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Platform Independent Gaming?

michael posted more than 12 years ago | from the pipe-dream dept.

Games 505

klocwerk writes "At the game developers conference, Sun is releasing a white paper on their new "Java Games Profile." Their ultimate goal? To have one CD you could pop into an Xbox, a PS2, a Windows machine, or a Linux machine, and play the same game on them all. If they get full support for it I can finally get rid of that windows gaming partition!" Sun's got an article on their site describing what they hope to accomplish.

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fp faggots (-1)

real_b0fh (557599) | more than 12 years ago | (#3217954)

i'm baaack!

*yawn* (-1)

real_b0fh (557599) | more than 12 years ago | (#3217966)

Bonnie Tyler - Total eclipse of the heart.

Turnaround, every now and then I get a little bit lonely and you're never coming Round
Turnaround, every now and then I get a little bit tired of listening to the sound of my tears
Turnaround, every now and then I get a little bit nervous that the best of all the years have gone by
Turnaround, every now and then I get a little bit terrified and then I see the look in your eyes
Turnaround bright eyes, every now and then I fall apart
Turnaround bright eyes, every now and then I fall apart

Turnaround, every now and then I get a little bit restless and I dream of something wild
Turnaround, every now and then I get a little bit helpless and I'm lying like a child in your arms
Turnaround, every now and then I get a little bit angry and I know I've got to get out and cry
Turnaround, every now and then I get a little bit terrified but then I see the look in your eyes
Turnaround bright eyes, every now and then I fall apart
Turnaround bright eyes, every now and then I fall apart

And I need you now tonight, And I need you more than ever
And if you'll only hold me tight, We'll be holding on forever
And we'll only be making it right, Cause we'll never be wrong together
We can take it to the end of the line, Your love is like a shadow on me all of the time
I don't know what to do and I'm always in the dark, We're living in a powder keg and giving off sparks
I really need you tonight, Forever's gonna start tonight, Forever's gonna start tonight

Once upon a time I was falling in love, But now I'm only falling apart
There's nothing I can do, A total eclipse of the heart
Once upon a time there was light in my life, But now there's only love in the dark
Nothing I can say, A total eclipse of the heart

Turnaround bright eyes, Turnaround bright eyes
Turnaround, every now and then I know you'll never be the boy you always you wanted to be
Turnaround, every now and then I know you'll always be the only boy who wanted me the way that I am
Turnaround, every now and then I know there's no one in the universe as magical and wonderous as you
Turnaround, every now and then I know there's nothing any better and there's nothing I just wouldn't do
Turnaround bright eyes, every now and then I fall apart
Turnaround bright eyes, every now and then I fall apart

And I need you now tonight, And I need you more than ever
And if you'll only hold me tight, We'll be holding on forever
And we'll only be making it right, Cause we'll never be wrong together
We can take it to the end of the line, Your love is like a shadow on me all of the time
I don't know what to do and I'm always in the dark ,We're living in a powder keg and giving off sparks
I really need you tonight, Forever's gonna start tonight, Forever's gonna start tonight

Once upon a time I was falling in love, But now I'm only falling apart
There's nothing I can do, A total eclipse of the heart
Once upon a time there was light in my life, But now there's only love in the dark
Nothing I can say, A total eclipse of the heart

*burp* (-1)

real_b0fh (557599) | more than 12 years ago | (#3218058)

Deep Purle - Mistreated

I've been mistreated, I've been abused
I've been struck downhearted baby, I've been confused
'Cos I know yes I know I've been mistreated yeah-eah
Since my baby left me, I've been losing my mind
You know I have

I've been lonely, I've been cold
I've been looking for a woman uh to have and hold
'Cos I know yes I know I've been mistreated yeah-eah
Since my baby left me, I've been losing... I've been losing...
I've been losing my mind
Baby baby baby

I've been mistreated ah I've been abused... Mmm
I've been looking for a woman, I've been confused
'Cos I know yes I know I've been mistreated... Ooh
Since my baby left me, I've been losing... Losing...
I've been losing my mind
Baby baby baby ou-ouh oh woman woman woman

I've been losing my mind

Oh yes! (-1)

Pr0n K1ng (160688) | more than 12 years ago | (#3217955)

First post!

Get it in ya!

Re:Oh yes! (-1)

propstoalldeadhomiez (444303) | more than 12 years ago | (#3217958)

Because you can't even get a fp, you have been banished to posting as an AC. So I just have this to say: FUCK OFF YOU ANONYMOUS SHITBAG!

Re:Oh yes! (-1)

Pr0n K1ng (160688) | more than 12 years ago | (#3217993)

Suck it, biznatch. You should at least try for a first post.

Re:Oh yes! (-1)

IAgreeWithThisPost (550896) | more than 12 years ago | (#3218168)

LITS shouldnt be in-fighting. F the AC, at least they didnt get fp.

I do not understand (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3218042)

I do not understand. Get WHAT in me? and more importantly, WHERE inside me? Please respond, this is not a troll.

-michael

Michael: (-1)

Pr0n K1ng (160688) | more than 12 years ago | (#3218072)

I think you all ready know the answers to your questions. Look inside of yourself, and you will gain enlightenment.

Glory to Spain! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3217959)

I claim this first post for the Queen of Spain!!

Re:Glory to Spain! (-1)

propstoalldeadhomiez (444303) | more than 12 years ago | (#3217983)

Too bad you didn't even come close, filthy AC. You shall now be beheaded by the Queen of Spain. You may no longer be allowed to fuck her in her ass because you so disgraced her. Fuck off you cum-dripping pink-skirted anonymous shitstain.

