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Palm Introduces 3D Games for webOS

webos gamesPalm, Inc. today introduced several graphics-intensive 3D game titles for webOS, from leading game developers EA Mobile; Gameloft; Glu Mobile; and Laminar Research. Demonstrated at Palm's CES event, the games will be available today in the Palm App Catalog for Palm Pre customers.

"We are very excited about the potential of webOS as a platform for mobile 3D gaming," said Katie Mitic, senior vice president, Product Marketing, Palm, Inc. "This is a key application category, and we've worked closely with some of the leading game developers to deliver a great game experience for our customers."

Seven 3D games were introduced today in the Palm App Catalog for Palm Pre customers:

  • "Need for Speed Undercover" (EA Mobile)
  • "The Sims 3" (EA Mobile)
  • "MONOPOLY" (EA Mobile)
  • "Asphalt 5: Elite Racing" (Gameloft)
  • "Let's Golf!" (Gameloft)
  • "Glyder 2" (Glu Mobile)
  • "X-Plane" (Laminar Research)

Five other mobile games were also introduced: EA Mobile's "Tetris," "Sudoku," and "SCRABBLE," and Gameloft's "The Oregon Trail" and "Brain Challenge."

"Recent improvements to Palm webOS represent major advancements in enabling world-class mobile gaming," said Travis Boatman, vice president of Worldwide Studios for EA Mobile. "These innovations have allowed us to quickly bring our best IP to the platform."

The developers introducing titles today have had early access to the Palm webOS Plug-in Development Kit (PDK), which extends the Palm webOS Software Development Kit (SDK) with a set of tools, documentation and APIs that let developers write plug-ins for their webOS applications. The PDK lets developers easily integrate C and C++ code into their webOS applications, enabling new functionality, including immersive 3D games. A public beta version of the webOS PDK is scheduled to be available to all developers in March.

"The performance of the platform allowed us to create these great games in a limited timeframe," said Baudouin Corman, vice president of publishing, Americas, Gameloft. "webOS allows us to deliver an outstanding gaming experience, and we look forward to bringing our best games to Palm customers worldwide.""We expect the plug-in model to play an important role in the evolution of the webOS platform, just as plug-ins have with web browsers," said Mitic. "And with this plug-in, we are making it super-simple for developers to bring the hottest games to webOS."

The Palm App Catalog currently offers more than 1,000 webOS applications for download. Palm's unique over-the-air model also makes it easy for customers to get webOS updates and new features delivered directly to their phones. For example, at CES today, Palm announced that video recording, editing and sharing capabilities will soon be available for users of webOS phones. This new video capability will be delivered automatically to current and future Palm Pre and Palm Pixi products via an over-the-air update.

Palm also demonstrated Flash content in the browser on a Palm Pre and expects a free Adobe Flash Player 10.1 plug-in to be posted to the Palm App Catalog in the coming months. Palm expects webOS to be one of the first mobile platforms to support the full Flash Player in the web browser.

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I thought the games were Pre-only?

SeldomVisitor @ 1/7/2010 1:11:12 PM # Q
Can they be called "for WebOS" then?

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so; march = web os 1.4?

ardiri @ 1/7/2010 1:43:03 PM # Q
The developers introducing titles today have had early access to the Palm webOS Plug-in Development Kit (PDK), which extends the Palm webOS Software Development Kit (SDK) with a set of tools, documentation and APIs that let developers write plug-ins for their webOS applications. The PDK lets developers easily integrate C and C++ code into their webOS applications, enabling new functionality, including immersive 3D games. A public beta version of the webOS PDK is scheduled to be available to all developers in March.

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native applications (worst case; like PNOlets in old palmos)
--
Aaron Ardiri
PalmOS Certified Developer

RE: so; march = web os 1.4?
jca666us @ 1/7/2010 3:00:22 PM # M Q
all of these enhancements to webos are great - and long overdue.

I just hope these devices find a market before the wave of high powered inexpensive android devices blow them away.

