Thursday, July 21, 2005
Sony Unveils Development Plans for PS3
Sony on Thursday unveiled a range of development tools so software companies can develop games for its next-generation PlayStation 3 video game console.
The company said it acquired Britain's SN Systems Ltd. and formed strategic alliances with U.S.-based Ageia Technologies Inc., Havok and Epic Games to provide more tools.
Sony is counting on PlayStation 3 to dominate in all aspects of networked home entertainment -- games, movies, music and more.
The company had said in May at the Electronic Entertainment Expo that it planned to launch PlayStation 3 in 2006, but there had been concern in the development community about the immense cost of creating games with movie-quality graphics for a machine with unparalleled processing speed.
"Things that we thought were only possible in movies are now possible in games," Ken Kutaragi, Sony's game division head, told a meeting of developers, suppliers and media.
"But we're receiving calls every day from game developers who want to know how to develop games for the PS3 and how (game unit) Sony Computer Entertainment intended to support them."
Sony has said the PS3 will feature a graphics chip with 300 million transistors, more than the combined processing power of the current-generation Microsoft Corp. Xbox, Nintendo Co. Ltd. Game Cube and the PlayStation 2 combined.
In addition, sources at Sony indicate that unlike the PSP, PS3 games will not feature any region code restrictions in the software component. However, the device will support playback of High Definition content through an HDMI digital interface, which features copy protection schemes.
Industry analysts believe the development cost of a high-end game for a machine like PS3 could rise to US$15 million to US$20 million from about US$10 million now.