Why TWM stomps all over KDE 3.0 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3217962)

Why TWM stomps all over KDE 3.0

Some of you who are new to running Linux on your box
may believe there are only a few choices for window managers. You probably know about Gnome
and KDE and you have heard about enlightment, icewem, etc.

You may not, however, have heard
of the ultimate window managers Linux has to offer: TWM. Just open your "konsole" and type
twm and you will know what I am talking about.

Here are some reasons TWM stomps all over
KDE 3.0:

Ultra light memory profile means more RAM available for running all those Linux apps

Manual window placement gives you ultimate control over X

Unicolor window UI reduces clashing color schemes

Aged and mature software means rocksolid stability and completely bugfree.

No windows wannabe start menu

Thank you for your attention. I shall expect all of you to try and love TWM today.

TWM is for fags (-1)

real_b0fh (557599) | more than 12 years ago | (#3218002)

reasons why running text console mode stomps all over TWM

* Ultra light memory profile means more RAM available for running all those Linux apps, since not even XFree86 is required.

* All you need is the console colors

* Aged and mature software means rocksolid stability and completely bugfree.

* No windows wanabee graphics.

Thank you for your attention. I shall expect all of you to try and love the good old TEXTMODE CONSOLE today.

Hey TWM: Suck it (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3218007)



I wipe my ass with TWM.

Windowmaker's got all my lovin'.

Look here [windowmaker.org] for the soft and wet.

Re:Why TWM stomps all over KDE 3.0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3218101)

$twm

twm: another window manager is already running on screen 0?
twm: unable to find any unmanaged screens

HAHA (0)

Mushy (143625) | more than 12 years ago | (#3217963)

It's just JINI in a new bottle (pun intended)

before anyone starts moaning about java.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3217964)

At last year's JavaOne conference, there will many demos involving high speed graphics (many using the same flight sim clip) that came out with Java 1.4. Also, Sony announced at the show last year that PS2 will have support for Java. Should be interesting what comes out at this year's JavaOne, which starts tomorrow.

More information here... (3, Funny)

ImaLamer (260199) | more than 12 years ago | (#3217967)

I've seen this story of before [slashdot.org]

Re:More information here... (1)

capnjack41 (560306) | more than 12 years ago | (#3218082)

If they get full support for it I can finally get rid of that windows gaming partition!"

From your Xbox?

if it's true.. (1)

56ker (566853) | more than 12 years ago | (#3217979)

I'm amazed - if it isn't well I'll just add to the list of nice sounding things that didn't work out in the end.

Re:if it's true.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3218091)

I would be amazed if they can pop the same CD into a GameCube. ;)

(FYI The GameCube take a special sized DVD...)

Why bother? (1)

Anomolous Cow Herd (457746) | more than 12 years ago | (#3217981)

Windows works fine for my gaming needs. And, it has the added bonus of being written in a fast language like C++ and natively compiled. Sure, you can do 3D graphics in Java, but it won't be playable.

Besides, if you really need a reference on how well Windows serves as a gaming OS, ask CmdrTaco. He sure seems to like playing Diablo II and other such timewasters in M$ land.

Re:Why bother? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3218011)

Um, have you looked that full screen mode support in JDK 1.4? Faster than C++, my man.
Check it out.

Re:Why bother? (0, Flamebait)

spectecjr (31235) | more than 12 years ago | (#3218043)

Um, have you looked that full screen mode support in JDK 1.4? Faster than C++, my man.
Check it out.


BULL SHIT.

If for no other reaso than because memory pooling is a bitch on Java.

Tell ya what... why not crawl back into your hole you Sun Astroturfer?

Re:Why bother? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3218068)

Wow what an insightfull comment. The previous post, pointed out an article with some good merits, and all you can do is come back with an explative....

C++ will NEVER be as fast as Assembler. Assembler will NEVER NEVER be as fast as pure machine code.... Sound familar. Who programs in machine code anymore? Not me.

I don't know if I belive Suns claims either, but I am not going to shoot my mouth off, and put someone else down for my ignorance. You will look like a fool if/when they port Quake III to Java 1.4.

Later
Steve Michael
smichael@netcapade.net

Re:Why bother? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3218089)

Assembler *is* machine code.

Re:Why bother? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3218109)

Wrong. What ARE they teaching in schools these days?

Re:Why bother? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3218139)

No - Assembler == Machine Code.

Maybe a macro-assembler adds a litle bit of abstraction - but assembly language is at the same level as machine code.

Re:Why bother? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3218148)

You are completely wrong.

Assembler: Uses mnemonics and symbols to represent machine instructions.

Machine code: Raw bits.

They aren't even close to being the same thing, even if you don't throw in stuff like macros.

Re:Why bother? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3218154)

But assembly code is mapped 1:1 to bits. There's no parsing and optimization. They are totally equivalent. It's like saying that a sentence in English is on a different level than that same sentence rot-13'd.

Re:Why bother? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3218165)

But assembly code is mapped 1:1 to bits

So what? A computer does not run assembly code directly. It must be translated first. Therefore they are not the same thing.

I'm aware that there's tendency to get sloppy with terms and use "assembly language" when you mean "machine code" and vice versa. That doesn't make it right.

-- Guy who's done a lot of programming in assembly language AND a lot of programming in machine language, and is boggling at the notion that anyone could think that they're the "same".

