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Android Gingerbread 2.3 prepped for gaming, and other industry news

by Kristen Nicole

Gingerbread 2.3 primed for gaming

Now that Google (GOOG) has revealed details of its upcoming Android Gingerbread version 2.3, developers have been able to dig around a bit and see what the updated OS will offer. For gamers, there’s a whole lot in store. OpenGL and OpenSL ES will have native access, and several motion sensors will improve motion processing for enhanced game play, reports The Inquirer.

Other inclusions around AAC and AMR-wideband encoding, WebM video and APIs for near field communications capabilities all show promise for highly involved, social gameplay. These developments all hint at Google’s desire to turn Android smartphones into powerful gaming devices, competing against the success Apple (AAPL) has seen with its iOS.

Big game developers and the rise of RPGs

Attracting big-name game houses is another goal for Google, though developers like Gameloft are still navigating their own course through Android’s territory. Still circumventing the Android Market, Gameloft is offering a new title direct from its game app store. Brothers in Arms 2 HD, $4.99, is now available for download, adding to Gameloft’s broad collection.

EA’s camp is also on the rise, with news of the pending arrival of Need for Speed Shift in the Android Market. Another trend that’s not letting up is the persistent march of multiplayer games for Android. Several RPGs are expected in the Android Market in the coming weeks, including Illusia, Mystical Land and Zenonia 3.