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Henning’s PS3 Soapbox: “Gaming 3.0” |

I know that Gary just posted about UT3, but I thought I’d start another post to talk about what UT3 says about the PS3. In particular, there’s this UT3 article and this rundown of UT3 mods over at Kotaku says the following:

I’ve always felt that user-created content has long been a sort of holy grail for console shooters. It is mods, I think, that help extend the life of shooters on the PC and it’s the last thing, well one of the major last things, you can’t do on a console shooter.

Not anymore.

When Unreal Tournament III makes its way to the PS3 it will bring with it the ability to import user-created content including maps, weapons and, yes, mods.

Personally, I don’t care for most mods except for one: maps! What are the most anticipated downloads on PSN (besides new games)? Maps! When two new maps were announced for RFoM, everyone went nuts in anticipation. And now that gamers have those maps, Resistance gameplay is extended that much further. Of course, everyone is also waiting for that new MotorStorm level, which will also give that game a boost of new life.

Playing Call of Duty 2 at work on PC’s, it’s always an interesting day when Alex (a co-worker) brings in a bunch of new maps to try. Of course, lots of them are junk. That’s what happens in the real world. But we find some good ones in there too, and they get added to our gaming roster of maps to play.

Now comes Unreal Tournament III on the PS3 – a console exclusive for at least 2007. Just imagine buying UT3 and enjoying the heck out of it for a while. But then it starts to get a bit old, so you download or create a couple new maps (or whatever kind of mod you care about) and voila! The game is new again. That’s the power of mods, and maps specifically. They take something good but old, and reinvigorate it with new life.

This new life and extra playability is what I appreciate about Sony’s stance on mods. You’ll be able to download a mod, stick it on a MemoryStick (or CompactFlash etc) and hoof it over to your PS3 and give your PS3’s UT3 new life. Epic is even trying to figure out ways to eliminate the whole “hoof it over” part by doing it all online.

This is exciting stuff. It really exemplifies the fact that Sony is committed to this nebulous “Gaming 3.0” concept that is a little less cloudy with every example we see. While LittleBigPlanet is the biggest, first, and most obvious effort in this arena on the PS3, it looks like UT3 will beat LBP to the store shelves.

Gaming 3.0 is part of Sony’s continuing effort to open up the PS3. First they started with the hardware by using industry standard components: Bluetooth, SATA, support for 3 memory card formats, HDMI. These choices have already paid dividends for us, the gamer. For example, when we want a bigger cheaper harddrive, a large selection of headsets, or cheaper peripherals (if the GHIII and Rock Band rumours end up being true). Then Sony extended their openness to operating systems by allowing several flavours of Linux to flourish on the PS3. Now it’s coming with Gaming 3.0 and games like LittleBigPlanet and UT3. The hardest part about promoting Gaming 3.0 for Sony is that they can’t do it themselves. They need developers like Epic to support the concept. Sony can show the way with games like LBP, but ultimately 3rd party developers need to take it up as well. At first it’ll be by bringing such openness from the PC world and port it over to the PS3. That’s what’s happening with UT3. Then developers should embrace and extend so that we get to see ever more cool stuff, like LBP. I hope more games follow the same Gaming 3.0 path, because gamers are going to love it, I guarantee it.

Other Soapbox Rants

  • derrickgott007

    GAME ON! 3.0!

  • Sporty

    I think mods are long overdue. They add unlimited replay value. If done well that is. Since PS3 will be able to use PC map/mods then you know we will have plenty of new game types.

    Capture the flag was always one of the first mods on early ID games before it started shipping with games as a mode. Counter strike, Rocket Arena, Team Fortress all free mods at the start that completely changed the way the gamers were played.

    Honesty I probably wont buy UT, I spent about 4 years on PC FPS’s and just can’t play them too much anymore. Mainly now for story and a little DM but I have to have a mouse to go hours online.

    But LBP I think will be huge, you will see copy cats next summer but a game where you can create nearly anything you want and share it. I bet the first week out we will see a dozen Mario and Sonic clones. TGS they will be showing the enemies for the first time. From interviews a lot of Sony dev teams are asking to do a themed level for the disk, Be kinda cool to have a Ico, GOW, and others. with new levels and games coming all the time from users. I hope Sony goes all out and sponsors contests on a regular basis for that.

    One down side I see is we will be eating threw HDD space raelly fast soon. With VOD and the media services, along with the PSOne and Someday PS2 downloads all these add-ons and full game downloads. Its going to go fast.

  • It’s textures that take up a lot of disk space – not the level data. So as long as artists are judicious with their use and re-use of textures, it shouldn’t be a problem. And even if it is – you can always upgrade to a larger HDD. Too bad there’s not utility for copying content from and old HDD to a new one.

  • liars

    Excellent post Henning.

    Having better control over content availability like this IS a big deal. And for it to come this early with a 3rd party this size is another piece of the vision committed to – being fulfilled. I think it’s also important because people will start backing off the negativity crap that SONY is clueless, etc..maybe it’s just a case of the plan unfolding takes time. An important milestone for sure.

    Sporty said
    “One down side I see is we will be eating threw HDD space raelly fast soon. With VOD and the media services, along with the PSOne and Someday PS2 downloads all these add-ons and full game downloads. Its going to go fast.”

    Good thing they use standard laptop drives and made it user upgradeable 🙂 With a backup and restore utility included.

  • Sporty

    Yes, Sony did a very good thing in going with standard HDD, Better then having a proprietary drive for 10x what it really costs like others do. And actually just as easy to upgrade. But a lot of people are still going to get confused by that process. Have to keep in mind, people are dumb in general. Just remember how many people didn’t know how to program their VCRs back in the day. Although I’d like to think Gamers are a little more tech literate

    I still need to upgrade mine someday, I’m at 28GB free now on my 60. But I know that with HDDs, the longer you wait, the cheaper and larger they get 😀

  • One of the big problems for the developers is used games. Before once you had played through ie God of War you ould replay it but mainly you would go out and resell it and get a new game. Now if you heard 2 months after launch that GOW3 would have another quest that was going to be downloaded. Would you resell your game. Some would. But most would keep it on the shelf and dust it off when the new version came out. It’s a good thing for the game publishers since more people will be keeping their games essentially forcing people to buy their own version. And hopefully that will let publishers reduce the cost of games. Though I think that last part is wishful thinking. Good article as always.

  • liars

    “Just remember how many people didn’t know how to program their VCRs back in the day.”

    I still can’t program the damn things, or use a photocopier for that matter. LOL.

  • Mike

    Yeah, I definately hope user created content becomes big on consoles. The amount of entertainment I’ve gotten out of UT2K4 and HL2 mods on the PC is huge. This was one area where Xbox never unfolded like I imagined. There were never extra levels for Halo, the new multiplayer maps from the PC version were never ported to Xbox. Hopefully Sony continues to push this and Microsoft eventually opens up Xbox live to this kind of content.