Cell phone rivals team for games

Nokia, Motorola, Ericsson and Siemens hook up on a new effort to develop common standards for mobile games, so they can play across multiple networks and on different devices.

Wireless phone makers Nokia, Motorola, Ericsson and a Siemens business unit jointly announced Tuesday a new effort to create common standards for wireless games.

The handset giants have created the Mobile Games Interoperability Forum, an outgrowth of the Universal Mobile Games Platform group formed in March by Ericsson, Motorola and Siemens.

The new group is charged with designating specifications that would allow developers to create network-based games capable of working on several different wireless networks and various mobile phone handsets.

Technology standards are particularly critical to the wireless industry, where a variety of transmission protocols and hundreds of various handset models make common technologies necessary. At the same time, games and network gaming services are emerging as a hot growth sector for the wireless industry, which is hoping to offset declining profits in its core voice business by offering mobile Internet access, software downloads and games--all of which could generate premium service fees for the carriers.

Several companies, such as Jamdat Mobile and Unplugged Games, already are working with carriers to deliver games ranging from Gladiator to advertising-supported wireless soccer games.

The Mobile Games Interoperability Forum said it already is working with one company, Metrowerks, to create a software development kit for game developers.


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