Oct 26 AT 11:48 PM Taylor Wimberly 42 Comments

Tegra 2 devices have games that won’t run on your current handset

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.

Take Dungeon Defenders from Trendy Entertainment for example. This hack-n-slash online RPG is currently in development for Playstation Network, Xbox Live Arcade, PC, iOS, and Android.

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.

Via: Pocket Gamer

Source: Dungeon Defenders

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://Website jose

    Hell yea can’t wait until tegra 2 phones come out…iPhone killer???

    • http://Website Gee

      For now, but then 2 months later Apple will announce a iPhone with a next generation PowerVR GPU and dual core Cortex A9.

    • http://Website thaghost

      i wish guys would stop with da iphone killer stuff. dats sooo 2009. android has a stronghold on da market right now. who cares bout da iphone. u not gonna kill da iphone. i prefer android but da iphone is a great device. rejoice in android and forget da iphone.

      • http://Website CPPeP

        Why can’t you just write out the word “the” instead of “da”? “Da” isn’t even a word…

      • http://Website NotRelvent

        (Mis)spelling “thats” with a “d” is soo 2003…so what’s your point?

  • http://Website Chris

    I really wanted and finally bought into the galaxy s line because of their supposed great gaming/graphics performance. Should of known it would be old news quick haha

    I’m excited for the future of mobile gaming. We are just touching on the fringes of it!

    • http://Website Galen20K

      don’t feel bad we’re ALL in the same boat. As soon as you get a new phone mere weeks later its eclipsed, soooo sad but just how things are. Tough to keep up! lol Although my Nexus One I had all year had the same specs as high end phones all year up until now, that was pretty impressive! I’m getting the new MyTouch 4G but I’ll miss using my Nexus One on a daily basis. Of course when something new comes out that tickles my fancy I’ll sell the MyTouch and get that in a few months.

      • http://Website Daniel

        Don’t get me wrong, the N1 has really nice specs (in fact, I’m buying a Desire right now, I actually think it fits me better than other choices I have in town like the Galaxy S), but it was never really a “highest-spec” phone. Its GPU loses badly to the SGX530 found in the Droid and the iPhone 3GS, and the screen has its issues. To say it lasted the whole year on par with other phones just because of the 1 GHz CPU is disingenuous.

    • http://Website Gee

      The Tegra 2 has a beastly dual core Cortex A9 but it’s GPU is only on par with the current Hummingbird GPU. You’ve got to remember that NVIDIA skipped the A8 so it’s almost as if they are using the same level of GPU tech that you’d expect from this generation. The Orion or whatever is called and the Adreno 220 are going to run dual core A9′s with much beefier graphic performance. You just got to wait into mid 2011 for them.

  • http://Website nexus2

    I guess the mytouch 4g is obselete before preorders start

    • http://Website Galen20K

      Not true since the Adreno 205 will have comparable graphics. But in your case since the MyTouch 4G is the most powerful Android when it launches, EVERYTHING out today is obsolete.

      • http://Website Robert

        Will have comparable graphics to . . . Tegra 2? Not so much.

        • http://Website Gee

          Well GPU wise, yes. I explained it above but the Tegra 2′s GPU is more current gen than next gen. The difference is in the CPU — the hummingbird and 2nd gen Snapdragons are still single core A8′s, the Tegra 2 is a dual core A9. They just skipped A8 altogether but used GPU tech that are more aligned with the Adreno 205 and Hummingbird.

      • http://Website nexus2

        actually, the tegra 2 is dual-core so that will help, and not everything will be obselete, such as the g2 which is rocking the EXACT SAME proccessor. which also pisses me off becuz ppl say the g2 sucks cuz it only has a 800mhz proccessor, grow up(talking to g2 haters only)

  • http://Website adam

    Bring resident evil 4,street fighter 4 and halo. to android like iphone & nokia.

  • http://Website Xallies

    Android has killed the IPhone. Too keep holding it to a otherworldly status is unrealistic.

  • http://Website adam

    @nexus 2 not exactly they will run in our second generation snapdragon phone like g2 and mytouch4g will run a tad bit slower but playable. Hopefully.

