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

300°
296w 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...
 

Sony: Developers Unrealistic About PS3 Price Cuts

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297w ago - Sony Computer Entertainment of America marketing boss Peter Dille has suggested that recent developers calling for PS3 price cuts are being unrealistic.

Chatting with [Register or Login to view links], Dille joked everyone in the dev community would love for the PS3 to be free so that they could just sell razor blades.

To quote: "Everybody in the development community would love for the PS3 to be free, so they could just sell razor blades," Dille joked, explaining that Sony have to make the console profitable, as well as growing the userbase.

Dille was responding to increasing pressure on the platform holder to cut costs, after EA Sports boss Peter Moore became the latest industry figure to hint that further price cuts were needed.

Despite these clamours, the Sony big wig said that no PS3 price cut can be expected soon. Nintendo, meanwhile, are planning to raise The Price of the Wii in the UK next month.
 

Rumor: Sony to Invite Third-party Developers in PlayStation Home

50°
309w ago - Although only a rumor thus far, Telegraph speculates that Sony may eventually and legitimately open up the PlayStation Home platform to third-party developers in order to build and create extra features.

It is rumored that having an official area for hacks and teaks may prevent damaging hacking attempts.

To quote: Developers have found a way to exploit vulnerabilities within the software's code to allow them to customize their PlayStation Home experience beyond the options provided by Sony.

PlayStation Home, a Second Life-like virtual world that providea PS3 users with a three-dimensional social gaming space in which to interact and communicate with other players, was launched on Dec 11.

One hack uses a combination of the Apache web server and DNS re-direction to allow users of PlayStation Home to watch their own movies on display screens within the game, and change text and music to whatever they choose.

A second hack enables players to download any file they want from PlayStation Home's servers, such as a fellow user's profile or avatar, the cartoon-like representation of themselves they create to appear in the virtual world.

But the most worrying...
 

The Top 5 Game Developers of This Generation

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316w ago - By now, the term 'Next-gen' has transformed itself into 'Current-gen' in the minds of videogame enthusiasts. Gamers all across the world have seen what the consoles are capable of, played the cream of the crop, bickered about which version has more Trees, etc.

While there have been a few flops this Gen (Yes, we're looking at YOU Too Human & Lair) there have certainly been plenty of hits. With excellent software having been released for all 3 platforms, we turn our attention to the teams behind the software.

#5- Nintendo EAD (Mario Galaxy, Wii Sports, LOZ: Twilight Princess)

Nintendo's dramatic shift into casual gaming caused a lot of anger and complaints: "Why all the casual games?!?", "Do they even care about core gamers?!! "What The heck is WiiFit?", all these were questions thrown at the Japanese video game juggernaut.

While it's clear the 'Old Nintendo' is long gone, the 'new' Nintendo still has the most valuable feature of the departed: The ability to produce kick-butt games. Mario Galaxy is a shining example of what Nintendo EAD has brought to the table this gen; Innovative gameplay that is pure fun to play through.

Though Nintendo EAD's Online efforts are virtually non-existent, their continued efforts in producing great offline games have been met with...
 

To Video Game Developers: Enough with the Patches Already

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316w ago - Gamertell has posted an opinion piece regarding the annoyance of paying full price for a game that ships with mistakes that have to be patched.

From the article: "Most recently, games such as LittleBigPlanet, SOCOM Confrontation, Fable 2, and Castle Crashers have been victims of a crucial gameplay element being either broken or excluded from launch.

The good thing about technology and consoles in this generation is the ability of adding or fixing content through the use of a simple patch.

However, just because developers have this ability doesn't mean they should abuse it."

Feel free to share your opinions in the comments!
 
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