Jan 11 AT 1:08 AM Taylor Wimberly 14 Comments

Unreal Engine on Android highly likely

Last month Epic Games showed off the Unreal Engine 3 running on an iPod Touch and said it would be coming to another mobile platform soon. We speculated it might be coming to Android and it looks like we were right (kinda).

Nvidia announced the new Tegra 2 platform at CES and demoed it running the Unreal Engine. I have not found out which operating system was running the demo, but the Tegra 2 will be the platform to power about 50 upcoming Android tablets. This leads us to believe we will almost certainly see the Unreal Engine in future Android devices.

The Tegra 2 is based off the ARM Cortex-A9 core which is one step above the Cortex-A8 core featured in the Motorola Droid and HTC Nexus One.

It appears the Tegra 2 will primarily be used in tablets and smartbooks, but there are companies currently working on Cortex-A9 chipsets for smartphones (check back later this week for a full report).

To watch the entire Nvidia press conference, head over to the Nvidia CES 2010 site.

Source: Nvidia

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://schwiz.net schwiz

    I wonder how much they are going to charge to licence it, nobody sells enough copies of apps off the market to justify the hundreds of thousands they typically charge.

    • http://Website SquirrelWithAGunAtTheZoo

      Not only that, but with phones even capable of running games built on this platform with reasonable (= 30+ FPS) framerates only appearing now (and then only in the high-end segment of smartphones), you have to wonder how many copies really _will_ be sold of such games.

    • http://Website JDM

      Actually right now for PC and console games an Unreal 3 license is 25% of the revenue your game generates. No upfront costs.

  • http://Website mariano

    i was wonder… how the iphone 3gs can run the engine… and not the droid for exemple… cuz they have the same HW… cortex A8 TI OMAP 3430 with PowerVR graphics… sooo maby the droid can (droid does? lol hehe) at least same iphone graphics now…. hehe but if we cant install app in SD is going to be kinda hard that part… Please Google do something about that!

  • http://Website Mike Leahy

    I think it’ll run reasonably well on the Droid & N1 and just fine on A9; if it used GL 1.X maybe even ~10-15FPS on the G1. Notice that they demoed only an enclosed space as I mentioned previously due to the complexity of outdoor (or a mixture of indoor/outdoor) rendering on performance. So while it looks awesome it’s not the entire Unreal 3 engine running on a mobile device. The level complexity looks very Q3ish with some nice lighting effects, but I can’t tell from the demo video if it’s all lightmaps instead of anything dynamic.

    It may be at 1st that they release the U3 mobile engine to just their licensees which is out of the question cost wise for most of us. Perhaps in a year or so they will open it up to the royalty scheme recently announced. Maybe right away, who knows. There is a premium for a solid mobile 3D engine in general.

    I am interested to find out if the engine will need to ported/compiled for each processor. It’s one thing to get it working on the Tegra 2, but as Android explodes and there are more variety in processors (granted mostly ARM based) it may be a pain to make sure things are running, but then again I assume porting duties will be done by Epic. That is if they are good stewards of their tech.

  • http://Website Tim Bass

    The N1 has a Cortex A8? I thought it was a Snapdragon.

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      Yes, Snapdragon is ARM Cortex A-8. Pretty much anything that runs Android has an ARM based processor.

    • http://Website mkrmec

      and then the people go: “whaaat” you seriously didn’t ask that question.. Of course snapdragon is just a product name…

      • http://Website person

        Actually, the Snapdragon is not a Cortex A8. It has its own ARM processor custom-designed by Qualcomm, based on the same ARMv7 architecture as Cortex A8.

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