Any Android Gamers in the House?

| March 19, 2011 | 3 Replies

 

I am a gamer and I love playing games on my EVO. I remember
the days of handheld baseball and football games. I would imagine teachers from
my days in school probably had desk drawers full of these devices. Back in the
70’s we had pong, then in the 80’s Colecovision, the 90’s Nintendo, and today
most households own a Xbox or PlayStation gaming system. With the leaps and
bounds of technology, I ask what you would like to see in the future for
Android gaming.  Let us know below.

 

 

Mark our words: 2011 is the year for Android gaming. Two years
ago, the iPhone was effectively the only phone that supported serious
gaming–unless you consider Brickbreaker on the BlackBerry to be the ultimate
gaming experience. Last spring, Google proved that it was serious about gaming
when it hired games
industry veteran Mark DeLoura
to act as its “Developer Advocate” for games.
But gaming developers seemed a bit hesitant to climb on board with the platform.
When we surveyed the games available in the Android Market, we found a lot of
sad rip-offs of popular iPhone games, plagued by shoddy graphics and buggy game
play. There wasn’t even a games section in the Market!

But the announcement last fall of an Android version of the well-loved iPhone
game Angry Birds signaled that other popular, big-name games might be headed to
Android as well. And rumors of an Android-based Sony
PlayStation phone
, which could supposedly play 3D PSP games, further
strengthened the perception that Android might finally be ready for gaming.

 

Dedicated Gaming Handsets

 

Fast-forward
to Mobile World Congress 2011: Perhaps the worst-kept secret of the show, the
Sony “PlayStation phone” finally became real. Dubbed the Xperia
Play
, the gaming phone features a D-pad (for in-game direction control),
four game control buttons and a set of circular touchpads in the middle, which
function like a joystick for some games. You won’t find the PlayStation logo
anywhere on the phone, but the Xperia Play will be able to run certain
PlayStation games.

 

Sony also announced its PlayStation Suite, a standard “software platform”
designed to bring PlayStation games to more devices–specifically, to ones that
run at least Android 2.3 and receive a “PlayStation Certified” designation from
Sony. The games will be distributed through a marketplace that Sony will set up
later this year. The result should be a lot more Android phones in the future
that are tricked out for optimal game control.

 

At this year’s Gaming Development conference, Sony Ericsson also revealed
that the Xperia Play will be the official mobile phone of Major League Gaming
(MLG), North America’s official
pro video games league
. MLG attracts about 40 million gamers and represents
some of the top professional gamers in the world. The fact that a mobile phone
is now regarded as a medium for competitive gaming is a huge step for Android
gaming.

 

Will we see dedicated gaming handsets from other manufacturers? It’s hard to
say. Aside from Sony Ericsson, no phone manufacturer has any track record in the
gaming world. And Nintendo has said publicly that it has no interest in making
mobile devices, so there’s no competition from that quarter (though you can play
old
Nintendo games
on your Android phone via an emulator). Microsoft’s mobile
XBox Live is one of the best features of Windows
Phone 7
, so we would love to see Redmond work with an OEM to develop a
dedicated gaming phone.

 

Gyroscopes Become the Norm

 

The iPhone 4 was the first phone to ship with a gyroscope, but Android phones
are following suit, starting with the Samsung
Nexus S
, which launched earlier this year. Most top-of-the-line Android
smartphones are likely to have them this year.

 

So
what do gyroscopes do for gaming? Many mobile games use the accelerometer for
motion control, meaning that you tilt and move your phone to control the game.
For example, in the iPhone-only I Love
Katamari
game, you tilt your phone to roll the Katamari ball through the
various levels.

 

A gyroscope provides greater precision and accuracy thatn an accelerometer
for controlling your phone. It also permits developers to make richer, more
immersive motion-controlled games. For example, in first-person shooter games
like Eliminate: Gun Range, you can aim your weapon by tilting the
phone subtly. Now that more Android phones are shipping with gyroscopes, we hope
to see games of similar quality on the platform.

 

Powerful Gaming-Optimized Chipsets

 

The mobile chipset makers are helping phones deliver a better gaming
experience by designing low-power chipsets for 3D gameplay. Qualcomm’s new
generation of Snapdragon
chipsets
feature the Adreno 220 GPU, which enhances graphics performance
with rich 3D effects and detailing. At Qualcomm’s booth at Mobile World Congress
2011, we saw a demo of the new game Desert Winds and were impressed by the
smooth gameplay and the rich, realistic graphics.

 

At GDC, Qualcomm announced a deal with Gameloft in which the game distributor
will rerelease some of its best-selling high-definition game titles, optimized
to take advantage of the Snapdragon processor and Adreno GPU.

 

Similarly, dual-core Nvidia
Tegra 2 chips
for tablets and phones are designed with gaming in mind. One
goal of Tegra 2′s GeForce GPU is to deliver responsive mobile 3D game
playability without compromising battery life. Virtually all of the demos we saw
of Tegra 2-powered devices (including the LG Optimus X, the Droid Bionic, and
the Motorola Xoom) showed games in action–and they were quite impressive.
Nvidia even has its own app store (Tegra Zone) for Tegra-powered phones and
tablets. Like Qualcomm’s, these games are optimized for one particular chipset.

Source: PCWorld

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Category: Android News

About the Author ()

Born and rasied in Marietta, Georgia. I am a gadget freak. I Remember playing with Tandy computers in the 70′s. I built computer systems in the early 90′s before Windows really got out on the market. I really enjoy technology and seeing how it has changed over the decades. My first cell phone weighed close to 10 pounds (back when pay phones were on every corner, and people owned beepers.) Devices I have owned include: Windows Touch Pro, Palm Pre, and the HTC EVO that I use daily.

  • Michael Beam says:

    Don’t be surprised if you find me playing Black Ops on my Xbox 360

  • Michael Beam says:

    That would be great on a 10.1 or bigger screen. I think I fixed my comment issue.