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April Issue Focus: GDC
April 2013
Volker Hirsch, director of business development, gaming at BlackBerry, discusses Unity support for the BlackBerry 10, the upcoming BlackBerry 10 add-on, and plans for game developer events.
Mike Yuen, senior director of business development for Qualcomm Technologies, chats about the new Snapdragon 600/800 chips, why Qualcomm won't be building its own handheld, and AR support for game devs.
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GDC 2013


BlackBerry   Back to Top
Volker Hirsch, director of business development, gaming at BlackBerry, discusses Unity support for the BlackBerry 10, the upcoming BlackBerry 10 add-on, and plans for game developer events.
Volker Hirsch
Volker Hirsch
Q: Volker, Unity recently announced support for both the recently launched BlackBerry 10 and the BlackBerry Playbook. What exactly does that mean for BlackBerry and its future as a gaming platform?

Volker Hirsch: The support from a leading engine and development frameworks for games like Unity solidifies the work we are doing to make BlackBerry a leading game platform. Unity has been great to work with and building this partnership was a priority for us. According to some analysts, about half of all smartphone games use their frameworks. We have strived to make working on BlackBerry 10 as easy as possible; developers should be able to work with their tools of choice on our platform and Unity is an important part of that.

BlackBerry 10 is probably the easiest platform for game developers to address today — and this is no mean feat given the speed with which the platform was created. We are very committed to making developers' lives easier. We made a lot of effort to support a broad range of tools, including Marmalade, Cocos 2Dx, Box 2D, Shiva 3D, Open GLES, Open AL, Lua, etc.

Q: I understand that a beta version of the BlackBerry 10 add-on for Unity's cross-platform development environment will be made available to a limited number of developers in the spring with the final release expected to be available in this summer. What's that all about … and what will developers want to know about the add-on?

Hirsch: The release schedule for the BlackBerry 10 version of Unity follows the regular cycle these things do — you test with a small alpha panel, then you run a closed beta to gather more input, you open it up, and you go gold.

The BlackBerry 10 version of Unity will boast all the bells and whistles of Unity 4 and will have full feature parity with other leading platforms.

On further news regarding timing and releases, stay tuned and listen in at GDC.

BlackBerry read more>>
Qualcomm   Back to Top
Mike Yuen, senior director of business development for Qualcomm Technologies, chats about the new Snapdragon 600/800 chips, why Qualcomm won't be building its own handheld, and AR support for game devs.
Mike Yuen
Mike Yuen
Q: Mike, the new Snapdragon 600 and 800 chips are said to be the first mobile processors to receive certification for OpenGL ES 3.0. And the Adreno 300-series GPUs used in the chips will be supporting that new API, which is great for game developers. Can you tell me more?

Mike Yuen: Indeed, our Snapdragon processors — specifically the upcoming 600 and 800 versions — were the first mobile processors to receive certification by the Khronos Group for conformance with OpenGL ES 3.0 specifications. This is the most advanced open standard API for 3D graphics, and I believe that Qualcomm is currently the only company that is shipping mobile processors that have passed this certification so far.

For next-generation 3D graphics, APIs like OpenGL ES 3.0 on Qualcomm's Adreno 320 and 330 GPUs enable more realistic 3D graphics effects. Snapdragon 600 and Snapdragon 800 both support hardware acceleration of advanced rendering features like instancing, occlusion queries, superior ETC2 texture compression, and multiple render targets. OpenGL ES 3.0 enables game programmers to utilize these significant new features and portability enhancements. This is another big step that will help bring game console quality graphics to mobile devices.

The support of new APIs like OpenGL ES 3.0 is just one component of what makes Snapdragon's Adreno graphics so special. Adreno 320 GPU has set the bar and is featured in many of today's most popular smartphones. Consumers will be able to enjoy even better gaming performance in upcoming launches of highly anticipated Snapdragon 600-based devices.

The Adreno 330 GPU that is integrated in Snapdragon 800 devices coming this summer will take mobile graphics even higher with a 50% performance boost. We are very excited that leading mobile graphics performance like this is coming to consumers and developers this year.

Q: Nvidia says it's building its own handheld Android game system (tentatively called Project Shield) but it sounds like Qualcomm isn't interested in pursuing a similar venture. Why wouldn't Qualcomm be interested in following suit and entering that space?

It's simple. Our strategy is to work with our customers, providing them with the silicon, software, and integration to make their products the best that they can be instead of building our own hardware or devices.

Qualcomm read more >>

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