Online Shockwave 3D content arrives

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If you've been waiting for Shockwave 3D Web content, wait, no longer. It's here from big names such as CBS Sports, FoxKids, Lego, National Geographic and Shockwave.com.

Shockwave Player is installed on a majority of Web desktops. In fact, over 200 million Web surfers use it, according to Macromedia. The player, which now includes 3D functionality, is a component of Macromedia's 3D content authoring and playback solution. Macromedia Director 8.5 Shockwave Studio -- the package for creating interactive, rich media content, including 3D for the Web, CD-ROMs, DVD-ROMs and more -- began shipping last week.

Shockwave 3D content is made possible by a cooperative venture between Macromedia and Intel. Last summer Macromedia and Intel announced joint development efforts to bring Intel's Internet 3D Graphics software technology to the Macromedia Shockwave Player. But thought it's an Intel technology, Mac users get to experience everything Wintel owners do.

The Shockwave Player is a Web standard for multimedia playback. Shockwave Player users will have immediate access to 3D through the player's auto-update feature. Shockwave Player displays destination Web content such as high-performance multi-user games, interactive product simulations, online entertainment and training applications. Through Xtras, Shockwave Player is also extensible to play back custom-built applications.

The free, 3D-enhanced Shockwave Player is also available for immediate download. Grab it and you can check out the new 3D content from the following folks.

CBS SportsLine.com, which includes over million pages of multimedia sports information, entertainment, and merchandise, is using Macromedia Director 8.5 Shockwave Studio to deliver an online hockey experience. FoxKids.com, a Web site for kids ages 6-14, is creating a 3D Racing game, utilizing the popular NASCAR Racers.

The LEGO Company, one of the world's leading toy companies, is committed to the development of children's creative and imaginative abilities. LEGO.com is using Macromedia Shockwave Player to create interactive experiences that let visitors play with LEGO products in real-time 3D. The first 3D-enhanced Shockwave content on the site will be Robohunter 2: Spy City, an action game. In Robohunter 2, players use a LEGO MINDSTORMS robot to explore the shadowy city of Telgrad and track down a dangerous spy, according to Russell Stoll, creative director at LEGO Direct, a division of the LEGO Company.

Nationalgeographic.com -- which delivers online adventure and exploration to Web visitors interested in travel, photography, maps, scientific discovery, and news --- will use 3D-enhanced Shockwave content to beef up what they already do.

"With this technology, visitors to our enhanced Congo 360 can virtually walk in explorer Mike Fay's shoes, and experience his 1,200 mile trek through what he calls 'the last wild place on earth'," said Mitchell Praver, president of Nationalgeographic.com.. "It's the ultimate online adventure."

In addition to these early adopters, other companies that have announced plans to deliver 3D-enhanced Web content using the Shockwave Player include Caterpillar, Shockwave.com, and Travelocity.com. Examples of the new 3D capabilities can be experienced online at the Intel site.

Macromedia Director 8.5 Shockwave Studio is immediately available for both Macintosh and Windows platforms. The studio is priced at US$1199 for new users, $199 for users upgrading from Director 8, and $399 for users upgrading from Director versions 5 through 7. French, German, Japanese, and Korean versions of the studio are expected to ship in June.

This story, "Online Shockwave 3D content arrives" was originally published by PCWorld.

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