Sony Promises Developers An Easy Ride On PS3

Game development for Sony's next-generation PlayStation will be made significantly easier by the availability of high-level, familiar tools and interfaces for the platform from the outset, SCEA dev relations manager Mark DeLoura has promised.

In terms of the Cell microprocessor itself, it would be difficult for any tool to fully mask the complexity of moving to a multi-processor architecture - a problem which developers on Microsoft's Xenon platform will also face - with SCEA research director describing the task of making all the processing units work together as being similar to writing music for an orchestra.

However, Sony has at least pledged that the chip will be easy to control with C code, rather than requiring the hand-coding of large blocks of low-level assembler - one of the major difficulties of PlayStation 2 development, which tripped many projects up in the early days of the platform before coders began to specialise in that field.

Sony also revealed that it is working closely with the creators of key development tools to build a standard format for storing game assets, called Collada, which will be based on the XML specification and will allow assets to be easily ported between projects and tools.

Sony's announcements served as a timely rebuttal to J Allard's comments only a few hours before, and suggest that the company is taking the question of developer support extremely seriously with PlayStation 3. The news was welcomed by developers at the show, but didn't seem to come as a surprise to many.

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