Electronic Design

Mobile Leaders Team Up For Universal Mobile Games Platform

Leaders in the mobile communications industry are developing an initiative to define a universal mobile games platform using existing and emerging standards. Together, Ericsson Inc., Motorola Inc., and Siemens Information and Communication Mobile are seeking to help mobile operators offer a broader selection of games content. The companies also want to provide mobile game developers with a standardized platform.

A universal mobile games platform will drive gaming technology em-ployed in cellular phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), and similar devices. This initiative aims to support mobile network operators and application service providers (ASPs) so they may deliver a broad selection of applications. It also strives to attract game developers to create applications that can be easily deployed to a greater number of platforms.

The availability of a universal platform will lower development costs for mobile game developers who are currently writing their own platforms or multiplying development efforts to support multiple platforms. Engaging consumers with a wide variety of interactive mobile games content, this platform is likely to lead consumers toward handheld devices with larger screens and advanced graphics. In this way, the initiative hopes to drive demand for next-generation networks and devices.

Choosing The IDE
The companies will collaborate with Metrowerks, a development tools organization based in Austin, Texas. The universal platform will be supported by Metrowerks' CodeWarrior integrated development environment (IDE). This IDE is used by the majority of developers for Sony Playstation 2, Nintendo GameCube, and Palm OS. CodeWarrior also supports Java (J2ME for wireless) and Symbian.

Initially, the initiative will concentrate on reaching an agreement on applications programming interfaces (APIs) and a software development kit (SDK). Once developed, this SDK will be available to software developers subject to a license. The group projects that specifications for the APIs and SDK will be available in the third quarter of this year.

Once the initiative is officially launched, the member companies will collaborate with industry leaders to extend the platform's benefits. Mobile phone and infrastructure vendors, platform technology providers, games developers, mobile operators, games service providers, and systems integrators are among those who will be invited to join the organization.

For more information on the universal platform initiative, visit www.motorola.com, www.ericsson.com, or www.siemens.com.

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