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Home » Featured, News

PS3 getting easier and cheaper to develop for – Sony

Submitted by on Wednesday, 25 March 2009No Comment

Now developer noob friendlySony raised quite a few eyebrows when they announced that they had made it difficult to develop for the PS3 “on purpose.”

After all, intentionally making your console arduous to create games on surely is counter-productive. Of course, the explanation given quoted the PS3’s unlocked potential and how, if they’d gone with a more simplistic design, all the console’s power would have been available at the start with advances in techniques and features not evolving as engineers became more accustomed with the system.

This also supports Sony’s infamous “10 Year Plan” strategy and who are we to dispute such a business model? Let’s not forget, the PS2 is still selling around the globe with latest NPD figures suggesting it even shifted more units in Japan this week than the PS3’s main competitor.

That’s not to say Sony are making developers code in the dark, drunk and upside down or anything, with more information emerging that, not only is it getting easier to create PS3 games, but it’s also now getting cheaper.

Kotaku reported this week that Sony Computer Entertainment have introduced new developer tools this month across all territories. These new core tools will now cost developers to the tune of US $2,000,  €1,700 and JPY 200,000 respectively, going some way to help studios in financial difficultly bring games to the market at a lower cost.

Sony claim:

“Having the same form factor as the commercially available PS3, the new Reference Tool models allow advanced game programming and more efficient computer graphics rendering. With its more affordable pricing, this new model will appeal to a broader range of developers and publishers, and will help to provide a more streamlined game development environment, further accelerating the game development for PS3.”

Kotaku go on to report that Sony are not stopping there with a new developer kit that focuses on productivity and quality called “SNC PPU toolchain for PLAYSTATION 3”, which we’ll just refer to as SNC forever more, also made available. SNC has already been used in AAA titles like Fallout 3, Killzone 2 and Ryu Ga Gotoku (Yakuza) 3, making developers’ lives a little easier during the development process.

These updated (and lower priced) tools go a long way in making the PS3 more attractive to develop on. Don’t forget that Sony’s updated PhyreEngine is also adding new tools to developers’ belts in terms of graphical modes and techniques such as foliage animation. These tecniques were seen in such recent games as Flower which was actually Thatgamecompany’s second game using the platform.