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Friday, September 02, 2005

GDC Europe 2005: Developing for PlayStation 3

GDC Europe 2005: Developing for PlayStation 3

"Although the release date of the PlayStation 3 remains a closely guarded secret, Sony has been less reticent in drumming up developer support for the nascent format. This afternoon session at the Game Developer Conference Europe event in London was relatively short on new information but provided a useful overview of the system architecture and the development tools Sony intends to provide for its developers.

The sole speaker for the session was George Bain, the Developer Support Manager at SCEE (Sony Computer Entertainment Europe) Technology Group. He started by giving a quick recap of the PlayStation 3's technical specifications, apparently using figures taken directly from press releases originally released at E3. Bain joked about the description on one of his slides, describing the new console as a “system utilizing the Cell processor with super computer like power”, but insisted that despite the marketing spiel the description was accurate.

After running through the statistics for the Cell processor and NVidia's RSX GPU (Graphics Processing Unit), Bain paused to discuss the new controllers in more detail. He reiterated that the new boomerang designs were concepts only and were not necessarily representative of the final retail models. He clarified too, that the odd numbered limit of seven wireless controllers per console were a product of the way in which Bluetooth 2.0 operates, where the console itself is considered to be the eighth device in the network.

In answer to a later question from the audience Bain admitted that the wireless signal could be interfered with by another nearby PlayStation 3 console and in those instances where many consoles would be close by, such as at a LAN party, it would be necessary to default to using wired controllers via the console's USB ports. It was also mentioned that keyboards, mice and other devices could also be used as games controllers but that Sony would always insist that any game could also be controlled with the default controller.

Bain also touched upon the PlayStation 3's removable hard drive, confirming that Sony did consider it an important peripheral, but saying that the company had not yet decided its price, its size or – most importantly – whether it would be bundled with the console or available only as a stand alone extra." [more]

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