Palm Announces 20 New Game Titles at GDC 2010

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Although Palm were hopelessly slow at getting a decent high-performance 3D API into the hands of it’s developers, it seems to have stepped up it’s efforts in the last couple of months with the help of some “early-access” developers.

Earlier this week we reported that Palm had announced a public beta version of the Palm® webOS™ Plug-in Development Kit (PDK) as available at the Palm Developer Center ( This enhancement to the current SDK allows developers to target high-performance 3D graphics and native ARM code. Something that I and many other developers had pointed out to Palm was sorely missing from their development system.

Palm is demonstrating a fairly healthy batch of new games at it’s booth at GDC this week. I’ll be checking the SDK out in coming weeks and will report back on my findings.

At CES in January, Palm introduced 12 games built by four leading developers with early access to the PDK:

• “Asphalt 5” (Gameloft)
• “Brain Challenge®” (Gameloft)
• “Glyder 2” (Glu Mobile)
• “Let’s Golf!” (Gameloft)
• “MONOPOLY” (EA Mobile™)
• “Need for Speed™ Undercover” (EA Mobile)
• “SCRABBLE” (EA Mobile)
• “Sudoku” (EA Mobile)
• “Tetris®” (EA Mobile)
• “The Oregon Trail” (Gameloft)
• “The Sims™ 3” (EA Mobile)
• “X-Plane” (Laminar Research)

Since then, more than 20 exciting webOS titles have been launched by these early-access developers:

• “Apollo” (Laminar Research)
• “Assassin’s Creed™ – Altair’s Chronicles” (Gameloft)
• “Brothers In Arms®: Hour of Heroes” (Gameloft)
• “Castle of Magic” (Gameloft)
• “Deer Hunter 3D” (Glu Mobile)
• “Dungeon Hunter” (Gameloft)
• “Earthworm Jim” (Gameloft)
• “Gangstar: West Coast Hustle” (Gameloft)
• “Giant Fighting Robots” (Laminar Research)
• “Guitar Hero 5 Mobile” (Glu Mobile)
• “Hero of Sparta” (Gameloft)
• “Real Soccer 2010” (Gameloft)
• “Real Tennis” (Gameloft)
• “World Series of Poker: Hold’em Legend” (Glu Mobile)
• “X-Plane Airliner” (Laminar Research)
• “X-Plane Carrier” (Laminar Research)
• “X-Plane Extreme” (Laminar Research)
• “X-Plane Glider” (Laminar Research)
• “X-Plane Helicopter” (Laminar Research)
• “X-Plane Racing” (Laminar Research)
• “X-Plane Space Shuttle” (Laminar Research)

This batch of titles far outstrips anything that Microsoft have been able to pull together for it’s upcoming Windows Phone 7 Series. We reported on their rather lacklustre and frighteningly small list of titles in development this week. The number of titles Palm already has bears out the advantage I mentioned of going with an API in OpenGL ES which is already being used by thousands of developers world-wide.

There is little doubt that Microsoft will catch up, or that quite a few of those titles above are being made by developers who are already working with Microsoft, most likely on ports. And there is also little doubt that Apple and the iPhone will still lead the way in terms of diversity of entertainment titles. But this is heartening news from Palm. I think for some time we’ll see titles appearing on iPhones, Android and Palm before they do on Windows 7.


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