Roku 2 May Be Able To Play Quake 3

The Raspberry Pi project, surprisingly enough, is one of my favorite stops to figure out the Roku 2 box potential. This project is using the same BCM2835 as the Roku 2 is rumored to use. In fact, their general specs almost perfectly match the Roku 2, with 256 MB Ram and several similar support components.

The Raspberry Pi team has put together a demo illustrating the power available in the BCM2835. They’ve got their system running Quake 3 Arena at decent frame rates.

This Raspberry Pi demo shows that the BCM2835 has a lot of horsepower to run games. The Roku 2 platform has this same processor and there’s the potential to see some pretty cool things happen. BUT, and this is a big one, it relies on Roku putting together a top-flight software framework to let folks harness this power. A quick check on their website confirms that they’re looking to grow their software group pretty heavily with 5 software-related recs open now.

Roku 2 Software Stack

Even though it’s off topic, the picture for Roku’s software stack is getting pretty clear from their open jobs and other known details. They’re running a Linux on an ARM processor with OpenGL 3D acceleration support. They’re using C++ for their internal development and running QT for their GUI management.

Again, this points toward great potential for the Roku 2 to really rock, but it will depend on Roku successfully hiring software engineers and pulling together their Native Development Kit (NDK) that lets developers code in C++. If and when the NDK goes public, things will get quite wild.