Namco, one of video gaming’s most iconic brands, today announced a new cross-platform game engine called UniteSDK, which will let gamers play with one another irrespective of the platform they’re playing their games on.
A user playing a UniteSDK-based game on their iPhone, for example, will be able to play against a PC user, who will be able to play against a Mac user, and so forth.
“Allowing gamers with the option to play anywhere, anytime and on multiple platforms will be a true milestone for Namco Networks — wanting to play a friend that has an iPhone when someone only has a PC will no longer be a prohibiting factor,” Kirby Fong, executive producer of web development and online gaming at Namco Networks said today. “UniteSDK allows Namco and in the near future, external developers, to create games that provide cross platform and cross game social community.”
Namco’s first title built on UniteSDK is called Pool Pro Online 3 and will launch on PC, iPad, Mac, Android, Java, BREW, RIM and Windows Mobile. All of these platforms will be able to engage one another.
In addition to allowing interoperability, UniteSDK also gives games the ability to support achievements, records, leaderboards, gamer profiles, in-game chat, buddy lists, one-on-one challenges, and tournaments.
It’s another move by a game company toward unifying the disparate platforms under a single interoperable umbrella. A similar move was made by Valve Corporation this week when it announced it will sell copies of its games for both Mac and Windows for a single price, and that all its future releases will launch simultaneously on PC, Xbox 360, and Mac.
Namco’s strategy however, has much more potential for revolution in that it makes community building considerably easier. When the platform is no longer a factor that separates players from one another, a community of gamers can get together, socialize, and play much more quickly.