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GDC 09: Sony Updates Dev Kits, Lower Prices for PS3 Developers

300°
288w ago - With the start of the company's new fiscal year, Sony is devoted to pushing the PS3 as a gaming console, and has slashed prices for PS3 dev kits, as well as upgraded them to attract more developers.

To quote: In what it describes as a move to "further strengthen its support for game development on PlayStation 3," Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. is introducing a range of tool updates at lower prices.

Sony introduced new dev kit models at reduced prices: DECR-1400A for North America ($2,000) and Europe/PAL territories (€1,700), and DECR-1400J for Japan (200,000 yen). The company says the new models are the same in form factor to the commercial PS3, and claims they increase programming capabilities and graphics rendering efficiency.

At GDC 2009 today, SCE also introduced PhyreEngine version 2.40, an update to its graphics rendering engine. It includes a new "foliage rendering" system for trees and plants.

SCE will also provide a suite of tech support services for PS3 developers, promising to improve the SNC PPU toolchain, a compiler included in the SDK since February 2008.

Said the company in a statement: "With more and more new and exciting PS3 titles scheduled...
 

GDC '09: Sony Upgrades PhyreEngine, Reveals Four New Titles

100°
288w ago - Sony announced earlier that they upgraded their cross platform engine, the PhyreEngine, to version 2.40.

To quote: New features included 'foliage rendering', which allows for more ultra-realistic trees and leaves, best seen in the PSN exclusive title, Flower.

For gamers though, the bigger news is that Sony has seemingly unveiled 4 unheard of games which are all using the PhyreEngine.

These include an unamed title from Australian developer Big Ant Studios, puzzle/platforming PSN title Topatoi developed by Boolat Games, third person action game Strength of the Sword from Invent Studios, and finally, The 7th Seal by Paul Cuisset's (of Flashback fame and Shaq Fu notoriety) studio VectorCell.

Hopefully as GDC goes on, we'll hear more about these titles.
 

Sony Community Manager Explains PlayStation Home Xi Mystery

50°
288w ago - Earlier today, SilentTigeR let us know HERE that PlayStation Home Xi: The Hub is now available for PS3 users.

Now, PlayStation Home Community Manager CydoniaX has officially explained what Xi is on the PS Blog (linked above) as well as on the official [Register or Login to view links] as follows:

The world's first console-based Alternate Reality Game starts today in PlayStation Home.

Called Xi , the adventure takes place in a series of secret areas in Home - and beyond - changing day by day, week by week, in real time. Anyone with a PLAYSTATION 3 can join in the fun for free.

To discover the mystery of Xi, simply log on to PlayStation Home and look for the graffiti on the wall in the main square.

Find that, and all will be revealed...
 

GDC 2009 Preview: Sony PS3 And PSP Rumors Surface

350°
288w ago - The 2009 Game Developers Conference begins [Register or Login to view links] (already today in some parts of the world), and here are some pre-GDC 2009 PS3 and PSP rumors circulating the Internet:

We round up the latest hearsay to come from the Game Developers Conference. Teeda was kind enough to share some of the latest rumors involving the Game Developers Conference with us. Here's the latest:

• New 80gb PS3 bundled with 2 games will be launched at the end of March.. it will cost $399 (already confirmed).

• New 40gb ps3 sku will be launched this May. The cost will be $299.

• PSP slide will be shown for the first time in this year's E3. The launch is next year.

• The currently available PSP model will get a price cut too. The cost will be $119.

• Fumito Ueda will be there at GDC '09. He will announce 2 projects. One of them is Shadow of the Colossus Online.

• Syphon Filter is underway to PS3. Apparently the developers are using the same engine behind Killzone2.

• Insomniac is developing a new action platformer RPG. It looks like a Zelda clone.

• Jak 4 is on the...
 

Microsoft Lashes out at Sony and Apple - Signs of Desperation?

400°
288w ago - Recently Microsoft lashed out against two of its competitors by taking jabs.

The casualties in the latest wave of insults from Microsoft are none other than Apple and Sony. It seems like trash talking might just be a corporate mandate over at Microsoft.

However, some might argue that such mudslinging could be due to insecurity or desperation.

During a recent conference Steve Ballmer, head honcho of Microsoft, took a cheap shot at Apple. He chastised Apple for having such an expensive device such as the iPhone when Microsoft could make something that does the same thing for much less - around $150 to $200. It seems like Ballmer is indicating that Microsoft could do a better job of selling smartphones than Apple, which is contrary to the sales figures.

Aaron Greenberg, another boss over at Microsoft did a number on Sony by going into Microsoft's mantra about how the PS3 is too expensive compared to the Xbox 360, which retails for as low as $200. Starting to see a pattern here? Of course Greenberg would feel that the PS3 should be priced as low as the Xbox 360 Arcade.

This is despite the fact the PS3 has a harddrive, wireless adapter and blu-ray...
 
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