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NVIDIA’s Tegra Zone app: the beginnings of an Android gaming community?

Whats this? Another Android app ecosystem? Not quite. NVIDIA is currently working on an app that’ll allow you to search for high-end games in the Android Market. But hopefully, it represents more than just a simple search and recommendations engine.

Called the Tegra Zone, the app will allow you to search for titles that will make the most of its Tegra 2 dual-core chip. There’ll also be additional content like HD trailers, gameplay videos, and game reviews.

It looks as though there’s going to be some social network integration as well, where you’ll be able to brag about high scores and trophy wins on Facebook. Kind of like you can already do through PlayStation Network and Xbox Live.

NVIDIA is obviously keen to capitalise on the press attention received throughout CES. We think that with the Tegra Zone, there’s potential for it to develop beyond a simple app.

With developers like EA, Factor 5 and Gameloft writing titles specifically for Tegra 2-based devices, we think that the Tegra Zone could become a cornerstone of an Android gaming community. One with leaderboards, rankings and tournaments. Where players with Android machines running the same processor can compete on more equal hardware terms.

Using a phone’s GPS sensor, you could find out if other players were nearby using Google Latitude, and challenge them to a LAN-style match. The promise shown by location-based games like Fable III: Kingmaker could be expanded and taken to a whole new level.

We’d like to see the Tegra Zone develop into something, along the lines of Apple’s Game Center, but for Android phones. But if it doesn’t make that happen we definitely think that there’s room for something similar to exist. We’re looking forwards to the release of this app, and to MWC – where the PSP Phone might finally get shown off – with bated breath.


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