Since the announcement of Tegra 2 last year and the army of tablets it was meant to power, we’ve been cautiously excited about the possibilities this system on a chip offers. Though we had a longer wait than expected — the first Tegra 2 tablet just came out a few weeks ago — the products we’ve seen at this year’s show prove that it was worth the wait. Not only are we seeing the ultra-portable multimedia powerhouse tablets Nvidia promised, but now Tegra 2 has kicked the super phone category into high gear.
The LG Optimus 2X, Motorola Atrix 4G, and the Motorola Droid Bionic all have the power to output 1080p video and 7.1 audio via HDMI and allow users to watch and interact with Flash web content without compromise. Plus, users can experience PC-level gaming on smart phones, just as with their tablet brethren. That’s some serious power in your pocket. And it makes Android phones just as great for portable, handheld gaming as they are for keeping you connected.
The wide adoption of Tegra 2 may have some interesting side effects down the road. When we met with the company this week, they talked about how, on the PC side, they’re used to quickly releasing updates to drives and software. They’re looking to continue that trend for tablets and phones, which may result in much faster updates to new versions of Android.
Thanks to Android 3.0 and Nvidia, there will also be more synchronicity between what’s available on phones and tablets. Tegra 2 devices will all have access to the Tegra Zone app store, which features games developed specifically to run in the Tegra environment. There will be just five games at launch — Dungeon Defender (first game for Android built with Unreal Engine 3), Monster Madness, Fruit Ninja, Backbreaker THD, and Galaxy on Fire. Nvidia is working with developers to bring more titles over from PC gaming into Android gaming, and we can’t wait for the result.
Take a look at these clips from this week’s Nvidia press conference showing the LG Optimus 2X playing a Flash game, a MMORPG, and a game with complex 3D elements.
In a year when tablets are set to dominate the mobile market, Tegra 2 is set to dominate tablets. We’re looking forward to seeing what hardware and software companies do with the technology.