Re:Why bother? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3218182)

Oh, and by the way, there ARE such things as optimizing assemblers. They used to be quite common.

Re:Why bother? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3218025)

Quake3 uses Java. Well, where it counts it doesn't even use C++, like you advocate. It uses assembly. But there are many many parts of games that can use Java (e.g., menu, help, networking, encryption). So, while you're still debugging pointer errors in C++, the Java developers are done and shipping their Java-wrapped assembly.

Re:Why bother? (1)

Pussy Is Money (527357) | more than 12 years ago | (#3218048)

Actually the Java developers are still trying to get people to upgrade to the new version of the JDK which supports stuff like, oh, I don't know, setting the creation date on a file.

Fast language like C++? (2, Insightful)

TechnoLust (528463) | more than 12 years ago | (#3218064)

Well, actually Java is very similar to C++. If you study your Java history, the guy who thought up Java (I think his name is Gosling) was a C++ programmer that didn't like some of the things in C++, such as multiple inheritance. He rewrote some of the compiler rules that removed the things he didn't like and included some libraries of things he did like. Since then, Java has developed into it's own language. I program is C++ and I just learned Java, and I do most everything in Java now. You CAN do 3D in Java, and if you do a good job, it isn't slow. You can natively compile Java to only run on one processor, like C++, but that defeats the whole purpose. Compiling it to ByteCode and running on a JVM is the way to go. The latest JVMs are a lot faster than previous ones. If you haven't looked at Java in a while (and I don't mean the cheesy web applets) I suggest you take another look.

Re:Why bother? (5, Insightful)

bakes (87194) | more than 12 years ago | (#3218071)

Why bother? Because things change. Years after the 'most stable Windows ever' (Win 3.1) was introduced, gamers knew that the best gaming environment, without question, was DOS.

Now, it's Windows.

Next, why could it not be Java? They have as good a chance as anyone else. And, if the entire effort required to port it to a new system is to carry the CD over to the other box, game developers will be able to get access to a much bigger market with ZERO extra effort.

That is why they would bother.

Re:Why bother? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3218176)

You don't know what you're talking about.

DOS still is technically the best platform because Windows is horribly bloated. It's just extremely difficult to code for because there's no compatibility layer a programmer can use (like DirectX or OpenGL).

As always, a DOS program with direct hardware access to your favorite 3d accelerator will beat a Windows program with lower system requirements.

The performance distance between DOS and Windows is considerable, but it's worth coding in Windows because of technical reasons. However, the performance distance between Java and C++ is just huge and there's no major reason to take this step, specially if you consider the total lack of (and virtual impossibility of writing) media APIs in Java.

Game Cube (1)

emn-slashdot (322299) | more than 12 years ago | (#3217984)

I don't think the ps2 and the game cube even use the same type of media... Once again Sun has put the goal too high.

This is a Distant Future Prospect, at Best (1)

BlackGriffen (521856) | more than 12 years ago | (#3217988)

As long as Java performance is behind native compiled code, the cutting edge of gaming will never be Java. You can quote me on that, too. When computers are so obscenely powerful that they can construct a virtual world (a la the matrix), then Java can replace natively compiled code. Probably not before then, though.

It will, however, be useful since there will always be those games that are behind cutting edge that are plenty of fun: Tetris, chess, anything from 16 bit console era, etc.

BlackGriffen

Thank you for quotation permission (1)

Anomolous Cow Herd (457746) | more than 12 years ago | (#3218016)

I just don't know what any self-respecting journalist would do without being able to quote you, some dumbass Slashdot poster repeating what he's heard about Java from other people here! Truely, this is a giant leap ahead for online reporting!

Re:This is a Distant Future Prospect, at Best (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3218172)

Quake1 could be done in java today , if it worked well on a p166 box, it should fly in java on a 1.5ghz box.

Nice Idea ... (1, Interesting)

Serpent Mage (95312) | more than 12 years ago | (#3217990)

but in all reality Java is barely cut out for hardcore applications that require intensive processing. Even the J2ME is not nearly as effiecient or optimal as application developers would like it to be. Now imagine adding more latency and memory to games that are already running short on it. It is a great idea but it prevents the full potential of any individual console from being reached and of course without reaching a consoles true potential the games are going to be extremely limitied in their potential.

Where are the facts? (5, Informative)

JohnA (131062) | more than 12 years ago | (#3218152)

but in all reality Java is barely cut out for hardcore applications that require intensive processing
Why do you say that? It's not as if most games are doing Fourier transforms in real time. The myth that Java is inherently slow because of the VM is false.
It is a great idea but it prevents the full potential of any individual console from being reached and of course without reaching a consoles true potential the games are going to be extremely limitied in their potential
If you follow this rationale, then DirectX for windows or OpenGL under Unix is also a limiting factor in game development because it has to support a variety of chipsets and rendering engines. History has shown that portability layers are a good thing in software development (NSPR, APR)... why not apply the same principles to game development?

Performance? (1)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 12 years ago | (#3217991)

Will it be as terrible as current Java games?

Ah, but I kid Sun...if it helps someone make a decent, multiplatform MMORPG then I'm all for it.

Re:Performance? (2, Insightful)

irony nazi (197301) | more than 12 years ago | (#3218060)

If they put money into it, then people will develop games for it, so crappy current Java games are not a problem.

OTOH the problem is that current console game systems are loss-leader items, meaning, that the company (sony, nintendo, MS) sell the console and take a loss. The game makers will then license games for the platform and that's where the maker generates profits to cover its initial loss.

