It's the first of March, which in NVIDIA land means no longer just talking about Tegra Zone, but actually activating it and letting users see what all the fuss is about. For those who've not yet heard of it, the Tegra Zone is an Android application that curates and highlights content that would most benefit from having the dual-core power of that Tegra 2 chip within your device. At launch, that means a hand-picked selection of games whose makers have gone the extra mile and thrown in additional geometric detail, heavier computation loads, and higher-resolution textures specifically for Tegra 2 smartphones and tablets. The snazzier, more interactive games will still be sourced from the Android Market, the Tegra Zone is no more than a portal unto the vast world of Android content, but it's hoped that its presence will help convey the full value of owning a dual-core mobile device. Even if that value will go down considerably when NVIDIA introduces its quad-core SOC in August -- but, one super chip at a time!
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New Tegra Zone App Is Your Destination for the Best Mobile Games Optimized for Tegra

Free App Ties Into Google Android Market, Provides Quick Access to Richest Games for Tegra-Powered Super Phones and Tablets

Tegra Zone app is the destination to find the richest games for Tegra-powered super phones and tablets

SANTA CLARA, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 03/01/2011 -- NVIDIA announced today that the Tegra Zone™ app is now live on the Android Market, providing a one-stop destination for consumers seeking the richest games for their super phone or tablet powered by the NVIDIA® Tegra™ 2 mobile super chip.

The free app delivers a curated selection of Tegra processor-optimized games, as well as professional game reviews, high-res screenshots, HD video trailers, gameplay videos and behind-the-scenes featurettes. Sale and delivery of users' selected games are completed using Google's Android Market.

Games on Tegra Zone apps are especially enhanced for Tegra 2 super chip-powered devices, and are more realistic and interactive. Among those selected as launch titles are Dungeon Defenders: First Wave Deluxe HD, the first game available for Android that's built on Unreal Engine 3; Samurai II: Vengeance; and Galaxy on Fire 2 THD. A complete list is provided below.

Introduced over the past several months in a variety of super phones and tablets, the Tegra 2 super chip is finding a growing market, particularly among those interested in console-quality gaming on their mobile device. It is built with the world's first mobile dual-core CPU -- which unleashes the best Web experience, with up two-times faster browsing and support for full Adobe® Flash® Player hardware GPU acceleration, plus unprecedented multitasking capabilities. It also includes an NVIDIA GeForce® GPU -- which provides stunningly rich visual experiences and console-quality gaming.

Tegra Zone Highlights:
The first Tegra super chip-enhanced games include:

* Samurai II: Vengeance, by MADFINGER Games: A hack-and-slash action game with stylized manga graphics and quick, bloody gameplay. On par with console 3D brawlers, Samurai II: Vengeance takes advantage of the raw processing power of Tegra 2 with four times more texture resolution on characters, increased geometry for more realism, and completely redesigned knockdown moves.
* Dungeon Defenders: First Wave Deluxe HD, by Trendy Entertainment: Combines the depth of strategic gaming with the satisfying action of RPG character building, in a beautifully stylized cartoon fantasy setting. The Tegra-enhanced version includes dynamic lighting schemes and advanced post-processing effects, as well as the same number of maps and game play levels on PC and Sony PlayStation 3 (PS3) versions. Due to the graphics capabilities of the Tegra 2 processor, players can join in multiplayer, cross-platform games across super phones, tablets, PCs and the PS3.
* Galaxy on Fire 2 THD, by Fishlabs: Epic sci-fi adventure with spectacular action, compelling story and a free gameplay unparalleled in depth and complexity, available for the first time on Android. The Tegra super chip-enhanced version renders the action at a consistently smooth frame rate, and includes more detailed spaceships with much higher quality textures.
* Backbreaker THD, by Natural Motion: An intense, arcade football experience that looks even better and is more interactive when enhanced on a Tegra 2 processor. This version features high-quality textures on the characters, field and stadium and more rendered content, such as real-time action replay on the "Jumbotron" scoreboard. Also look for realistic shadow effects and dynamic lighting effects such as lens flares.
* Fruit Ninja THD, by Halfbrick Studios: A juicy action game with squishy, splatty and satisfying fruit carnage. The Tegra 2 super chip-enhanced version is the definitive version of the best-selling game and adds special graphic detail and effects, including smoother edges on the fruit models, more geometry and realistic shading and lighting.
* Vendetta Online, by Guild Software: 3D space combat, massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) that permits thousands of players to interact as the pilots of spaceships in a vast universe, available for the first time on a mobile device. The Tegra super chip-enhanced version is the first cross-platform space MMO and allows gamers to play against PC players and other mobile players in the same universe.
* Monster Madness, by SouthPeak Games: A top-down action/shooting game where players fight off the monster invasion in four-player melee action. This game takes advantage of NVIDIA PhysX® technology for realistic in-game physics effects. The Tegra processor-enhanced version is graphically identical to the console version in every way.
* Hardwood Solitaire IV, by Silver Creek Entertainment: A beautiful rendition of 10 classic solitaire games. Ported from the PC and Xbox 360 versions, the Tegra 2 super chip version incorporates real-time lighting and shadows in their game environments and adds new 1080p high-resolution textures for the card faces and backs.

NVIDIA has worked closely with game developers to enhance games for the Tegra 2 super chip, bringing such features as:

* More realism: Increased geometry detail, higher resolution textures and complex shaders, lighting, and shadows
* More interactivity: Larger number of characters on screen and more instances of independent animations
* Extra challenging: Advanced artificial intelligence processing, complex world and player management
* Improved game play: More levels to tackle and more equipment for gaming characters to use
* Better game play and an enhanced shopping experience