3D-enabled Flash Player 11 coming next month

Unfazed by the cold shoulder Microsoft seems to be giving it, Adobe has announced a new version of its Flash Player designed to usher in real-time, "console-quality" 3D graphics. Adobe Flash Player 11 is due out in early October, and it will be accompanied by a new AIR 3 runtime, the company says.

Flash Player 11's new three-dimensional functionality is dubbed Stage 3D, which Adobe defines as a "new architecture for hardware accelerated graphics rendering that delivers 1000x faster rendering performance over Flash Player 10." The result, as you might expect, will be real-time 3D Flash games. The company demos one example, Zombie Tycoon, in the video below:

In addition to the newfangled 3D functionality, Flash Player 11 will purportedly introduce new features geared toward high-definition video playback. You can look forward to "native 64-bit optimizations, high-quality HD video conferencing, and a powerful, flexible architecture for leveraging native device and platform capabilities," Adobe says.

Adobe expects the first 3D Flash games to start popping up later this year and in 2012.

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