A Java play-anywhere platform would provide the console makers no incentive to sell the consoles at a loss, since, any Java game could be played on any console, regardless of licensing. This will drive the costs of consoles up. Instead one of the big players (not Sun, but rather Sony, Nintendo, or MS) needs create an open platform standard and license the game makers to create games with this standard and license other console manufacturers to incorporate this standard on the console. Although the licensee console manufacturers will still have no loss-leader incentive, the original licensor console manufacture will still have a loss leader advantage.

I guess that my point is that Sun is the wrong company to be developing this, since they have 0% of any video game market.

Re:Performance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3218145)

needs create an open platform standard and license the game makers to create games with this standard and license other console manufacturers to incorporate this standard on the console

Isn't this what 3DO tried to do?

Fast and Furious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3217992)



A great idea, perhaps, but surely the Java Machine will seriously invoke a cap on processor speed. I like Grand Turismo 3 nice and fast.

Fertilizer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3217994)

I use java daily for server applications. It's still not ready for games, unless the everyone switches to RISC with native Java support.

Move on, it's just hype until hardware supports it natively for all matter of devices and computers.

Suffering at the hands of Compatibility (1)

G0SP0DAR (552303) | more than 12 years ago | (#3217995)

This is an interesting idea. It certainly could not be a bad thing for such games as tic-tac-toe and mastermind and the like, maybe even sokoban ;), but but this high-level abstraction can cause limitations on things that demand the high performance inherent in state-of-the-art video games. ASM is king of the gaming domain, and I don't see that ever changing.

Re:Suffering at the hands of Compatibility (2)

jonr (1130) | more than 12 years ago | (#3218104)

ASM is king of the gaming domain, and I don't see that ever changing.
I'm sorry, but this isn't the 80's any more. Games haven't been written in ASM for years. Modern games are usually C/C++ with scripting layer on top. The cluelessness here on /. is sometimes mindboggling, people seem to be making facts up as fast as they can write First Post! J.

Hee hee hee... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3218121)

ASM?

*laughs*

Where have you been for the last, I don't know, 10 years?

*laughs some more*

Jeeeesus.

Already have that don't we? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3217996)

Well we already have that with Amiga Anywhere don't we.? Except with a smaller footprint and already out at the developers.

this will never happen (1)

bilbobuggins (535860) | more than 12 years ago | (#3217997)

this will never work because the console companies will all reject it. they make the majority of their money through proprietary games that make you want to buy the console.
if square hadn't moved to sony would the playstation really have been successful? people bought the machine because you couldn't play FF on nintendo. from a business perspective, this is financial suicide.

Re:this will never happen (1)

S.O.B. (136083) | more than 12 years ago | (#3218080)

You're absolutely right. They make their money off the games but not because it's written for a specific console but because the profit margin is higher. Now wouldn't they jump at the chance to easily sell that game to someone using another console. Someone who wouldn't have bought it because they didn't have the hardware.

By the way, if you read the article you would have seen Sony listed as one of those contributing to the project. I may not own a console but I hear Sony has sold a few of them.

but will they port it to the Amiga... (1)

56ker (566853) | more than 12 years ago | (#3217998)

one of my favourite platforms - but sadly programmed for very little these days.

Re:but will they port it to the Amiga... (1)

0xB (568582) | more than 12 years ago | (#3218063)

The whole point is that they don't have to port it to the Amiga. The games are platform independent.

Just download and install Java for your amiga [tu-muenchen.de] and the latest Quake4 based game will look as good on your Amiga as it does on the newest and fastest multiprocessor PC. Well, nearly.

This can only work for some games (5, Insightful)

Dr. Bent (533421) | more than 12 years ago | (#3218012)

As a professional Java developer, an avid gamer, and a hobbyist game developer, I can tell you that there is no way this is going to work for certian types of games. Quake [X] will never be written in Java.

However, many types of games (RTS, for example) almost beg to be written in Java for two reasons:

1) They need good game logic (and design) and not high framerates in order to be sucessful. Java fosters good design and is less prone to errors (buffer overflow anyone?) while still allowing for acceptable graphics performance.

2) Because of a Java app's inherient portability, games can be written for smaller segments of the market that couldn't be written before because the limited market, limited even further by a specific platform, did not warrant the cost of development (and porting to other platforms).

Re:This can only work for some games (1)

0xB (568582) | more than 12 years ago | (#3218047)

Maybe not Quake, since one of id's goals is to push the limits of graphics technology.

But the engine doesn't really have to 100% java. You can have an impure version of Sun's goal by having a the core of the game in Java with small portions in native code where performance matters.

Re:This can only work for some games (2)

Magila (138485) | more than 12 years ago | (#3218078)

That would negate the purpose for the whole thing, all the parts where speed matters are the parts that are hard to port.

Re:This can only work for some games (1)

0xB (568582) | more than 12 years ago | (#3218087)

If you don't have to worry about porting the easy bits, then you've got more time for the hard bits.

Re:This can only work for some games (1)

56ker (566853) | more than 12 years ago | (#3218129)

Isn't this just a cynical software developers dream of being able to write something that'll work on every platform without having to write any more code? Won't people's version of Java vary from machine to machine as well?

