During the Game Developers Conference, Palm Inc. and Epic games demonstrated Unreal Engine 3-powered mobile games running on webOS. Epic Games produced blockbuster game titles like Unreal Tournament 3 and Gears of War, both of which were crafted using the industry-leading Unreal Engine 3. The engine was also used to develop other consoles games like Mass Effect and Batman: Arkham Asylum. The two companies hope to inspire other game developers to develop visually-rich 3D games for webOS devices. The Unreal Engine 3 is now free to download at http://www.udk.com/.
The introduction of Unreal Engine 3 was made possible because Palm Inc. released the beta version of its Plug-in Development Kit (PDK) for Palm webOS platform. The PDK allows game developers to quickly port their existing game titles to webOS devices because it supports C/C++ programming. Full 3D rendering on the webOS is now also a reality because the PDK has adopted the OpenGL ES 2.0 standard.
Palm Inc. is optimistic that the combination of Unreal Engine 3 and their Plug-in Development Kit will generate more interest from development studios. The less than stellar sales of their Palm Pre and Palm Pixi smartphones was hampered by the shortage of third-party apps. Despite having the same PowerVR graphics accelerator chip like the iPhone 3GS has, both Palm smart phones failed to attract game makers. The Unreal Engine 3 was already ported to the iPhone OS last year and the thousands of 3D games available for the iPhone have made it an astounding success. Palm wants to emulate Apple’s accomplishment. The company is well aware that the buying public puts a lot of importance on the gaming experience provided by their smart phones. The Plug-in Development Kit and Unreal Engine 3 ensures the same immersive 3D gaming experience is now possible on the webOS platform.