Gaming on the Nexus 7: A Love Story (just kidding)
I just received my Nexus 7 from Google after waiting an extra week because I ordered the 16GB version. Was it worth the wait? YES.
The Nexus 7 is small, light, and fast. At $249 for a quad core tablet, it is easily the best value for a 7" tablet. For comparison, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7 Plus (the one with a duo core processor) is still around $300 at least.
First game I played on it was Super Mario Bros. thru the Nesoid emulator. It ran smoothly, the virtual buttons were accurate. Sure, I ran this before on my phone, but even with my phone being a larger phone at 4.3" screen size, playing emulators still felt cramped. Holding the Nexus 7 in portrait mode makes it feel like a gameboy, a wider and yet thinner gameboy. I tried a few other games on the SNESoid and Gensoid emulators and everything ran smoothly. But of course, virtual gamepads are still not as accurate as physical gamepads. So this would be great for 16-bit era RPG's. Though, I've heard that PS One games can be run on the Nexus 7 as well. There are also apps that will allow a PS3 controller to be connected via bluetooth.
Next up, I played a little bit of Max Payne. The Nexus 7 comes with a $25 credit, which I used part of on Max Payne. Amazingly, the graphics were just as good as the first time I played it on PC. In fact it was even smoother on the Nexus 7 than my old PC. Again, the controls were not as good as K/M, but it was serviceable. I wouldn't really want to play online deathmatch on any tablet. Some FPS games have built in gamepad support (I think Mad Finger games), so when you want the accuracy, you at least have the option of connecting a gamepad. Also, the On Live controller can connect to the Nexus 7.
I feels faster than the iPad 2. It is definitely a much better multitasker than an iPad or iPhone. One of main buttons is like an alt-tab to switch to recent applications quickly. I found myself downloading data files for Max Payne while listening to music, and then browsing the Play store with out nary a hiccup.
The Nexus 7 is PC-like because of how flexible it is. It can run 8-bit, 16-bit, 32-bit emulators, touch screen games, and FPS's. All this without much tweaking or hacking.
Another advantage Nexus 7 has over the iPad in terms of gaming is it's size and weight. It feels as heavy as a PS Vita, so if you have to hold it up, you wouldn't tire as quickly. Also, when playing touchscreen games it can be held in one hand easily while the other hand is tapping away.
In terms of the screen, I would say it is good, but not great. It is slightly washed out in terms of color. Key word here is "slightly." Nothing to really hold anyone back from buying it.
I'd hate to say it, but this tablet can do more than what my PS Vita can do in terms of gaming. And to be honest, if I had to choose between the two, I would pick the Nexus 7 tablet.
The biggest downside of the Nexus 7 is the non-expandable storage. That was the reason why I bought the 16GB instead of the 8GB. Same reason why every else did, considering that the 16GB version is sold out everywhere, but there are plenty of the 8GB version around. However, there is an easy workaround, there is something called an OTG usb adapter that will connect to the Nexus 7's micro usb port and then connect any usb flash drive on the other end.
Overall, the Nexus 7 is great gaming device and an amazing tablet. Dare I say, I love it?