Re:This can only work for some games (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3218100)

Yes, I am a troll!
Java really unsutable for any games!
It's bloatware producing slow crawling bloatware.
You spend about 70% more lines in Java than in Tcl or Prolog for the same things!
(Surely, if your effectiveness by your manages is
measured in lines of code it's a GOOD language!)
Its garbage collection is a waste for most games
and really fits in a garbage can.
Logic much better is programmed on less-overhead languages, such as Prolog, Lisp,Ruby, Tcl or Haskell. ALL that languages are really "inherent portable" without much buzzwords.

Classic Arcade (1)

inhalent (88094) | more than 12 years ago | (#3218014)

Maybe classic arcade games (Pacman, Ninteno I), but nothing anyone would ever want to pay money for... Especially if you have to go through the likes of Sun to get it.

What about Chu Chu Rocket? (1)

scubacuda (411898) | more than 12 years ago | (#3218166)

That was a very SIMPLE, but FUN game for Sony Dreamcast!

Pong (2)

BrookHarty (9119) | more than 12 years ago | (#3218019)

I bet pong looks great on each.

Really thou, how can you bang the hardware using java? Normally 3-4 years after the hardware is out, people start pushing the hardware to its extreme. Thats when the games truely shine. Will java be able to take in account all the extra features and use them? Then doesnt it break the "run anywhere" model?

Cool idea, I'd sure like to be playing Halo on my PC right about now. :)

Bungee did it 2.5 years earlier (1)

Mastagunna (251788) | more than 12 years ago | (#3218164)

If Microsoft did not buy bungee, we would have played it, and be done with it by now.

This will never fly (2, Insightful)

DragonMagic (170846) | more than 12 years ago | (#3218022)

Because the developers of the systems are almost always losing money, or just barely making a profit, on the game systems. They make their money by the licensees developing games for their systems, and by having people want to buy their systems to get those games.

To be clearer, if you have system A, and have company B develop games only for your system, and those games are popular sequels or highly sought after, all the people can do is buy system A to play these games. By buying system A, more developers will want to license to develop games for your system, since that will probably mean a higher yield of sales.

Now, if suddenly people can play system A games on, say, systems D, G, L and P, then exclusive contracts are pretty much useless, and as such, there's no real push to buy any single system. Most people will go with the cheapest system.

I don't see how any of the game system manufacturers would approve of this.

Re:This will never fly (1)

bleckywelcky (518520) | more than 12 years ago | (#3218147)


I pretty much agree with what you're saying, but this may just push the development towards what sorts of features are included in each console. Maybe one console can hook up to the internet, allowing for multi-player capabilities. Maybe one console will hook up to a proprietary network while another console will hook up to a public netowork - perhaps the proprietary network console is cheaper, but you are hit with the subscription costs. Perhaps another console manipulates the game to fake a perceived 3D environment, while others don't.

Since most revenue comes from the sales of the games anyhow, the whole indsutry could just shift. They could just move like the average computer user market has moved. Prolly 99% of the users work on an x86 architecture, where the competition is at how the x86 architecture is used. The development has just moved to lots of implementation/little design instead of little implementation/lots of design.

Heck, if such a standard were to be implemented, perhaps we would now be seeing a lot more grass roots type games available.

Not unreasonable. (1)

0xB (568582) | more than 12 years ago | (#3218029)


Most modern games have a simple set of rules (aside : it seems to be a general rule that the simpler the rules, the more fun the game is), lots of creative work (artwork, level design, mission design, whatever) and an engine to tie it all together.

Only the engine has to be ported to a platform - the rest is already independent.

This is not worth it (2)

GeorgieBoy (6120) | more than 12 years ago | (#3218030)

I work in Java tooling.

However, I don't think that Java makes sense for any *serious* (e.g. console/PC) gaming, you still need a healthy amount of native code to get anything done, right? So the idea of write once, run everywhere, of course requires that a set of gfx libs are implemented on every platform.

So fine, even if you do that, suddenly there's no real competitive advantage for the consoles. There are features you wouldn't be able to exploit on some consoles, you would have to cut corners. Ultimately you are limited, you can't push the envelope without writing native code for a specific platform. The gaming industry has progressed SO much because pushing the technology can produce better games. I want quality games. Portability of gaming code, in this industry, has to take a back seat.

Re:This is not worth it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3218065)

OK, Flight Sims and FPS' may need a lot of native code, but those aren't the only games on the market.

Look at lower-end strategy games (Civ3, not War3 of course, it's bleeding edge) or software toys (The Sims, SimGolf, etc) and you're talking about games that could conceivably be written for this platform.

And don't fool yourself into thinking that only games pushing at hardware envelopes advance gaming. Good games, addictive games, simple games, are more commercially viable and get more enjoyment out of them than any bleeding edge title ever will.

Don't hold your breath... (1)

telstar (236404) | more than 12 years ago | (#3218033)

"Their ultimate goal? To have one CD you could pop into an Xbox, a PS2, a Windows machine, or a Linux machine, and play the same game on them all."
  • Considering Microsoft makes the XBOX, and the long legal history that Sun and Microsoft share, I wouldn't count on this goal being satisfied now or ever.

money (1)

Ruliz Galaxor (568498) | more than 12 years ago | (#3218036)

Bah... Sun just needs more money so they come up with this.
Ok, ok, Java is platform independent, really nice, but I don't think you get the same performance with javagames in comparison to the way they are created nowadays.

On top of that, I think MS will 'talk' to the developers of Xbox games to leave Java the way it is and not to create any Javagames at all.
Let's stay realistic, Mr. Sun, Java may be great for some small games and webapplications and other crossplatformthingies, but 'large' games? Naahh... I think not.

