Qube Software’s ‘future generation’ game middleware ‘Q’ is now available for the Wii console from Nintendo.
The announcement follows Q’s successful launch at GDC in San Francisco last month.
“Wii is changing the way people experience video games and reaching out to broader markets so we are very excited about this platform," said Qube’s CEO Servan Keondjian. "With Wii, as with other platforms, Q provides an easy route to exploiting the hardware while also allowing developers to get the very most from it. High standards of performance and rendering quality are very important to us and we will continue to build on Q’s already excellent capabilities on Wii over the coming year.”
“We designed Q so that it’s lean enough to perform well on last generation consoles and is even better on the current generation of machines. Q is an incredibly powerful tool. It really brings out the best in the Wii,” Keondjian said. “Q fully supports special hardware features including custom shaders through platform specific APIs.”
“Meanwhile all of Q’s core features are available on Wii,” added Keondjian. “These include background data streaming, a renderer that supports arbitrary scene rendering algorithms, a texture manager capable of handling scenes with many gigabytes of texture visible on screen, a cross-platform data format, n-dimensional animation blending, a background work queue and a 3D editor which allows both core and custom plug-ins to run live inside the editing environment.”
Q has been designed to liberate developers by allowing them complete freedom to adapt and add to the middleware in order to make it completely their own.
“Q comes as a series of modules built around a flexible framework,” said Q Program Manager Jamie Fowlston. “You get approximately 80% of the code you’d need to write a game but you can also customise any of the modules we supply, add your own or plug in third party tools.”
Q has also been designed so that its databases and core APIs work on all platforms making it far easier and more cost effective for developers to create games across the various current platforms. This allows developers, for instance, to build, test and debug their game on any one platform before deploying on any other.
"We were hugely encouraged by Q's reception at GDC," said Fowlston. "We have a lot of people wanting to evaluate it. Put simply, Q seems to push all the right buttons. We really do believe it is the first solution to comprehensively address game developers’ frustration at traditional middleware's lack of flexibility, something they’ve been hampered by for years.”
Keondjian, who together with Qube’s CTO Doug Rabson created Direct3D, believes Q will bring about a fundamental shift in the way that game developers approach middleware.
"Fifteen years ago, game middleware was game engines and renderers. Today it’s still game engines and renderers. Fifteen years ago middleware wasn’t very flexible. Today middleware still isn’t very flexible. Fifteen years of no real change isn’t just a long time in this industry, it’s an eternity. But with Q that change has finally come about."
To try Q today contact Jamie Fowlston on +44 20 7431 9995 or via firstname.lastname@example.org.