J2ME for your Gameboy!



Now, how damn cool is this? I've been talking about putting Java on a Gameboy for over a year and finally someone has gone and done it and I think that's great - except for the fact that it's J2ME that's been implemented and not regular Java! Urgh! Still, it's the right idea.

From the article in Wireless Dev Net:

The JAMiD cartridge includes aJile's high-performance direct execution aJ-100 Java microprocessor, an MP3 audio player, and all of the necessary memory and interface hardware to download and run MIDP-compatible games and MP3 audio. aJile is selling the JAMiD as a complete development kit with software tools that enable game developers to rapidly create exciting MIDP game titles for Game Boy� handhelds. aJile is also negotiating with OEMs in Asia, Europe and North America to manufacture and merchandise consumer versions of the JAMiD game cartridge.

As part of its gaming initiative, aJile is also building an online game portal, where mobile game developers from around the world can distribute their MIDP games directly to users. aJile will make it possible for game developers to offer both free and for-fee downloads to the global gaming community. Owners of Java-enabled handsets, PDAs and stand-alone game players will be able to access a wide selection of the latest MIDP games from aJile's single online destination.

"aJile firmly believes that Java will be at the heart of mobile gaming, entertainment and interactive commerce. And we believe that mobile handsets, game players and computing devices should all have access to a common source for MIDP games," said aJile Vice President of Marketing Danh Le Ngoc. "For the first time, aJile's JAMiD game development kit links the huge Java development community with the enormous Game Boy� user community. We expect that consumer products based on our JAMiD cartridge will bring wireless and peer-to-peer gaming and entertainment to the millions-strong stand-alone game player market."

Pricing and Availability

The aJile JAMiD Development Kit (JAM-ID100K) includes a JAMiD Java gaming cartridge (JAM-ID100C), J2ME/CLDC/MIDP Java Runtime, aJile development tool chain, JAMiD adapter boards and cables. The JAMiD Development Kit is available in the first week of April, and is priced at $199 each. Please contact aJile at http://www.JAMiD.com.

aJile will be offering the first public demonstrations of its JAMiD Development Kit and game cartridge this weekend at the Game Developers Conference in San Jose,

So it's a pretty wild setup. It seems that the cartidge does all the Java processing and the Gameboys are just there for display and control purposes. Interesting. However, in this article/press release they're talking about wireless games, but the fact is that if you go to the JAMID home page it doesn't say anything about wireless tech but instead talks about downloading on your PC and transferring the games via a USB cable. It also give some other interesting tidbits about the system: It supports both MIDP 1.0/2.0, comes with a 8MB MMC card (to store applications and MP3 files), a USB cable (for PC conectivity and downloads), and a GBA audio patch cable.

If this wasn't being demoed next week, I'd almost call it vapor it's such a weird combination of technologies. But still, it's The Right Idea: Downloadable games for your GameBoy. This is a good thing.

The funny thing, though, is that on their website they talk about all the free J2ME games that are available... huh. Right. There aren't. The good/real games aren't free. And did you notice this is yet another company with plans to create a J2ME games portal? Yikes!

Anyways, cool stuff. I wonder if it'll take off? The cartidge of this thing is monstrous, so I have my doubts.


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