Source code? (1)

cies (318343) | more than 12 years ago | (#3218069)

So will I be able to see the source code of the game?

Java too slow! (1)

ktulu1115 (567549) | more than 12 years ago | (#3218074)

This idea will never work... Java is extremely slow compared to languages such as C++. Remember Java is an intrepreted language, not compiled in the strictest sense. Not only that, the platforms are too differientated to be able to make this a viable solution. It would take forever to develop such a platform.

Re:Java too slow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3218094)

Java is extremely slow compared to languages such as C++

Wrong.

Remember Java is an intrepreted language, not compiled in the strictest sense.

Wrong. Java can be compiled to native machine code.

Not only that, the platforms are too differientated to be able to make this a viable
solution.


Wrong. Tell it to the people who developed OpenGL.

Well, you're 0 for 3.

Been there, done that, doing it anyywhere! (1)

nicomen (60560) | more than 12 years ago | (#3218083)

Just wanted to tell you guys this is already being done: AmigaAnywhere provides a multi platform environment thru Taos intent technology.

Check out this link for seeing a divx/mpeg of a demonstration at TechTV. http://amiga.medicinareberget.studenthem.gu.se:808 0/amiga/ [studenthem.gu.se]

Although they say multiple platforms... (2, Insightful)

DaedalusLogic (449896) | more than 12 years ago | (#3218088)

What are the odds that hardware vendors for traditional game consoles would back this? They all want you to own their box and their box alone... If you consider that MS published most of its good games from this season from smaller studios... They're probably not going to backa studio that says they want to produce a killer game that works on the PS2. PC compatibility is a different thing... maybe a game that is X-Box and PC compatible would fly... but expect it not to touch Java... I think this could be a Sony/Sun/Linux relationship or cooperation that could be quite interesting. Odds are slim... but I'd like to be surprised.

Java is Slow (1)

Daveman692 (558544) | more than 12 years ago | (#3218092)

A lot of the time Java seems slower than other languages. Also games won't look the same on each box. No longer would companies be competing for hardware and sw but just hardware which I doubt they would go for.

JavaGamming is a good idea ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3218106)

Just because this could just ease the design of multiplatform tools and games....

Java2D for instance is one great things that can be just cool for many interfaces !

Just imagine that as XStuff is Wintel based, the adaptation for J2RE are quite forward!
About the J2RE on PS2, Sony have said it was done and bundles with the linux dev-toolkit (cf. previous /. posts) but no assumption can be made of J2RE redistribution licese models ;-)

Anyway, this is great news! Who start to build a Tetris Arena using Java2D ?

Imagine PC users Xstuff, PS2, Mac ... fighting together ... using a single game ...

One darkside, is the Java3D lack for gaming profile, i mean, Java3D is powerfull (much more that both OpenGL and directX or Starbase ..) but it is also much more slow due to some design choice. Sun's target Java3D to be clean pure object for design tools or stuffs but not for full blasting imediate rendering ... So, i do think it is time to influde a FAST_IMEDIATE_RENDERING scheme in Java3D !

Let it be the first to post the JSR ;)

An other great stuff is to have WebStart ready on the next console so people will have nice cross-platforms applications ready to use ...

4R34'.

Read the article... (4, Interesting)

SaturnTim (445813) | more than 12 years ago | (#3218110)

Let's thing about this for a moment... excluding fps titles... what games actually use 100% of the hardware they are running on?
Certainly not all. Games like Escape Velocy Nova [ambrosiasw.com] that are Very popular (and only available on the Mac) would work great even with the elegid java performance hit.
Sure, Sun has a lot of work to do before this is a working solution... but you are fooling yourself if you think it can't be done.
--T

it could happen... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3218111)

java, as it is now, isnt cut out for gaming... however, if there were to be a pretty extensive API (or whatever, i cant remember the name... DirectX is an example) created, then it could happen... it would have to be some pretty genious programming

i remember back when visual basic wasnt cut out to program squat in games... then M$ released DirectX7, and it worked with VB... a whole slew of unique games resulted from some independent game programmers (inverted dreams [connect.to] , close approach [abstractworlds.com] , DDCK: myth of creation [gamesdomain.com] (original homepage is down), and some really cool 3d engines whose names escape me right now :(, just to name a few)... now im not saying VB is the most powerful language to program 3d games in, but it just goes to show that a lot is possible with good programmers and the right API...

Action games are not all there is (1)

pkaminsk (177973) | more than 12 years ago | (#3218114)

All the comments I've seen so far tend towards "Java is too slow", "it can't take advantage of custom hardware", "it won't push the cutting edge", etc. This may well be true for action games, but that still leaves a lot of other genres -- strategy, wargame, adventure, RPG, puzzle, etc.

For example, don't you think that Civ3 would've come off nicely in Java? The upcoming MOO3? Perhaps even Tropico? (OK, I'm showing my strategy bias, but I'm sure you can think of other examples.) Not all games need to take advantage of cutting-edge technology to be fun. This point has been made so often on Slashdot, you'd think people would remember this cliche by now.

And finally, I would've expected all Linux (game-loving) zealots to be cheering for this technology. It might actually bring some real games to their forsaken OS.

Java's Crossplatform Shortcomings (2, Insightful)

mgrochmal (567074) | more than 12 years ago | (#3218125)

A cross-platform compatibility would be great. However, it would have several hurdles to overcome before it accepts widespread use.

