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Gaming announcements take spotlight

OVERLAND PARK, Kan.-Analyst predictions of a groundswell in wireless gaming seem to be coming true, with a variety of companies making gaming-related announcements.

Perhaps the most important news comes from Sprint PCS, which is continuing to expand its application portfolio for its new Vision network. The carrier announced it will offer a range of Java-based downloadable games from wireless entertainment company Jamdat Mobile Inc., including Jamdat Bowling, Football and Solitaire.

Sprint now offers about 20 applications based on Sun Microsystems Inc.’s Java 2 Micro Edition standard, with more in the planning stages. Most of the applications are games.

Also on the downloadable application front, Summus Inc. and ZIO Interactive announced their new wireless golf game received the True BREW certification for Qualcomm Inc.’s BREW application delivery service. The certification means the companies’ game can be sold through Qualcomm’s BREW carrier partners, including Verizon Wireless.

While downloadable games-either those based on Java or BREW-are receiving most of the attention now, wireless entertainment company Digital Bridges said it has enjoyed significant success with games working over the WAP protocol. The company said it recorded more than 10 million WAP gaming sessions in the past 18 months.

“We expect this number to grow significantly in the second half of 2002 and into 2003 as new killer content is being developed and WAP eventually will reinvent itself to be less technology driven and more user friendly,” said Brian Greasley, the company’s chief executive officer.

Digital Bridges said its WAP games, including Wireless Pets, Steve Jackson’s Sorcery and Star Trek: First Duty, have generated a total of 71.4 million wireless minutes.

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