NVIDIA impresses with Tegra 2, pledges own game market soon
I think one of the hottest additions to the Android line-up was the inclusion of NVIDIAs Tegra 2 chips in many phones and tablets seen during CES. The original Tegra chips launched in 2008 never made it big on the device front, but Tegra 2 changed that. And if you take a look at the Motorola Atrix 4G that's able to power the Ubuntu based webTop OS on large screens at 720p resolution you can easily see why it's such a big improvement. But NVIDIA's got one more trick up its sleeve.
During CES they teased the launch of their own app store for game enthusiasts that want to take advantage of the Tegra processor in their new phones. Their website says the store is coming to the Android Market, so it'll be a downloadable app and I doubt they'll block access to non-Tegra Android lovers. How well most of those games perform on non-Tegra handsets remains to be seen.
I'm generally not a big fan of large corporate Markets that break away from Googles own pastures just because it can cause fragmentation. But in this case, I think NVIDIA is bringing some welcome changes to game developers and users alike. The store is supposed to do away with the 50 MB size limitation of the standard Android Market to allow graphics intense games to be downloaded in one swoop instead of having them download extra data on first launch. Also, the Tegra market will be curated and will only include games that meet some quality standards. Again, good, since a lot of Android games are just a little too thrown together and not polished enough. Given NVIDIAs power and the possibilities that dual-core processor paired with upwards of 512 MB or RAM bring to Android, we should see a slew of games ported or developed for Android from major developers, maybe even Gameloft.
One thing I'm not too thrilled about is the prices they're showing off on the teaser site here. It looks like the initial titles will be priced between $10-$15. Though to be fair, since the same chips will be powering phones and tablets alike and Android apps so far have been good at scaling, you should be able to use the same app on both devices, should you choose to go for the combo.