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2014-10-27    来源:FORTUNE    【      美国外教 在线口语培训




Since the early days of the video game industry, consoles have ruled the home. Companies like Nintendo, Sega, Sony and Microsoft MSFT -1.11% thrived by building closed ecosystems that developers could creates games over the course of five to 10 years before a new, more powerful box entered the market and the cycle began all over again. But ever since the introduction of smartphones from companies like Apple AAPL -1.31% , Nokia, Samsung, LG, Google and Amazon AMZN -1.02% , video game creators have flocked to these powerful mobile devices and an entire ecosystem of small and independent development studios have flourished (also in part thanks to the digital distribution networks on new consoles from Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft).

In recent years, this marriage between smartphone (and tablet) and the traditional game console has resulted in micro-console devices like Ouya, Mad Catz M.O.J.O., Nvidia Shield and Amazon Fire TV. With Google’s GOOG -1.04% entry into this space this fall with Android TV, game developers will be able to create cross-platform experiences that will begin to compete more directly with the traditional console manufacturers. Chris McKillop, Android TV engineering manager, explains how this new technology could forever change the game.
而近年来,智能手机(和平板电脑)与传统游戏机的联姻,造就了不少像Ouya、Mad Catz M.O.J.O.、Nvidia Shield和亚马逊Fire TV这样的小型游戏机。今年秋季,随着谷歌携其安卓电视(Android TV)挺进这一领域,游戏开发者们将能够创造跨平台的游戏体验,从而与传统游戏机厂商开始更直接地交锋。安卓电视的工程经理克里斯•麦基洛普在此为大家解读这种新技术将如何彻底颠覆游戏业。

Fortune: What are your thoughts on the speed at which new technology from companies like Nvidia has impacted the gaming capabilities of Android smartphones and tablets?

McKillop:It’s incredible. The latest generation of GPUs in Mobile SoCs are now at or exceeding those of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. When the PS3 originally launched, Android was still nearly two years away from a 1.0. It’s not going to take long for the mobile chipsets to catch up with the current fourth-generation systems (PlayStation 4 and Xbox One).
麦基洛普:简直难以置信。现在最新一代手机系统级芯片(SoC)的图形芯片(GPU)速度已经达到或超过PlayStation 3和 Xbox 360了。当PS3刚推出时,安卓1.0还要近两年后才发布。用不了多久,手机芯片的速度就能赶上当前的第四代系统(PlayStation 4和Xbox One)。

How have you seen mobile game experiences advance over the years on Google Play?
您认为这些年来Google Play的游戏体验有提升吗?

Mobile game experiences have made big strides on Google Play. Android is all about the ecosystem, and moving an ecosystem forward happens over time. It started with the NDK in 2009 and now with the upcoming Android Extension Pack for PC class gaming in L release. I don’t see any limit to what game developers can bring to Android. As the broader handset and tablet space start having CPUs and GPUs that can provide great high definition gaming, there is a big incentive for developers to be on Google Play.
Google Play上的手机游戏体验已有很大进步。安卓就是一套纯粹的生态系统,要想让一套生态系统阔步前行是需要时间的。它始于2009年的一个开发包(NDK),马上要进行的L轮发布,将推出专为PC级游戏打造的安卓扩展包。我不认为游戏开发者为安卓系统开发新游戏时会受到任何限制。随着更多手机和平板设备开始装备能支持高清分辨率游戏的处理器和图形芯片,开发者将有更大动力入驻Google Play。

What opportunities has Android opened up for game developers, especially smaller teams?

There are a lot of small shops (sometimes just one developer) doing great work. Since Google Play Store has such a quick turnaround time for developers to publish updates and new games, it makes it easier for smaller shops to have a bigger impact. Another element is free-to-play gaming.
有很多小团队(有时候仅有一个开发者)都做得很棒。由于Google Play商店为开发者发布更新及新游戏提供极快的周转时间,那些小团队更容易获得更大的影响力。另一个机会则是免费游戏。

How do you see Android TV impacting the current video game ecosystem, which is tiered separately (for the most part) across mobile, console and PC games?

Over the past year, I’ve had the opportunity to discuss this with game developers across all three of these spaces. Mobile developers are excited to have more screens running Android. I don’t think we know yet exactly how the console players will come to the space but, as Android TV grows, it’s a question that will have to be answered. We have some ideas, and I’m excited about the next couple of years as they come to life.

What differentiates the big-screen gaming experience from the mobile experience today?

Input system and power. Mobile experiences are almost always touchscreen-based and battery operated. Once you hit the living room, developers are going to see gamepads and remote controls, and the systems will be plugged into a wall so the chipset can run faster for longer. For some developers, it will be the first time they have had to think about non-touch gaming. For others, it will be like going back in time. Prior to the upcoming L release, Android hadn’t set down a standard for button mappings and how Gamepads should work. This made it really hard for developers to target controllers, so they either did one-off development for a single brand or just ignored controllers altogether. Android TV will give them a reason to get controllers working, and this will translate directly to controller gaming on phones and tablets. That’s the power of a single platform across all form factors.

How do you see micro-consoles like Android TV changing that?

Android TV is much more than just a system for micro-consoles, it’s all about bringing Android to the big screen in your living room — either built into your TV, cable STB, media streamer or micro-console. Having a standard platform for all of these devices is going to have the same impact in the living room that having a standard platform for mobile devices has had on the mobile industry since 2008. It’s going to be a big win for developers and consumers and raise the overall expectations of everyone involved.