1) Performance - As others have already stated, Java is made for compatibility, not for speed. Most mid-range applications would start to drag down the machine, while hardware-specific code will enhance the speed and execution of the application. The games mentioned in the article are not hardware-intensive (You don't Know Jack, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, Majestic), so they can transition to Java easily enough. For specific programming projects, such as graphically intensive games, many developers will probably stick to current standards or in-house programming languages.

2) Industry Support - XP's omission of a native Java RTE shows that not all developers are willing to go with Sun's development software. Additionally, many people buy consoles for specific software applications. If the need for a proprietary standard is removed, then people will go for whichever hardware setup is easiest to acquire. The game companies can't force people to get specific consoles to play games on. Yes, most of the video game consoles sell at near-cost (if not below), but many games are identified with a certain platform. Also recall a few years back, when Nintendo sued developer companies that didn't get its Seal of Approval.

Cross-platform programs would be appealing to consumers, but it will come down to if Java programming will find acceptance among other companies.

Believe it or not, Java is improving (2)

i_am_nitrogen (524475) | more than 12 years ago | (#3218128)

As an example of a Java application (though it's not a game) that's pretty common, and runs well, take a look at Limewire. Obviously a virtual machine can't be as fast as native code, but they're definitely getting close. Macromedia Flash also uses Java (at least the Linux version does, anyway). At any rate, I'd like to be able to take a disc from one system and use it in another just as much as the next man, but then that would defeat the point of having multiple systems. Each game console, for example, has its own unique strengths, quirks, and so on. I like the dreamcast because it was fun getting Linux cross-compiled for SH4 and burnt to a CD. I like the PS2 because it uses a 297MHz R5900 (ohhhh, MIIIPPS), and has official commercial support for Linux. Running everything in a virtual machine would take those strengths away, since it wouldn't be possible to take advantage of them without breaking compatibility.

Just the beggining (1)

Leknor (224175) | more than 12 years ago | (#3218130)

I like the idea. I understand an accept that it will suck at first but that is how things are. It takes time to make these things good. Do you remember how horrible the 1.0 JVMs were? It may take 10 years but I'm glad sun is putting the ball in motion so to speak.

Get Real! (2)

quakeaddict (94195) | more than 12 years ago | (#3218134)

Really......

Do you honestly think that for really interesting games any virtual machine layer will not add so much overhead as to make the game unplayable? Sorta like Java Swing adds overhead to simple Windows apps...so you can get to see various Windows being repainted?

Most people do not like watching Windows repaint.

No offense to Sun...but the folks who are cutting edge on gaming will always write down to as specific as they can get to get as much performance as they can.

Besides....doesn't it seem odd that Id Software
has ALREDAY made it possible to play their games on any number of platforms...all by strictly coding in C.

But Id Software doen't make java, or workstations. They just make great games.

Not a good idea? (1)

Pengunea (170972) | more than 12 years ago | (#3218137)

As a longtime gamer I don't think this is a good idea. While clever and interesting some things key to the successs of games seems to have been overlooked.

Basic console and hardware differences have caused video game deveolopers to make games that suit the console's specs. While this can hold back the full potential of some games it causes uniqueness in the games themselves. Sacrificing something due to a weaker area causes developers to work harder in another area. Removing the console difference would cause the very contingency that causes games to be so different from console to console.

While a console created for 3D rendering (ie: N64) can display sprite graphics on games like Paper Mario it won't handle a game like Jojo's Bizzare Adventure (PSX) as well. So there's a kind of Bleem! situation going on. To accomidate for a system that isn't set up specifically to play a certain range of games you've got to use the easiest to emulate games limiting your game selection greatly.

Plus I'm not sure if Java could pull it off at all. Pardon my disbelief.

There already is a Java game (0)

theJavaMan (539177) | more than 12 years ago | (#3218138)

and it's working, and it's fast and it's great.


IL2 Sturmovik.


If you look at the dlls of the game, they are full of JNI calls. for example: Java_com_maddox_opengl_GLContext_CreateWin32


OpenGL call...


Java_com_maddox_rts_JoyFF_Stop


Joystick call.


all of those are system dependent calls which require performance. all the rest is done in java
(Game logic, AI , mission editor, interface)


there you go, a real world example...

Java Hardware (1)

hotchai (72816) | more than 12 years ago | (#3218141)

All the comments so far have mentioned that Java for games will never take off because Java is slow. Yes Java is slow because it is interpreted by a JVM that runs on top of the native platform. But what if Sun could convince console makers to embed a MAJC-like chip in their boxes? Sun already has the technology -- check out the specifications of the MAJC architecture [sun.com] embedded into their latest framebuffers (XVR-100 [sun.com] ).

GameSpy not impartial (1)

pkaminsk (177973) | more than 12 years ago | (#3218146)

Do you wonder why GameSpy's article described the technology in such glowing terms? They're a member of the Java Game Profile JSR [jcp.org] 's Expert Group. Hardly an impartial observer; they should've at least mentioned their involvement in the article.

Oh yeah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3218158)

Nothing like games that break the "Slooooooow" barrier.

never happen (-1)

IAgreeWithThisPost (550896) | more than 12 years ago | (#3218161)

this is once again a ridiculous idea.

If you want to be multi-platform..Buy out all the competitors, then you have 1 platform. MS did it right.

