Java Powers Sun's Massive Multi-Player Game Server Prototype

3/25/2004 - Sun Microsystems, Inc., the creator and leading advocate of Java technology, will demonstrate how it is shaping the future of the video games industry this week at the Game Developers Conference. An industry first, Sun will be showcasing a game server prototype -- which integrates Java technologies with IGN/GameSpy and TimesTen technologies -- to connect various game devices to one game network. With this approach, developers and publishers will benefit from higher server performance, reliability, scalability and lower cost of entry into the Massively Multi-player On Line Game (MMOG) market. The unique architecture of this prototype enables several different games to co-exist on the same infrastructure, thereby lowering the total cost of ownership for any game company deploying an online game. In addition, developers can get the latest information, source code and participate in active forums at the Java gaming community on Sun will showcase Java technology for game developers at its booth and kick off a Java Game Developer Contest with approximately $50,000 in prizes donated by the contest sponsors IGN/GameSpy, AMD and Tapwave.

"With Java technology, video game developers can now bring their new and innovative online games to market faster, easier, and more cost effectively while still being able to scale the infrastructure to meet demand," said Chris Melissinos, chief gaming officer for Sun Microsystems. "Sun's expertise in building massively connected infrastructures provides the robust, scalable and secure foundation needed for the next generation of online games which can easily scale to hundreds of thousands of users."

No More Idle Resources!
Built on the Solaris operating system running on the Sun Fire Blade B1600 platform, Sun's Game Technology Group (GTG) designed the server prototype to not only scale vertically -- but to scale horizontally too. This enables game companies hosting their games to add server resources, such as memory and CPUs, incrementally to meet growing demand -- one blade at a time -- so the server uses resources only when they are needed. By keeping the architecture flexible, integration of technologies such as TimesTen's real-time in-memory database technology and the matchmaking and communication SDKs from GameSpy is easily achieved and enables developers to continue to leverage their existing technology expertise.

"The integration of GameSpy's industry leading online game technologies and services into Sun's prototype will usher in a new era of online game development and deployment," said Henk van Niekerk, senior director of sales, Publisher and Developer Services Division, IGN/GameSpy. "GameSpy technology connects the players, and Sun's game server controls the game world -- offering state-of-the-art reliability, scalability and security."

"The Sun game server prototype represents a giant leap forward for game developers, enabling them to rapidly build persistent online games that easily scale to hundreds of thousands of users," said Jim Groff, chief executive officer of TimesTen. "Speed, scalability and continuous, 'always on' availability are absolute requirements for a massively multi-user online gaming environment, and that's exactly what TimesTen helps deliver."

At Sun's booth #1028, visitors will be able to learn more about,, Java development tools and mobile devices. Game demos at the booth will include multiplayer game demonstrations from Immediate Mode Interactive and Wurm Online as well as various commercially available games that utilize Java technologies.

In addition, the first 500 attendees at Sun's booth will receive Sun's Java Technology Game Developer's Pack. The pack includes a CD that contains all of the open source Java technology Game APIs released by Sun, game demos, documents, whitepapers, the Java Runtime Environment, and more. The CD includes the the debut album from Arockalypse and the Amazing Trans-Metropolitans, a techno-rock band, to help developers keep the beat through those late night coding sessions and a bottle of Bawls' Guarana beverage to keep the creative juices flowing.

Also announced this week is the release of a new professional game development book, "Practical Java Game Programming," written by Dustin Clingman, Shawn Kendall and Syrus Mesdaghi of the Full Sail media school in Orlando, Florida. This new book focuses on game development using the open source Java technology Game APIs released by Sun Microsystems. Sun's GTG acted as consultants and contributors to the book. An overview of the book's content and examples will be highlighted during the Game Developer Conference session titled "Professional Java Game Development Techniques," Session 343, Tuesday, March 23, 2004 from 10:00 am - 6:00 pm.

About Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision -- "The Network Is The Computer" -- has propelled Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) to its position as a leading provider of industrial-strength hardware, software and services that make the Net work. Sun can be found in more than 100 countries and on the World Wide Web at

Sun, Sun Microsystems, the Sun logo, JavaOne, Java, Solaris, Sun Fire and "The Network Is The Computer"are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries.

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