What I may not be interested in is the kind of stacatto replies you're offering: yes-no, yes-no, yes-no presented without argumentation in a cocksure besserwissing manner. That's definately a waste of time especially in a general discussion forum.
If your as experienced in C++ and Java as you claim, then you should already have the answers.
Sometimes there really are yes and no answers and everything else is just clouding and misdirection. The questions I posed are simply and accuratley answered with those two and three letter words. I choose to simplify the questions and responses to eliminate the possibility for you or anyone else to misdirect the discussion further. However, here are some statements to backup my "cocksure" answers:
1 - Can C++ be faster then Java - YES. -
C++ can do some forms of data manipulation faster and often has a more direct route (less abstraction) from the hardware, therefore there are areas where C++ can exceed Java's performance.
2 - Does this mean that Java isn't good for game development - NO.
Several games have already been developed in Java - covering everything from simple 2D to 3D using the latest video card capabilities - across all game genres. The language is turing complete and sufficiently performant enough for 95% of the games one would want to develop.
3 - Can Java be used to build ANY game that can be built in C++? - UNKNOWN - Logic would suggest that a game pushing the absolute limits of the CPU may not be possible in Java without bridging to native assembly calls, though a C++ version would probably require that as well. 1-5% of games developed per year may fall into that category.
No one has built or attempted to build a truly bleeding edge engine in Java as of this time. So there is no proof either way.
4 - Is Java faster for development then C++ - YES.
There are many examples out there of this, but I'll give you one of my own.
My company is owned by an umbrella company which is ranked as the 6th largest software developer in Canada. In 2002 I was hired to hire a team and design a rewrite of our core product from the ground up. I choose to use Java and the project was completed on time and under budget 2 years later. Four of our sister companies were challenged at the same time with the same task. None of them succeded and all but one was eventually cancelled (they were using Delphi and are close - 2 years late, but close). Two of the projects were in C++. Our parent company was very upset (millions of dollars wasted) and hired consultants to evaluate the projects. The C++ projects both had more resources and the scope of the products they were developing were substantially smaller. Primary reasons sited for the falures was technical complexity inherint with the technology platforms chosen. As the size and complexity grew, the development slowed and stalled. Our product was the only one that was finished, the only one under budget, required the least resources, was the largest project (functionality wise - 4.5 Million lines of code) and is the only one that runs on multiple platforms. I got promoted to director of R&D for being the architect of the project and our parent company has me consult on all the techology decisions being made across the various companies for anything with a budget exceeding a million dollars.
Ton's of other stories exist. It's the nature of language design. Eliminate the pain points to improve the productivness and simplify the solution.
5 - Is there any point about arguing performance issues of C++ vs Java - NO
People see what they want to see. We can go back and forth for a millenia and be no further in this discussion. That's why it's a waste of time and there is no point.