UK studios already working with PlayStation 3 dev kits

Britsoft developers get their first glimpse at Sony's next-gen plans in the flesh

Several studios in the UK are already working with development hardware for the next-generation PlayStation console, has learned, as Sony continues quietly rolling out dev kits to select partners ahead of the system's E3 unveiling.

A number of Japanese companies have had development hardware for the console for several months, and some are believed to be working on software demos for E3, but today brought the first confirmation that kits have shipped in the UK as well.

So far, however, the roll-out of systems appears to be to a small group of Sony's close partners, and we're only aware of two studios in the country which have hardware - although some others may simply be remaining more tight-lipped about the kits.

Details of what exactly is present in the next-generation PlayStation dev kits are sparse, but according to one development source, "they're more advanced than the PowerMac kits [Microsoft] has given us [for Xenon] - they're still prototypes, but they're closer to what'll be in the final console... The graphics chip isn't there, say, but we can get a pretty good idea by taking an NVIDIA 6800 and saying, okay, it'll be like this but faster."

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