WebOS Gaming: What to Expect and What Can Be Done | webOS Nation
 
 

WebOS Gaming: What to Expect and What Can Be Done

by Jason Robitaille Wed, 18 Feb 2009 7:14 pm EST

When Palm announced the Mojo SDK would be html5/css/javascript format, you could practically hear a unified moan of disapproval by game developers and gamers alike.  The majority of the users out there are probably wondering why.

Well, games and emulators need to be able to run lots of code, quickly and efficiently. That's just not possible with Mojo; there isn't a javascript interpreter anywhere near as efficient as a native C SDK would be.  However that doesn't rule out everything, only the intensive processing applications.  Games like Bejeweled, Sudoku, and maybe even with a real good SDK, Warfare Inc. could be successfully ported to the Palm webOS.  Applications like LJP and The Quest on the other hand, we won't be holding our collective breath for those.

The Mojo SDK may not be designed for gaming, but the Pre's hardware certainly seems fit for it.  From its large multitouch screen, to its souped-up processor, the Pre certainly seems like a prime mobile gaming candidate. Just imagine: flip the the Pre into landscape mode and use the gesture area as a up/down/right/left control-pad area, or keep it in portrait and use the keyboard as the control buttons.  And with the Pre's bluetooth, you could maybe use an external gamepad even!  The hardware is there, but how could the games themselves run?  I've got 3 possibilities:

  1. A simple native C SDK.  This would probably require a fairly significant amount of work to implement, as the Palm webOS interface is basically all webkit-run.
  2. Embedded native applications. This would be a mix between the current Mojo SDK and a native C SDK.  Essentially the C-coded data would be embedded in the page, kind of like Google's NativeClient project, though again, this would be rather difficult to implement.
  3. Lastly is an opinion I didn't really consider at first: flash player.  If Adobe and Palm work together to create an optimal version of a flash player for the webOS that could take full advantage of the Pre's hardware, there could be a flurry of flash-based games that could work on the Pre.  Plus you'd have flash in its usual sense, able to browse youtube and such. An interesting prospect.

What are your thoughts on the issue? Feel free to comment and have your say.

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