It's been a good week for real-time strategy fans on Android. Yesterday a new game from the Anomaly developers was released, SPACECOM, and today gamers without access to NVIDIA-branded hardware can play Z: Steel Soldiers. If you don't recall, this Android port came out back in August of last year - about thirteen years after the original was released on the PC. It's a conventional real-time strategy game about robots killin' robots.
Z: Steel Soldiers can now be installed on any Android device running 2.3.3 or higher (or at least any of them that I've owned), so long as you've got $7 to put in the developers' jar.
NVIDIA partnered with several game developers to release four premium mobile games last week that were optimized for Tegra chips. Three of those games (Half-Life 2: Episode 2, Never Alone, and Funk of Titans) showed up on time, but Q.U.B.E. was nowhere to be found. Well, it's here now.
NVIDIA is always coming up with new ways to show off the power of its chips, and Dabbler is probably one of the more entertaining. This app is bundled with the SHIELD Tablet, but it has gone through a major revamp since release. Now v3.0 has hit the Play Store to make your doodles even prettier.
If you're wondering what NVIDIA has been working on for the last few months, you'll only have to wait a few more weeks to find out. The gaming and graphics company has sent invitations to technology press, including Android Police, for a presentation on March 3rd in San Francisco. According to the email, NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang will be demonstrating something "5 years in the making" that will "redefine the future of gaming."
Android fans are obviously looking for something centered around the new Tegra X1 chipset, which NVIDIA demonstrated last month at the Consumer Electronics Show. That particular event did not include any new consumer-grade hardware, instead focusing on the X1's impressive specifications and applications for embedded electronics in the auto segment.
The term "chivalry" has somehow become conflated with being gentlemanly over the years, but chivalry was mostly about who to stab with your sword and how to go about it. There's certainly a lot of that in Broadsword: Age of Chivalry. This game has just arrived on Android with Tegra-optimized graphics, but other Android devices can play with somewhat simplified graphics.
NVIDIA has been the first few pebbles of the landslide that is CES for the last few years, and 2015 is no different. To kick off the world's biggest consumer tech show, CEO Jen-Hsun Huang started with mobile. The company announced its successor to the Tegra K1 mobile processor, the Tegra X1. This chip includes an octa-core 64-bit CPU married to a 256-core GPU. And that second chip is the killer: it's based on the same architecture as the latest full-sized NVIDIA desktop graphics cards, Maxwell.
While Huang was quick to point out the chip's fantastic graphical capabilities (without going into extreme detail), he also wanted to show off its video rendering prowess.
The device is generally as we expected. It's an HTC-made Nexus tablet with a 4:3 aspect ratio and a 9" display (give or take). The tablet is not aluminum as we originally heard (plans change, after all), but evidently it does have brushed aluminum sides.
Look into the eyes of Ira. He can see into your very being. His hypnotic gaze is scouring your soul, peeling away layers of intellect until only chaos and madness remains. He's like the most terrifying of Lovecraftian horrors, except he's bald and has a five o'clock shadow.
If you've watched any of NVIDIA's trade show keynotes in the last few years, you probably recognize Ira from the company's FaceWorks technical demo. It basically throws insane amounts of programming and graphical processing power at the problem of making realistic human faces in real-time simulations. NVIDIA's first public demo of the Tegra K1 Kepler architecture, codenamed "Logan," included a scaled-down version of the FaceWorks demo running on NIVIDIA's mobile hardware.
OEMs have tried a few times to make Android work in the notebook form factor, but the closest anyone has gotten is the Transformer line from Asus. Those are tablets first, though. The HP Slatebook 14 is a straight-up laptop running Android, and it's starring in a video demo posted by HP. Update: It looks like HP wasn't ready to spill the beans quite yet. It pulled the video from its site for the time being.