using the Tegra2 GPU”.
Now I’m not saying some of these games won’t eventually make their way to a Nexus One or Galaxy S (because they might), but it appears the platform that best runs 3D games based on Unreal Engine 3 is NVIDIA’s Tegra 2.
What could this mean for the future of the game industry? Mobile devices are now powerful enough that you might see some cross-platform launches (PC, console, and Android) for some really huge franchises.
The Playstation brand is absolutely huge and I don’t want to underestimate Sony, but you have to see the big picture now. Other electronics companies (Motorola, Samsung, LG, etc.) will make competing game-centric devices and the open source nature of Android is going to level the playing field.
Check out the following video below of Dungeon Defenders for an idea of what could be on your new phone in a couple months. Now take all the awesome publishers mentioned above and imagine what they are working on behind closed doors.
Google’s Andy Rubin recently said, “gaming is an area that I think is underserved right now” and hinted Gingerbread and Honeycomb would address that issue. He wasn’t joking.