RE: so; march = web os 1.4?
bhartman34 @ 1/7/2010 3:32:28 PM # Q
Maybe I misunderstood, but I thought I saw February for 1.4...

As far as how well they'll compete with other companies' offerings, that remains to be seen, but the biggest negative I've seen today is the lack of anything > 16GB of space. For some people, that's a big deal. For others, not...

RE: so; march = web os 1.4?
ardiri @ 1/7/2010 7:28:53 PM # Q
http://developer.palm.com/index.php?Itemid=20&id=1850&option=com_content&view=article

i knew my "leak source" was authentic :) look forward to this.
--
Aaron Ardiri
PalmOS Certified Developer

RE: so; march = web os 1.4?
SeldomVisitor @ 1/8/2010 3:41:59 AM # Q
Palm, packaged together the SDL and GCC and are calling it the Plugin development kit.

RE: so; march = web os 1.4?
bhartman34 @ 1/8/2010 12:17:17 PM # Q
SeldomVisitor wrote:
Palm, packaged together the SDL and GCC and are calling it the Plugin development kit.

If that's all the PDK is, then it shouldn't be too long until we start seeing lots of new things in the homebrew community. The big developers will hold off for the official PDK, but we'll see some good traction in the coming days from the usual webos-internals suspects. :D

RE: so; march = web os 1.4?
SeldomVisitor @ 1/8/2010 1:11:58 PM # Q
The link ardiri has just above goes to the overview.

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Palm will benefit hugely from iPhone game ports

rsc1000 @ 1/8/2010 8:48:17 AM # Q
Sounds like a good move to me.

None of these games would EVER be created for the Pre alone (market too small and unproven). But because these games have already been created for the iPhone specs (320 x 480 screen, motion/accelerometer and touch screen controls) and are based on Open GL ES - then porting them from the iPhone version is a no-brainer. Just have to deal with the change from objective C to C/C++ which is - relatively speaking - trivial when compared to doing it all from the ground up. From a game developer perspective, why wouldn't you port it if the works is so minimal? The audience is smaller but there is also a lot less competition (at the moment) so the attach rate should be very high (i.e. there's only a million-ish or so Pre users but probably half of them are going to download one of these EA games).

RE: Palm will benefit hugely from iPhone game ports
jca666us @ 1/8/2010 4:02:54 PM # M Q
we'll see how easy it turns out to be.

objective c is a tough nut to crack.

RE: Palm will benefit hugely from iPhone game ports
ardiri @ 1/9/2010 7:58:17 AM # Q
it should be a no brainer - all our games will port very easily (using our cross-platform development kit); we only use objective-c for the "front-end"; the backend is all C code :) i need to get a device - to add to my collection :)
--
Aaron Ardiri
PalmOS Certified Developer
RE: Palm will benefit hugely from iPhone game ports
Gekko @ 1/9/2010 8:40:01 AM # Q

AA - what platform is your programming focus these days? and in the future? and why?

i'm just trying to get a feel for the mindset and interest of the former PalmOS programmers with regard to webOS.

it sounds like your interest begins and ends at nostalgia.

what if anything should Palm be doing differently? or is it too late?

RE: Palm will benefit hugely from iPhone game ports
ardiri @ 1/9/2010 2:46:26 PM # Q
AA - what platform is your programming focus these days? and in the future? and why?

good questions - it gives me an idea for a blog entry/feature i should write.

the debate 10 years ago was which platform would survive and hence where should you put your focus. in 2001; we took the move to decide that the market will eventually be split amongst many players (and, we were right). we don't develop specifically for any platform anymore = we support what we can!

i recently added mac osx support to our iphone games; and it honestly took me less than half a day to do it. whats better is that we didn't need to modify our game source code at all. i did linux a few days after; windows is next.

desktop platforms are finally going mobile - so watch out for that; writing mobile specific stuff isn't so special anymore.
--
Aaron Ardiri
PalmOS Certified Developer

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