UK Developer Playbox has announced that it was expanding into the Android platform, with a twist: its Bang Bang Racing game will require NVIDIA’s Tegra chip to run. The game was originally created for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 and Playbox says that it has optimized the game for Tegra. For example, it takes advantage of NVIDIA’s PhysX technology, a physics engine that is known on PC for its physics hardware acceleration.
The game is not yet available for download, but the 1280×800 screenshots do look very nice. We can’t wait to see how fast the framerate is. There is no official release date other than “soon”, but you should keep an eye on Tegra Zone, a free app from NVIDIA, because that probably means “any day now”.
Developers have complained about Android fragmentation as of late. Although some would argue that the PC is fragmented too, smartphones and tablet have their special share of problems. For instance, different chips support different types of texture compression, which means that you need many sets, which requires more storage, which is not ideal for downloads…
By only supporting NVIDA’s Tegra, Playbox can get off to a simpler start and at the same time use special-effects that may or may not work on competing hardware. Of course, NVIDIA’s marketing support can greatly help the Bang Bang Racing launch. It’s likely that Playbox will release a version that will run on non-Tegra hardware at some point, but in the meantime, Tegra 2 is the only option.
More developers might follow: Mike Clarke, Technical Director of Playbox, adds: “When we first started working on our technology, not many companies really understood what Tegra is or how it will change the market. But at my recent mobile gaming session at the Game Developers’ Conference (GDC), I was amazed at the interest that Tegra received, and it’s clear more developers are looking into Android and Tegra.”