  • Gone

    I honestly don’t see t2 coming to phones anytime soon tablets yes phones no…

  • http://Website adam

    I hope google brings all 3d game iphone user be bashing us android phones. Like madden 11,nba live 2010 and others.

    Fyi the myttouch4g has the same spec of g2 minus the 194mhz with front face camera.

    G2 comes with 806mhz.

  • Garar

    My advice for anyone looking for a new phone. Unless you really, really like a certain phone, even if you have an upgrade now, you should at least wait for these things:

    1. Dual core processor, obviously the Tegra 2 wouldn’t be a bad choice..

    2. If you aren’t on Tmobile, you’ll want to wait for your carrier to release phones that support their “4G” radio. Even if their 4G speeds aren’t really 4G, you’ll be sad when you realize that your 3G speeds can’t even stream basic video without problems. TMO customers are lucky in regards to this. Or we could just say they’re awesome in regards to this, whichever.

    3. Honeycomb or Gingerbread built-in, now this is more lax, maybe you like modding your phone, if thats the case, make sure it’s a phone that your favorite developer is going to support, otherwise you’ll never get your upgrades, or at least get a phone that had a big enough of a marketing push you can expect updates for it from the parent companies. For example, the OG Droid has had great update support.

    4. Last and not least, you might like a front facing camera, or a certain quality screen, Super AMOLED, or whatever you can find to match your battery life, color reproduction quality needs… Lest you look at your friends new phone to realize that your phone just looks sub par the second you push the power button. (Remember, Gingerbread/Honeycomb, I can’t remember which, will start seeing increased screen resolution support, something to think about.

    • Garar


      That was for you, and people like you who are thinking about a new phone to think about, unfortunately you might be too late to return your phone if you still want to. Just some things to think about for phones coming out, don’t jump on one because it has some cool feature. (i.e. fascinate with super amoled screen) Wait for a phone that has everything you might want, and hopefully nothing new that you know will be coming out in the foreseeable future

      • elijahblake

        if you wait for a phone that has EVERYTHING you want you may be waiting a long time.. Because just when you decide on a phone that has everything, a new one is announced that has everything plus more..

  • keridel

    please remember that epic and nvidia are and have been for years, partners. all unreal engines have been optimised for nvidia graphics. so it is likely they will run it exclusively for a while..

  • http://Website adam

    Jose their plenty of iphone killer already with android their is in the market.

    Lol u try to mean android killer lol that what steve jobs is try to figure out again lol.

    I wouldn’t be surprise if gingerbread add resolution to current high end phone instead of having 800×480 adding it to 1084×720 because u can already hack screen resolution by rooting already.

  • http://Website jim2point0

    Can someone please explain to me how these unreal engine games will work on an iPhone 4 (GPU = powerVR SGX 535) but not on a Galaxy S phone (GPU = PowerVR SGX 540)? The Galaxy S phones are more powerful than the iPhone 4 graphics wise…

    Seems pretty werid that they say only Tegra 2 phones will be supported.

  • http://Website darkcg

    “The open source nature of Android”. Ahahah. So open source they’re talking about next gen devices, someone is developing on them with earlier releases and those of us who are independent developers still don’t see a line of that “open source” code.

  • http://Website xnocx

    should I wait for a possible google nexus 2 phone or some other phone? or should I buy the samsung captivate? I’m on the verge of buying the captivate for $600..not sure if I should be holding off for something better?

    • http://Website caabbyy

      @xnocx don’t buy the captivate for 600 buy it on craigslist for half the price. Then come time for upgrade use it on a better phone, I know it seems like at at&t your choices are limited but you should seriously wait. The captivate has been out since june/july already.

  • http://Website Nedjo

    Dungeon Defenders might be “killer app” for Tegra 2, but in world of mobile phones it’s not “killer apps” that sells chips, it’s their price and package!
    Tegra 2 lacks some serious stuff for building a profitable phone and that’s the reason why there are not any Tegra 2 phones (or ANY hardware for that matter) out on the market!

    Taylor keeps on hyping Tegra 2, and only result will be massive disappointment, because Tegra 2 is DoA, and for that reason NVIDIA’s CEO announced on this year GDC that Tegra 3 is practically already done!

