Archive for 2005

Developing for PlayStation 3

At the Game Developer Conference Europe, George Bain, the Developer Support Manager at SCEE, revealed a few details about developing for the PS3.

First of all, he reiterated that the boomerang controllers were concepts only and were subject to change. And there are seven controllers allowed because only eight Bluetooth devices are allowed by the hardware, and the PS3 itself is considered the eighth.

On the HDD, Sony does consider it an important peripheral, but has not yet decided on its price, size, or inclusion with the PS3.

And in a statement that will be a big relief to PlayStation developers (and therefore gamers) everywhere:

he quoted the famous Spider-Man line of “With great power comes great responsibility”, in apparent reference to Sony’s determination to provide as much technical support as possible to developers. As Phil Harrison had said earlier in the day, he acknowledged that the PlayStation 2 had proven difficult to program for and assured the audience that Sony had learnt its lesson. Bain suggested that this was one reason for using NVidia’s graphics technology, since it would enable the use of more widely familiar APIs.

So hopefully developers will find it easier to build games for the PS3, thus allowing them to work on making a great game instead of trying to figure out the PS3′s innards.

Gamasutra – Postcard from GDC Europe 2005: Developing for PlayStation 3

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Lots of Xbox 360 Details

Eurogamer had a chance to talke to Chris Satchell, general manager of Microsoft’s Game Developer Group. And they’ve dug up a lot of Xbox 360 details I’ve not seen already. There are literally 35 points of interest listed, but I’ll only touch on a few.

“The console can be switched on and off wirelessly using the Media Remote control or the wireless game controller.”

Hey, now that’s cool. If I have a game I play a lot, I can just keep it in my machine, and turn the machine on and off with the controller. Nice touch.

“The System blade offers greater control over your individual settings. You can specify, for example, that you prefer to invert the right analogue stick camera control and this will then be picked up on in any game you play.”

Nice! I hate having to invert the camera control in every game.

“The “ring of light” around the power button highlights which wireless controller is being used, highlighting player one’s activity in the top-left quadrant. When the console is laid on its side, it senses this and starts using the top-left quadrant as you see it with the console laid flat. What’s more, the ring of light motif is spread throughout the Xbox 360 interface, so you can see which player pulled up the “Guide” page as you’re watching a film or playing a game and, in the words of Satchell, “slap him”.”

Just a nifty little thing that’ll make the Xbox 360 experience consistent.

“DVDs can be played even if you don’t have the remote control, unlike Xbox 1.”

Good!

“iPods are detected by default, as are PSPs, and by our watch it took about 2 or 3 seconds for the Xbox 360 to notice they were there. With an iPod plugged in you can play music direct through the Dashboard software, with visualisations, or you can play a slideshow of photographs.”

Cool stuff. I wish I had an iPod or PSP…

Eurogamer – Xbox 360: Lots And Lots Of Questions Answered

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Heavenly Sword by Ninja Theory

Heavenly SwordNinja Theory started development of Heavenly Sword before they knew what console they were targetting. They said hey, we know that the consoles will be super powerful, so lets take a guess at how powerful they’ll be, and start developing this game on a PC. Later, we’ll move it to a console. That console ended up being the PS3, and Ninja Theory details the arduous journey of finding a publisher for Heavenly Sword.

The PS3 game features a red-haired heroine with a mighty sword. And many other weapons as well. The trailer shows off her many moves in combat against a large numbers of foes, with detailed enemies and destructable environments. The graphics look great, and the animations even better. The heroine does flips through the air, tosses people into one another, and blasts an uber-canon at a horde of evil-doers. It doesn’t look like any of this is in-game, so I wonder how much of what is seen in the trailer will translate to actual gameplay. One thing the developer diary notes is that they had a working demo to show off to potential publishers. I’d love to see what’s in that demo, because this looks like a great game.

Ninja Theory – Heavenly Sword Screenshots
Ninja Theory – Developer Diary
Eurogamer Interview – This Sword’s Gone To Heaven
PS3 IGN – Heavenly Sword – Main Page
Gamespot – Heavenly Sword – Main Page

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Unreal Engine 3 and the 360 HDD

team XBOX had a chance to interview Mark Rein, Vice President of Epic Games, to talk about the Unreal Engine 3 (UE3) and the Core Xbox 360.

To sum up, there are few worries. If you don’t have a HDD, UE3 can still stream levels from the DVD to allow seamless world support.

team XBOX – Unreal Engine 3 and the Xbox 360 Hard Drive

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