New to the Android Market this week, the Nvidia Tegra Zone app acts as an aggregate service for Android gamers who want to stay abreast of the best new Android game titles. The catch, of course, is that all the games listed require a Tegra 2 chipset, like the one found in the new Motorola Xoom.
Tegra Zone isn't, as Nvidia points out in the apps description on the Market, designed to replace the purchasing or downloading functionality of the Android Market. Instead, the app is designed to showcase new gaming titles designed for its dual-core processor.
At the time of writing, the app listed Vendetta, Dungeon Defenders (the Android game built on Epic's Unreal 3 engine) and Australia's own Fruit Ninja THD. We expect to see the THD abbreviation, which indicates to owners of Tegra devices that the game makes the most of their hardware, more and more as time goes on that a game is incompatible with their device.
While it is exciting to browse through the Tegra Zone app at the range of rich new games on offer (you don't need Tegra 2 to download the app), it does make us wonder about this new fragmentation of the Android Market.
Game developers are being encouraged to develop high quality devices for a small segment of Android users, while companies like Samsung, LG and Huawei are all developing budget-priced Android handsets that have no chance of running these apps.
Hopefully Google will intervene and filter the search capabilities of the Android Market to only display apps that can be used on the handset that the market is viewed from. In the meantime, if you don't have a Tegra 2 device beware of THD.