Over the years mobile processing power has increased exponentially, going from what used to be equivalent to a mere calculator to what is now nearly the equivalent of a home PC. CPUs and graphics processors (GPU) have come a long, long way in the world of mobile and can now offer us not only video experiences that can be easily shared on the big screen with 4K video, but also gaming that can be played on the big screen as well. Yesterday Google announced the next version of Android, Android L, and along side it a whole slew of new products and ways to enjoy Android on different form factors. One of the biggest ways Google showed off Android TV was with a gaming showcase, including the new Unreal Engine 4 running on Tegra K1 hardware, which is what powers the Android TV experience.
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Android TV seems like a perfect place for Nvidia’s latest computing powerhouse, not just because you won’t have to worry about battery consumption with all that power but you want excellent graphical fidelity on a large TV when you’re gaming. The demo, as seen below, features some incredible lighting techniques including fully realtime reflections in the water on the ground, tessellation of the characters to remove the traditional blocky look of 3D mobile game characters, and lots of shaders and filters including a really interesting one that mimics chromatic aberration from a camera. All of these come together to bring a console-like experience to Android TV, and while it’s certainly not on the level that the new generation of consoles can deliver, it’s likely very close to what we’d seen from the previous generation, possibly even with some enhancements.
Gaming isn’t always taken seriously on the mobile platform, for a number of reasons, but Android TV could be the thing to really change that as it launches on TVs later this year. Google has also beefed up Google Play Games considerably, which also helps unify the mobile gaming world under a single profile and scoring system. Check out the Unreal Engine 4 demo for yourself and remember that it’s running off a mobile GPU, not a PC or console. You’re likely to be pretty darned impressed!