Sony Ericsson introduces multitasking and achieves market-leading gaming performance with new Java™ Platform 7 mobile phones
June 8, 2006
Stockholm, – Sony Ericsson today revealed the successful ingredients of its Java™ Platform 7, the market-leading and backwards compatible developer platform for creating compelling games and imaging applications for Sony Ericsson mobile phones.
Sony Ericsson’s Java™ Platform 7 (JP-7) supports a range of Java Specification Requests (JSRs), including Advanced Multimedia Supplements (JSR 234) for enhanced camera and image handling. It is now possible to control the camera exposure (i.e. the amount of light on the image sensor), the focus, zoom functionality and the camera’s flash from a Java ME-based application as well as rotating the camera image. The ability to record video and very precisely control frame-by-frame location, allowing the end-user to ‘move around’ in the video, is also offered by JP-7 based phones. All these capabilities can now be controlled from a Java ME-based application, opening up possibilities for new creative imaging applications from the global third party developer community, benefiting the consumer.
Through new generation hardware with faster CPU, better optimized software supporting floating-point operations and improved critical graphics primitives for 2D and 3D graphics, Sony Ericsson has also managed to take a huge leap in performance and speed, significantly improving game-playing experience and leaving current competition far behind. Developer feedback claims the six new Sony Ericsson phones – the K610, K790, K800, W710, W850 and Z710 – based on JP-7 have the best gaming performance on the market, a position the company will likely keep throughout 2006 and 2007 with its products.
“With the latest Java Platform 7, Sony Ericsson impressively demonstrates that Java code can be as fast as native; close to 30 frames per second on QVGA even without hardware acceleration. This means we get the best 3D game experience we have ever seen on a mobile phone while simultaneously being able to address a huge Java market and satisfying established sales channels,” says Michael Schade, CEO of Fishlabs Entertainment GmbH.
Industry trends indicate that there is an increasing gap in Java ME performance between entry-level and high-end phones. The main contributors to Java ME fragmentation are the differences in supported application programming interfaces (APIs), building blocks (software platforms, CPU, Virtual Machine vendor, device hardware) and quality (bugs and performance issues). These issues have been addressed to a large extent through standardization and higher quality implementations.
Sony Ericsson’s Java ME performance has significantly improved not only for its high-end phones but also for entry-level phones in the past couple of years with the introduction of MIDP 2.0 and Mobile Java 3D support across the portfolio. In addition, Sony Ericsson’s strategy to build backwards compatible Java platforms, aligned with the industry standards, has proven successful and received very positive feedback from the developer community.
“Sony Ericsson’s Java Platform approach is one of our contributions to reduce fragmentation in the industry. The fact that we focus on quality and performance, meaning being better rather than different, is a way for us to make sure we have a very attractive offering to developers,” says Hanz Häger, Java Product Manager at Sony Ericsson and representative on the Java Micro Edition (ME) Executive Committee.
Sony Ericsson puts great emphasis on Java implementation consistency and has been one of the most aggressive advocates of Mobile Java 3D with support for the two 3D API’s Mobile 3D Graphics (JSR-184) and Mascot Capsule Micro3D Engine v3 on more than 35 phones to date. An independent developer benchmark survey conducted by UK research firm Recom Research in March this year also showed that the company’s global developer support program and web portal, Sony Ericsson Developer World, was considered to be the leading technical resource for Mobile Java 3D development.
Sony Ericsson has increased the quality of the Java performance on its phones by spending more engineering time on development, analyzing the source code of third party technology like Fishlabs’ ABYSS game engine, and testing of software implementations. The Java development team has also made bug fixes and performance upgrades in general for JSR-184 and the Mascot Capsule v3 API for JP-7 phones.
“As a leading 3D mobile games developer, we have chosen Sony Ericsson as our target platform. With over 35 Mobile Java 3D-enabled phones, Sony Ericsson by far has the broadest range of 3D enabled handsets on the market. Additionally, hard to believe but true, we only need one single binary of code to support all handsets. That saves a tremendous amount of time and money, not only on the developer side but operators also need to spend much less work on game verification later on,” says Michael Schade of Fishlabs.
Increased memory is now available in the phones (more than 5MB heap possible), allowing more graphics heavy and higher quality games to be developed. Sony Ericsson also supports a new, optional control in the JSR-135 Mobile Media API with JP-7. With the so-called ‘TempoControl’, developers can control the tempo and rate of a MIDI file, typically used as in-game music and sound effects. With this fine grained control developers can create a richer game-playing experience for the user, e.g. by increasing the tempo of the music when danger approaches in a game level or similar.
With JP-7, Sony Ericsson is the first handset manufacturer to introduce support for multiple simultaneously running Java applications in a single virtual machine on mass-market mobile phones.
“In line with Sony Ericsson’s strategic intent to make Java ME a viable alternative to an open operating system, we have introduced a MultiVM (multi-tasking virtual machine), making it possible to have several Java MIDlets running on the phone at the same time and switch between them,” says Hanz Häger. “This enables Java-based push e-mail solutions and many other high-value, mobile applications running at the same time as you are playing games, for example. Sony Ericsson’s new Java Platform 7 really takes the Java ME technology in mobile phones to new dimensions.”
About Sony Ericsson
Sony Ericsson Developer World is a global support program and web portal totally dedicated to helping serious, wireless developers achieve business success by providing the documentation, tools, training, technical and go-to-market support they need in their development process. Sony Ericsson Developer World helps developers get on the fast track from mind to market, thereby ensuring that a constant stream of fun, useful and innovative content and applications is available for Sony Ericsson phones. www.SonyEricsson.com/developer
Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications serves the global communications market with innovative and feature-rich mobile phones, accessories, and PC-cards. Established as a joint venture by Sony and Ericsson in 2001, with global corporate functions located in London, the company employs approximately 6,000 people worldwide, including R&D sites in Europe, Japan, China and America. Sony Ericsson is the global title sponsor of the Women’s Tennis Association, and works with the Association to promote the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour in over 80 cities during the year. For more information on Sony Ericsson, please visit www.SonyEricsson.com
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