302w ago - MTV's Multiplayer got a sneaky peek at a new feature in Playstation Home which will allow for players to receive trophies.
For example, trophies could be given out for participating in min-games such as bowling. In an upcoming build of the development kit, companies will be able to start desiging trophies themselves.
To quote: The panel itself revealed precious little more about "Home" that hasn't already been leaked from gamers in the beta or announced by Sony. We did, however, get an interesting look at some example trophies that gamers could theoretically collect for participating in some of the mini-games (i.e. bowling) scattered in "Home"'s virtual spaces.
In an upcoming update to the Home Development Kit (HDK), companies will have a chance to start modeling these trophies themselves and playing with them in "Home."
Much of the presentation was spent looking at ways of developing and implementing objects into "Home," from the aforementioned trophies to sillier items like a bubble machine or a camera to take virtual photos with a friend's "Home" avatar. Sony says users will have the opportunity to take one item into a public space at a time, though that could change between now and the final release of "Home" sometime in 2008.
302w ago - Sony Computer Entertainment has announced that Worldwide Studios president Phil Harrison will be resigning from his post on February 29th, with SCEI president and group CEO Kazuo Hirai assuming his responsibilities on top of his current duties.
Sony notes that Harrison has been with Sony since before the launch of the original PlayStation after joining Sony Electronics Publishing in 1992. The company says he has "made a tremendous contribution to the company playing a strategic role in the launch of four PlayStation platforms," and was key in building relationships with other developers and publishers.
No reason for his departure was given, with Harrison himself saying simply that "the past 15 years at Sony Computer Entertainment has been the defining journey of my life so far," and that "I am so proud of everything PlayStation has achieved and will continue to support its future in every way I can."
Added Hirai, "As one of the founding members of SCE, Phil played a key role in the development and growth of the PlayStation business and our industry. It is sad to see him departing from SCE, but I wish to express my gratitude for his many invaluable contributions and also wish Phil the very best of luck in his future endeavors."
302w ago - The creative director of Sony's Home project has told GamesIndustry.biz in an exclusive interview to be published in full next week that he believes the PlayStation 3 virtual world platform is the "best-looking" and most "user-friendly" multiplayer experience he's seen so far.
Talking on a recent trip to Monaco for the Imagina conference, Ron Festejo explained his feeling that other virtual worlds, such as Second Life, were garish, while other online experiences were simply too hardcore for most people.
"From my point of view, looking at Second Life - because it has been mentioned a lot in the same paragraph as Home, and people make that comparison - I'm amazed at how many people go on there," he said.
He went on to discuss the importance of user-interfaces, detailed the issues he'd had interacting with others in Second Life, and also referenced other online titles that don't make it easy for inexperienced players to get involved with them.
"John [Venables, Home's lead artist] said in a presentation that for a lot of people, their first experience of online play is to 'log on...get shot in the face, log on...get shot in the face' and actually that's true - people tend to not go into that because of those experiences," he explained.
302w ago - Sony unveiled PhyreEngine at the GDC yesterday, a new "free to use graphics engine" from Sony Computer Entertainment. It seems as though the engine is cross platform as out of flOw, GripShift and DiRT that were developed using the engine, only flOw is exclusive to PlayStation.
Sony say a simple recompile is all that is needed on make games run on the PS3 and they promised ongoing development and support for PhyreEngine.
To quote: But why make it potentially easier to make games on a competing console? Well, it's undeniable that developers are increasingly focused on multiplatform development. It's been rather commonplace for developers to neglect PS3 with inferior and oftentimes delayed versions of multiplatform games.
With PhyreEngine, Sony is making a much more attractive plea: make games on PS3 first, guaranteeing high quality games that will not only match their 360 counterparts, but in many cases can exceed them.
Sony's message is clear: start games on the PS3, and they will be better for both PS3 and 360 owners. It appears to us that PhyreEngine is a crucial part of that plan.