It wasn't so many years ago that a cell phone was used just to make calls, and a "tablet" was something you swallowed when you had a headache. Now, thanks to people like NVIDIA, that phone in your pocket is more powerful than the PC you grew up with, and tablets are quickly becoming the Next Big Thing in computing.
The NVIDIA Tegra 3 hardware is the world's only 4-PLUS-1 quad core mobile processor, and while it can be used for a whole bunch of thoroughly practical applications, while we were at E3, we got to see this new power harnessed for pure enjoyment, as Keita Iida walked us through some of the new games that are only playable thanks to NVIDIA technology.
Demons' Score is on the way from Square Enix, another example of the Unreal Engine being used on mobile devices. Expect high-quality 3D graphics, a touch-screen ooptimised user interface and all the visual bells and whistles that can be packed into a quad-core bit of hardware.
There's also a nifty new gyroscopic game, Puddle, which has also been released on Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network. Your task is to guide the water into a target destination, using the tablet's tilt controls. Thanks to Tegra, the fluid effects have been upgraded, textures and shadows have been revamped, and in-game physics is now more "real" than ever.
In terms of RPGs, Heroes Call is a free to play action release from Australian developers Defiant (best known perhaps for Ski Safari). Described as "as close as you can get to Diablo" on a smartphone, this one contains intuitive touch-screen controls, more than 40 randomised quests, an assortment of heroic abilities and - importantly - more than 100 different enemies. (Plus, of course, it looks pretty amazing, complete with high-res light maps and a whole bunch of new object and particle physics.)
All of these games are either out now, or out very soon - all were playable at E3 2012, and from the few we got to check out in person, NVIDIA's Tegra 3 processor is set to revolutionise the way you spend time on public transport.
I like video games and music and cups of tea and noodles and beagles and colour-cycling LEDs.
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