Open GL on BlackBerry Smartphones

Following up on yesterday's announcement of Open GL ES support for BlackBerry Smartphones, we followed up with RIM today at the BlackBerry Developer Conference to clarify exactly which devices would be able to take advantage of the 3D graphics standard via the newly-released Open GL APIs. The original press release made note that it would be available to BlackBerry Smartphones running the OS 5.0 platform and higher, which is not totally the case. Not all in-market OS 5.0 devices will be able to run these new apps which incorporate 3D graphics.

Currently, the only devices that will be able to take advantage of the Open GL APIs are those devices running OS 5.0, the latest Qualcomm chipsets that also meet the minimum memory requirements needed to run the standard smoothly, specifically the BlackBerry Storm2 and yet-to-be released BlackBerry Curve 8530. Other existing devices, including the original Storm, and the new Bold 9700 will not be able to run apps and games that make use of the 3D standard even though they have OS 5.0 (am guessing Storm1 doesn't have the memory to do it, while the Bold's processor doesn't play friendly with it just yet). The Tour hasn't had 5.0 officially rolled out to it yet, but hopefully when it does it'll make the Open GL cut. Looking ahead, hopefully more devices (including GSM BlackBerry Smartphones that are not running on Qualcomm chips) will be able to run BlackBerry games and apps that feature Open GL 3D graphics.

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