Sun to run game server prototype, Java contest

Sun Microsystems is set to demonstrate a prototype for a game server system for both PCs and consoles, while launching a contest for independent Java game developers.

Sun Microsystems on Sunday said it will demonstrate a prototype system to enable video game publishers to use a single computer server to run online games for both PCs and consoles, cutting the ongoing cost of supporting those games.

Sun also announced a contest for independent game developers that build games with Sun's Java programming language.

Sun has pushed into games in recent years, tapping the growth in the $20 billion-plus international market, most notably in the wireless environment, where its Java 2 Micro Edition platform has been popular for games.

The server prototype is set to be exhibited at this week's Game Developers Conference in San Jose, Calif.

"We will be able to bring multiple games online, using the same exact stack of hardware," Chris Melissinos, Sun's chief game officer, told Reuters before of the show.

The server prototype, designed by the company's Game Technologies Group, uses Sun hardware and software and would allow publishers, Melissinos said, to run games from both consoles and PCs on the same platform.

He declined to say when the technology might be commercially available.

The contest is designed to showcase Java game development and includes prizes like a $40,000 development kit, computers and personal digital assistants.

Sun said the winners would be announced during the JavaOne conference in San Francisco this summer.

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