Adobe first teased us with Flash Player 11 and Adobe Air 3 at the end of September, promising "console-quality" 2D and 3D games over the Internet to Google's Android, Apple's iOS, the BlackBerry Tablet OS, Mac OS, Windows, connected TVs and other platforms. Given that many popular Flash-based games are simplistic in nature, this seemed like a bold promise to make. If anything, it sounded as if Adobe planned to take on streaming services like Gaikai and OnLive.
"Full hardware-accelerated rendering for 2D and 3D graphics enable 1,000 times faster rendering performance over Flash Player 10 and AIR 2," Adobe said. "Developers are able to animate millions of objects with smooth 60 frames per second rendering and deliver console-quality games on Mac OS, Windows and connected televisions. A pre-release brings these same accelerated 2D and 3D capabilities to mobile platforms including Android, Apple iOS and BlackBerry Tablet OS. A production release for mobile platforms is expected in the near future."
Now both Flash Player 11 and Adobe Air 3 are available to download and install, and could possibly change the face of online gaming whether it's social or hardcore. Even more, Tuesday Epic Games announced that Unreal Engine 3 can run inside an Adobe Flash-based environment, allowing gamers to play titles like Unreal Tournament 3 within a web browser on low-end machines. Epic Games Chief Executive Officer, Founder and Technical Director Tim Sweeney today demonstrated this possibility during a keynote at Adobe MAX 2011, Adobe’s annual conference for developers, designers and business leaders.
"UE3 is constantly evolving, with new breakthroughs, technologies and optimizations for multiple platforms," Epic said in a press release. "Flash Player 11, with its hardware accelerated, programmable graphics pipeline, is now capable of running triple-A gaming content authored for high-end platforms using the industry’s latest tools and technologies."
"Flash Player is a key technology for gaming on social networks and the Web, and with UE3 will usher in the leap from simplistic 2D game experiences to world-class 3D gaming on the Web," the company added. "With its new hardware-accelerated Stage 3D APIs, Flash Player 11 allows 1,000 times faster 2D and 3D graphics rendering performance over Flash Player 10. Developers can now animate millions of objects with smooth 60 frames per second rendering and deliver console-quality games on Mac OS, Windows and connected televisions."
Emmy Huang, group product manager of Adobe Gaming Solutions, calls Flash 11 the console of the Web. "Flash is delivering immersive gaming experiences across screens and we’re thrilled to have Epic Games using Flash Player to deliver its blockbuster, premier 3D games on the Web," Huang said.
To get Adobe Flash Player 11, head here; Adobe Air 3 can be downloaded by heading here. After that, there are a number of demos that you can test including Zombie Tycoon, MAX Racer (which is a 145 MB download for high resolution), Delta Strike's four space battle demos, and Tanki Online Version 2 -- other demos don't seem to work with the final build. So far there's no indication of when we'll see the likes of Unreal Tournament 3 on Facebook or some other Flash 11-enabled website, so stay tuned.