Link to Sun's Java gaming effort. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3218170)

Sun's Java gaming effort [javagaming.org]

great, but.. (1)

laserweasel (568666) | more than 12 years ago | (#3218173)

As an Apple fan I of course applaud this, as the reason why I also own an AMD/Nvidia beast is purely due to our lousy game selection. The downside? Well, there is one and it's a killer. What's going to happen to video games if they're developed for all platforms at once? The biggest market for games is obviously console buyers. PC enthusiasts are less in number from the headcounts I've seen and PC game piracy is beyond rampant. If all video games are developed with console players more in mind than PCs we may lose our PC Baldur's Gates and wind up with Console Baldur's Gates.. Dramatic example, maybe, but it's worth considering.

SDL is half way there (1)

FrostedWheat (172733) | more than 12 years ago | (#3218178)

SDL is a great way of making games that run on different platforms!!

I know this is aiming at "One binary for them all" and that, but I'm sure a more open-source friendly alternative could be built under SDL.

Just a thought :)

Redundant. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3218179)

Java blows for most things, including games.

I'm not saying that Java is a curse upon the land (Well, then again..), or that no one should ever use it.. But, despite the fact that you can do damned near anything in Java, you probably shouldn't.

I've seen C and C++ code that was more platform independant than some Java code. (True, it's not the fault of the language so much as the various implementation of the vm.) Personally, I'd rather compile once and run fast, rather than interpret and run slow.

And that's the key thing - games? Slow? You're dead as soon as you try to sell it.

What would work better is some sort of interface that allows, say, display_smiley_face(). Now, the backend behind this realizes what's needed to display_smiley_face() in X, Solaris, MS Windows..

Whoa whoa! Stop the "portability" train! (1)

Theo DeRaadt (322600) | more than 12 years ago | (#3218180)

Every time I see someone call Java "portable," I just shake my head in wonderment that anyone could be that ignorant.

Sure, Sun Microsystems would like you to believe that Java is the ultimate in cross-platfrom portability, but could you list all the platforms that the latest JDK runs on? Hmm... let's see...

  • Windows
  • Mac OS
  • Linux
  • FreeBSD (maybe one of these days...)
Don't see OpenBSD in there, do you? Or NetBSD, the king of so-called "portability" (the irony is stinging). Furthermore, Java can't even perform as well as C or even C++. How do they expect to use this to write games for consoles that already have limited resources?

It is apparent that the only clear choice for game development is still well-written C. It's fast, clean and, if well-written, far more portable than Java could ever hope to be.

Thank you.

Not a chance (1)

Chris Canfield (548473) | more than 12 years ago | (#3218186)

There is no way this is possible. Gaming has evolved into Hollywood extravaganza at its brightest, with all of the special effects that entails. Java is a platform that introduces a processor-taxing virtual layer of representation that would be intolerably slow for an industry where each company banks its future on having a higher poly count than their competitors. Eidos is very proud of the fact that the new Laura Croft has 5,000 polys, making even more realistic her unrealistic curves. While this kind of unrealism is quite common amongst Sun's press releases, the likelyhood of Java being successful as a gaming meta platform on the PS2 is about as likely as the CDI coming back from the grave: Zero. And what are the chances of the next GTA 3 or MGS 2 coming on a platform that pretends the idiosyncracies of the hardware doesn't exist?

Sun makes it very clear that either A: they don't understand this or B: they're pretending it isn't important.

Using Java technology's cross platform capability, developers are creating new game and entertainment experiences that fully leverage the network and allow the player to engage anytime on multiple devices.

They are? How interesting... Might you point to one? Or are you talking about the browser-based games on Yahoo?

Sun shows an image of people playing linked games on a cell phone, a Palmpilot, a gameboy advance, and a flipped picture of a PS2 controller. Some of these devices actually have network connections widely available (a place where utilizing java would make sense), but they aren't the ones that are used for gaming. The Gameboy advance, for example, would be impossible to design and develop a decent game for if you didn't know that you had to choose between 16 million colors, or a 256 color pallete with 0, 1, or 2 scalable / rotatable backgrounds and 4, 2, 0 tiled backgrounds, your available sprite count, your audio options... And not only that, but you would never be able to put in a CD to that cartridge based thing anyway. In all of these examples, the end user would have to buy a copy of the game specific to the device, a move that would make sense for the console creators who only survive by taking a cut of every game sold that has been enabled to work on that hardware. Binary cross platform compatibility would be suicide for Sony/Microsoft/Nintendo to support.

The Sun representative talks about how you could fiddle with your inventory in Everquest or chat with your friends while you are away from your computer. Thankfully, most internet-enabled cell phones are already equipped with many options for chatting with friends, and reorganizing your inventory is about as much fun as it sounds. This has already been tried, with Sega's VMU and Sony's Pocketstation, with very limited success (though Sega gets Kudos for true research).

Sun mentions that You don't know Jack, Majestic, and Who wants to be a Millionaire, as well as the scripting in V:TM all utilized Java. Jack and Millionaire are all simple, browser based quiz shows with a reliance upon audio and clever dialog. Majestic is audio and text based in a revolutionary but not processor-intensive way. V:TM may have its events scripted in java (using java as a scripting language rather than a programming one), but by no means is any substantial portion of the code java based.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I really wish large companies would get a little respect for the business side of the gaming industry and do their homework before charging right in to foolish and doomed projects that will only waste their money and developers' time.

[Quietly steps down from soapbox and wipes froth from mouth]

The acronym says it all (1)

Christopher H (25358) | more than 12 years ago | (#3218188)

Too many Java games are PIGs already.
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