A group of the most influential firms in the mobile games market have combined forces with a view to creating and supporting a new open architecture for high quality native-code games for mobile devices, with the first implementation of the architecture hoped to emerge before the end of the year.
The fourteen partners include many of the industry's largest publishers, such as Activision, Digital Chocolate, Electronic Arts, Konami, Microsoft and Square Enix, as well as technology firms Ideaworks3D, Symbian, MontaVista, Tao Group and Texas Instruments, handset manufacturers Nokia and Samsung and operator SK Telecom.
The aim of the initiative is to reduce the level of platform fragmentation which companies creating native code games face, which according to the partners involved, should reduce development costs and provide consumers with more impressive games.
"While 3D gaming is among the hottest mobile applications today, platform fragmentation is a barrier to fully realising gaming's potential in the wireless marketplace," explaine Richard Kerslake of Texas Instruments. "By outlining an architecture for gaming platforms, these industry heavy-weights will make possible even stronger future growth, exponentially accelerating the adoption of premium mobile games."
Among the platforms expected to provide support for the new architecture are Windows Mobile, Linux, Symbian OS (including an S60 implementation which will be compliant with Nokia's Next Generation Mobile Games Initiative)and mobile operator terminal platforms like SK Telecom's WIPI GIGA.
The first reference implementations of the architecture are expected to be available in the second half of this year.