Qualcomm has noticed how Nvidia and Samsung are stealing their thunder away because of their weak GPU’s and because developers prefer to make games that are the a little more optimized for those platforms, as well. So to respond to that, they made GameCommand, which is a competitor to the Tegra Zone, where they show all games that are optimized for Snapdragon devices.
But they are not stopping there. They’ve already built an in-house studio to make some Android games themselves, and they will release one title every year. Think of it as the “Nexus” of games for Qualcomm devices. They will use it to show other developers how games should look like on a Qualcomm device, once they take maximum advantage of its CPU and GPU power.
The GameCommand store already has over 100 titles right now, which is about 60 more than Tegra Zone, but that isn’t really a surprise when you remember Qualcomm has been in the mobile game longer than Nvidia, and they are actually the market leader right now, and they have a lot more chips in the market than Nvidia does. Also, don’t expect all of these games to be blockbusters, but Qualcomm is making deals with Gameloft and EA Mobile to release exclusive titles.
Qualcomm still needs to become a little more competitive with their GPU’s, and I’m afraid they’ll remain behind the new Mali GPU’s, PowerVR GPU’s and the Tegra 3 GPU until they release their Adreno 3.xx GPU. Unfortunately, that won’t happen with the first Krait S4 CPU’s, which should appear in the first half of this year, but later in the year with the upgraded dual core and quad core S4 chips.
Of course the competition is not standing still either, so it remains to be seen if even these GPU’s will be able to hold their own against the competition. And while it’s good that Qualcomm is getting on board with developers to make their games more optimized for Qualcomm chips, too, we need the game developers to focus on making their games run well on all the mobile chips. I know there are some middle-ware tools that take care of this for them, and I’m sure there will be more of them as Android keeps growing and more people have an Android device.
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The first S4 (MSM8960) is using Adreno 225. But yes they should be competitive when the Adreno 320 appears in the quad-core S4s (APQ806x).
There are a lot of unknowns about the GPU’s of the “future”, meaning late 2012 or early 2013, other than maybe some marketing material from these companies.
But I think Adreno 225 would merely match the current Exynos GPU. The problem is it will probably come out after Mali’s performance is already increased by 50% or more in the newer Exynos chips coming out this spring. But at least Adreno 3xx will be a revamped GPU architecture so it might come with some surprises. Ideally, it should’ve come out in the same time with the Krait CPU architecture.