GDC 09: Tool prices reduced, new software introduced and UK-made PhyreEngine is updated

Sony slashes PS3 dev costs

Sony has lowered the price of PlayStation 3 development kits and introduced new tools at GDC this week

New dev kit models are available for developers of PS3 titles around the world – Reference Tool models DECR-1400A for North America costs $2,000 and the Europe/PAL territories version is €1,700. DECR-1400J for Japan meanwhile costs ¥200,000.

The new versions of the Reference Tool "allow advanced game programming and more efficient computer graphics rendering", Sony said.

"With its more affordable pricing, this new model will appeal to a broader range of developers and publishers, and will help to provide a more streamlined game development environment, further accelerating the game development for PS3," the firm said in a statement.

Elsewhere, the firm has also beefed up its tools offering, with a new compiler, SNC PPU toolchain for PS3, now part of the official SDK. The compiler is "optimised to the power of PS3 and generates high-quality code. As a result, not only will it contribute to raising the quality of the game but also to significantly improving productivity," Sony said.

SNC has already been field tested on the production of games such as Fallout 3, Killzone 2 and Ryu ga Gotoku 3.

Also at GDC SCE introduced the latest version of its PhyreEngine rendering engine, which is UK-developed and provided to all the games development community as a full package complete with source code.

New documentation for the engine, which has been used to power internal technology like Codemasters’ Neon engine and is even cross-platform for PC, is available – and version 2.40 even includes a new foliage renderer.

A statement from the company added: "With more and more new and exciting PS3 titles scheduled for release this year from third party developers and publishers as well as from SCE Worldwide Studios, SCEI will deploy various measures to further reinforce game development for PS3 and will continue to expand the platform to offer attractive interactive entertainment experiences only available on PS3."

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