On Tuesday Futuremark said that a version of 3DMark for Android tablets is currently in development and expected to go "retail" sometime in 2012. The company is currently calling on Android device manufacturers to join its Benchmark Development Program and play a critical role in the development process.
"Since 1998, the PC industry has relied on 3DMark to accurately measure gaming hardware performance," said Futuremark CEO Jukka Mäkinen. "In 2012 we will bring 3DMark to the Android platform with a professional grade benchmark that can be trusted by manufacturers, suppliers and vendors to provide the definitive measure of gaming performance on Android while showcasing the very best in real-time graphics and effects."
According to the company, the Android-based benchmark will measure gaming performance using rendering, CPU and physics tests. Other features will include real-time graphics "pushing the OpenGL ES API to the limit," an online service for comparing results between devices, and results that will be compatible with 3DMark for Windows 8.
Previous reports claim that PC manufacturers will slowly exit the tablet market in 2012 due to stiff competition from Apple, Amazon and Barnes & Noble. But research groups such as Gartner and IDC are predicting explosive growth for tablets in the coming years. Futuremark believes games will be one of the key drivers of this growth as the performance and power of these lightweight devices improves.
"Fierce competition between Android devices means hardware manufacturers and their suppliers will need an objective, impartial and forward-looking performance reference to enable their engineers to deliver competitive products," Futuremark said on Tuesday.
Android device manufacturers interested in helping out with the benchmark's development can head here to learn more.