A recent PlayStation Meeting 2005 event in Tokyo gave us more information about the direction that Sony plans to take in the future. In addition to the same movies, slides, and real time demos Sony showed at it’s press conference for E3, Sony announced several new and important licensing agreements and showed new real-time demos, including one for Resident Evil 5.
The first licensing agreement is with Epic Games. Sony has gained sublicensing rights to the Unreal Engine 3 for their PS3 Software Developer Kit (SDK).
"We’re very happy to have a strategic licensing agreement with Epic Games," expressed Masa Chatani, corporate executive and CTO of Sony. "The power of Unreal Engine 3 demonstrated at E3 was so highly received. By providing the outstanding content development technology of Unreal Engine 3 for PS3 developer community, we believe that many high quality content maximizing the power of PS3 will become available."
Sony also announced a similar partnership with AGEIA Technologies for their AGEIA PhysX SDK.
"This agreement between (Sony) and AGEIA marks a significant landmark in the development of advanced physics-enabled games," said Manju Hegde, founder and CEO of AGEIA Technologies, Inc. "The capabilities of the AGEIA PhysX SDK combined with the power of the Cell architecture will give developers the tools necessary to introduce dynamic physical properties within games that will leapfrog game interactivity as we know it today."
The third licensing agreement is with Havok and allows Sony to use Havok physics and animation engines.
"We are excited and proud to partner with (Sony) to provide our physics and animation technology with the PS3 development kit," said David O'Meara, CEO of Havok. "Havok's technology has been used by major developers all over the world in more than a hundred games. Our agreement with (Sony) opens the door for all PS3 developers to use Havok to create spectacular game worlds with incredibly realistic special effects and interactive game characters."
Sony has also acquired SN Systems who will support developers with ProDG, a tool that is currently used for PS2 and PSP development.
"It's a great pleasure to have SN Systems on board PlayStation," said Chatani. "For more than 10 years, they have pioneered the development of great tools for PlayStation content creation. By combining our experience and skills together, PlayStation will have even more sophisticated tools to deliver to content creators around the world."
Sony has also announced that they will be providing "frontline support" for Japanese developers. In the past, a lack of Japanese language documentation and support have been major hurdles for Japanese developers to adopt middleware solutions.
Several real-time demos were presented by Tim Sweeney of Epic games. Bandai and Koei each showed a demo, though both were still in very early stages. Both demos had poor animation and physics at this point. Sony showed demos for "LAIR" from Factor 5 and Genji. Armored Core from Software’s Project Force was shown. Last (but definitely not least), Sony showed a demo for Resident Evil 5. The game looks a lot like Resident Evil 4 so far, except for the well-lit environment that the previous Resident Evil games have not used.