Earlier this year at Mobile World Congress, NVIDIA and Sega announced Sonic 4: Episode II would be coming to TegraZone in an optimized version for NVIDIA's Tegra 3 hardware. Today the promise became reality as the $6.99 game is now available via NVIDIA's TegraZone on Tegra 3 devices. The timing alone is pretty special. While the Xbox Live Arcade version of the game debuted yesterday, the iOS version won't come out for another day and the standard Android build will take another month. NVIDIA's ability to pull even small day long exclusives over iOS is still impressive in a world where many game developers put no one ahead of Apple.

The final game seems a lot like what we played at MWC in February. It works on all Tegra 3 devices using either on-screen touch controls or an external gamepad. The gameplay is distinctly Sonic, although I'll admit my fondness for the platformer peaked years ago. The single player game has you controlling Sonic with an AI controlled Tails. Also included is a multiplayer mode that allows for co-operative play over Bluetooth. The game looks good on Tegra 3. We've been running a preview APK on some as of yet unreleased hardware so I won't comment on performance just yet.

NVIDIA promises better visuals in the Tegra 3 version of the game than the standard Android version due out in the coming weeks. While we don't have the standard Android build, NVIDIA sent along some screenshots to show the difference in image quality.

Source: NVIDIA

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  • felipetga - Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - link

    What about Tegra 2 owners, will the graphics be like Adrenos, PowerVRs and Malis, or will it be optimized, even just a little bit for it?
  • Aikouka - Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - link

    Typically, large iOS app/game releases come out on Thursdays.
  • mavere - Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - link

    This is a rather empty victory, as the powers that be determined late Wednesday night/midnight is the optimal time for an iOS app release.

    Also, it's already Thursday morning in some parts of the world, so I've been able to grab the game on my Australian iTunes account for a couple hours now.
  • aguilpa1 - Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - link

    Sonic 4: Episode II Now Available for Tegra 3 on your Galaxy SII...., LOL, OMG, WTf?

    Aren't these versions getting out of hand? Does anyone make anything new and unique anymore?
  • bersl2 - Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - link

    Well, when it comes to Sega and Sonic games, they've tried "new", and they managed to fuck it up most of the time.
  • vision33r - Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - link

    Soon some games will only support the latest GPU so other phones or older gen GPU owners are screwed. It's a bit ridiculous that you have to upgrade your phone quicker than your video card these days.

    Which use to be the other way around.
  • ltcommanderdata - Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - link

    So nVidia said the Tegra 3 version has better graphics than the upcoming regular Android version, but does the Tegra 3 version have better graphics than the iOS version? If the answer is yes, then nVidia can legitimately claim their aid in optimization for Tegra 3 helped Sega produce extra visuals above iOS and the rest of Android. However, if the answer is no, and the iOS version on A5/A5X devices ends up having the same high quality visuals as the Tegra 3 version, then it could be argued nVidia is basically promoting Tegra 3 by artificially crippling the rest of the Android ecosystem. It's not like Tegra 3's GPU is significantly more powerful than the Adreno 225 or the upcoming higher clocked Mali400-MP4 in the Exynos 4412 such that Tegra 3 visuals are impossible on other Android devices.
  • Goty - Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - link

    Would you honestly put it past NVIDIA to artificially limit the abilities of a competitor's products? CPU PhysX, anyone?

    That being said, I really don't think that will end up being the case here. It's probably just NVIDIA working with the developer to enable higher IQ in this game, and the visuals on iOS will likely end up looking like non-Tegra3 Android devices unless Apple has done something similar.
  • fm123 - Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - link

    The difference is "iOS version" means you have to support 3GS too (and maybe older models). Same with "regular Android version" so you have to support something like Droid X and Incredible, etc... A Tegra 3 version can be optimized just like programming to any specific gaming console.
  • BugblatterIII - Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - link

    NVidia did the same with Tegra 2. Chainfire managed to come up with a patch so that the games wouldn't refuse to run on a patched non-Tegra phone and for the most part they worked fine as long as it was a decent phone.

    NVidia pays developers to produce exclusive titles for Tegra. They pretend that developers do it because they have the best chips but it's really because they have the best marketing department, deepest pockets and most readily-available developers to support the game's writers. There's only one of those three that I don't have a problem with...

    It's what bothers me most about the Galaxy S3. Power-wise it'll smoke anything else out there, but what's the point if nothing uses that power? If all the high-performance titles are Tegra-only then all that power's wasted. I'll still buy one though.

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