    BTW Sony’s PlayPhone is based on Qualcomm’s MSM8x55 SoC /w Adreno 205 graphics ;)

    • Sturoid

      I totally agree, I think every Tegra 2 piece of hardware seen at the last couple trade shows wee all tablets and every single one of them performed like a piece of crap and was coupled with resistive screens if I’m not mistaken.
      Now maybe this is due to the lower end spectrum of manufacturers trying to get in the game and the bigger players could make things work a whole lot better….but in my eyes if you can’t make a ‘next gen’ processor work well on all those products then it must come down to the common denominator or the Tegra 2

    • http://Website Lucian

      You don’t know what you are talking about. The chip was merely announced at CES in January. They said themselves it won’t be in products until late this year at least. Same thing with Tegra 3. They will demo it at CES this year, but won’t be available to devices till late next year.

      For your interest, Snapdragon was first demo’ed at the end of 2008.

  • http://Website deeb215

    Maybe it’s me but I don’t see the big draw of playing sophisticated games on these little devices. I don’t see a power gamer being satisfied by these devices. I could see this on a 7″ and above tablet like the Samsung Galaxy Tab. The games that are being developed on the market in present should suffice for the casual gamer. Personally, I prefer my heavy gaming on a tv 32″ and above.

    • http://clarklab.net Clark Wimberly

      The screens really aren’t any smaller than a Gameboy or any other handheld that’s been popular over the last decade or two.

      Good games can come in tiny packages.

      • http://Website Daniel

        The real issues are input methods and responsiveness, though. Games on the DS and PSP have very good controls and don’t ever stutter unpredictably. Games on Android are mostly limited to the touch screen, which has no physical feedback and obstructs the game’s own display, and have the occasional slowdown when some background task runs.

  • http://handheldusers.com Amir Rafieian

    Both Tegra 2 & Hummingbird have the same graphic processing power: 90M Triangle/second….

    • http://Website watbetch

      I hope the developers are getting something out of this. Android owners don’t buy apps often, and I hope phones featuring Tegra 2 processors sell in the millions quick if they want to sell maybe 5,000 copies of their games.

  • http://Website teeharding

    I certainly hope you guys aren’t serious about the tegra2 being crap. I’ve followed the first tegra from nvidia and have been awed by what they can do on a handheld. I’m all for having awesome games on android, I’m even down for paying the same prices as xbl and psn. Hopefully they do simultaneous launches of the same version of the game. Hope they don’t dumb it down for handhelds. Also really hope my galaxy s can hang in there for a while!!

  • http://Website john

    It just adds more fragmentation. This is sad for android

  • http://Website Khush

    Tegra 2 sounds nice but as mentioned the gpu is still current gen. For the purpose of gaming only I think the psp phone will blow it out of the water im sure it will be coming with a high powerd gpu to live up to the psp

    • http://Website Lucian

      It won’t. It will have Snapdragon’s Adreno 205 GPU, which is still weaker than Galaxy S GPU. Also, it’s no all about hardware. It’s about the optimization for that hardware. Nvidia has been very good in the past in helping game developers make games run very smooth on their chips.

      Plus Tegra 2 will be in most tablets and in a lot of phones, too, next year, which means it will attract a lot of developers to make games for Android. If we see games like that in 2011, you’ll probably have Nvidia and Tegra to thank for.

  • http://Website adam

    well said john most of android phones runs min of 600mhz most games can be played at 300+mhz with no problem.

    Google should give us good game to test our phone speed if the iphone3gs that had 600mhz ran a resident evil4 why cant we android phone do the same??? Droid 1 came out to be 600mhz with 2.2 os and motorola underclock it from 800mhz to 550mhz to 600mhz on 2.2 os. If the developer on iphone is playing favorite with apple why cant they give us better game if our hardward is better then their phones since nexus one with 1ghz. Smh iphone made part 4 in june just to add what nexus one had in january 2010 droid incredible & htc desire in late april .

  • http://Website khush

    who says the pspphone will have the 205 processor as for apps that is not a problem either because it will have its on app store with games like god of war plus the proper hardware to play those games