How have you worked with Nvidia on Android TV?

We have worked very closely with Nvidia (they are at the heart of the ADT-1). The folks at Nvidia really “get” gaming and gamers — it’s in their DNA. They have helped us work with game developers, as well as optimize graphics performance on the developer devices we gave away at Google IO. We also work with GPU vendors across the industry, including Qualcomm ARM, Intel, etc.
我们一直与英伟达密切合作(他们是ADT-1的核心)。英伟达的人确实很“懂”游戏和玩家——这就是他们的DNA。他们一直帮我们与游戏开发者开展合作,还帮着优化我们在谷歌开发者大会(Google IO)发布的开发者样机的图像性能。我们还和图像芯片业内的多家供应商合作,包括高通公司(Qualcomm)、ARM公司、英特尔公司(Intel)等。

What does Tegra K1 technology open up for video game experiences?

It brings third-generation console and PC-class gaming to mobile and small living room devices. We did a demo with Nvidia and the folks at Epic Games with Unreal Engine 4 at Google IO to show off what’s going to be possible.
它使手机和小型游戏机也能享有第三代游戏机和PC级游戏的性能。我们与英伟达开发了一台样机。在谷歌开发者大会上,Epic Games公司的人用“虚幻引擎4”(Unreal Engine 4)在这台样机上展示了玩家将享有的体验。

How do you see game developers creating titles across mobile devices and Android TV when it comes to the touchscreen versus physical controller?

In an ideal world a game should operate both ways equally. Since the physical controllers for Android TV devices will also work with phones and tablets, the investment for developers will be across all devices. Most of the games on the Preview Play Store for Android TV are the same ones you install on your phone or tablet. I can see a lot of kids carrying a tablet and two gamepads to school next year.
理想情况下,一款游戏应该在这两个平台上都能玩。由于安卓电视游戏机的实体手柄也适用于手机和平板,因此开发者投资打造的游戏也适用于所有设备。在Preview Play Store,适用于安卓电视的绝大多数游戏和你安装在手机和平板上的游戏是一模一样的。明年我就会看到很多孩子带着平板和两个手柄去学校了。

How does technology like Unreal Engine 4 open up new opportunities for cross-device and cross-platform gaming experiences?

When a game developer invests in something like Unreal Engine 4 for the core of their experience, it broadens the market they can address with a lower incremental cost. Couple this with a system like Google Play Games Services, and you can really do some fun things with cross-platform, multi-device and multi-user gaming.
当游戏开发者投资打造“虚幻引擎4”这样的技术后,它就能以更低的增量成本开拓更大的市场。将其与Google PlayGames Services这类系统结合后,就能真正通过跨平台、跨设备和多用户游戏来做些有趣的事了。

How do you see the actual gameplay experiences evolving with the ability to play on the road and then continue on the big screen at home?

Most games have a cloud-based solution, like Play Games Services, for save game state so you don’t lose your progress if you get a new phone. Since we are using the same core platform for Android TV, all the same technologies continue to work. Developers love that if you buy a game on your TV, it’s installable on your phone and vice-versa. You will see us investing heavily in these sort of cross-device experiences going forward.
大多数游戏都有云端的解决方案,比如Play Games Services,这样当玩家买了新手机后,就能保留游戏状态,不会失去通关进程。由于我们在安卓电视上也用了同样的核心平台,因此所有同类技术还是管用的。开发者非常乐见的情景是,玩家买了一款电视上玩的游戏,同时又把它装在手机上,反之亦然。大家会发现,我们会继续在这类跨设备体验的开发上投入重金。

One of the current challenges facing game developers on Android is the sheer number of different devices. How do you see a unified platform like Android TV making things easier for developers to focus on creativity versus ports?

We have CPU and GPU performance requirement built into the Android TV spec. We want game developers to know that even on the low-end devices they are going to have room to play. There will always be devices that perform well beyond these specs, and there will always be game developers that want to take advantage of those capabilities when they are present. This looks a lot like the PC gaming space, and it is a model that has worked well for years. I think game developers are going to be pretty happy with this approach.

Given the speed at which we’ve seen technology, including the Tegra line of chips, advance over the last few years, how do you see more advanced and complex games impacting the traditional console business dominated by Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo?

Technology always ends up disrupting existing industries. You just need to look at the mobile space and compare the big players in 2006 with the big players in 2014 to see this in action. I don’t think that the living room will be any different, but it’s impossible to predict the winners and losers. Let’s look back in five to six years.

How have you worked with actual game developers in creating Android TV?

We started reaching out to select game developers almost a year ago and disclosed our plans with close partners. We also worked closely with Nvidia and their existing Nvidia Shield developers to get their apps ready for a non-touch world. Probably one of the best parts of building Android TV has been how positive and supportive the various game developers have been around our efforts. Android has an incredible Developer Relations team that is filled with avid gamers.
几乎一年以前我们就开始遴选游戏开发者了,并向密切合作伙伴透露了自己的计划。我们还与英伟达公司及其Nvidia Shield目前的开发者们密切合作,使其应用能适用于非触控领域。在打造安卓电视的过程中最好的一部分可能就是,围绕着我们的努力,不同的游戏开发者是那么积极乐观、全力支持。安卓有一支令人难以置信的开发者关系团队,它是由许多充满活力的玩家组成的。(财富中文网)


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