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Friday, March 24, 2006

Sony Song And Dance

Not being at GDC and trapped behind a corporate proxy, I'm getting some of my conference info from MTV, of all places:

During his presentation, Harrison cued an undersea demo of thousands of fish gathering in swirling schools, each using their own artificial intelligence to flock with matching species and zip through the deep. Later, on the GDC show floor, a Sony rep said the demo's 5,000 fish were flocking with a sophistication of autonomous artificial intelligence that would have limited the pool to just 50 if the demo had been built for PS2.

An unannounced PS3 car game was shown in equally stripped form. A sporty two-door was placed on a sun-cracked desert flat and an unseen gun let loose. This demo showed damage applied in procedural stages, meaning the destruction of the car was not a canned animation but rather a series of cracks, breaks and drops cued by the unique pattern of that particular play session's gunfire. The bullets at this demo punctured the passenger door enough that it swung open, causing the passenger window to shatter, the side mirror to crack off, the bumper to drop to the ground and the hood to pop open.

The next demo was an oversea aerial battle from "Warhawk," a title from developer Incognito that was promised to be playable at E3 in May. Incognito product director Dylan Jobe used a PS2 controller and PS3 devkit to steer a fighter through "hundreds" of enemy planes and a herd of lumbering ships. Jobe pointed out the game's procedurally rendered ocean (now waves — instead of a car — reacting on the fly to attack) and volumetric, ray-traced clouds.

Insomniac president Ted Price played a "Doom III"-style level of his company's PS3 first-person shooter "Resistance: Fall of Man," and introduced a non-interactive teaser trailer for his company's first next-gen "Ratchet and Clank." "If you do everything right, the PlayStation 3 can do more per frame than any system ever invented," Price raved as he blasted enemies in "Resistance" with a weapon perhaps best described as a porcupine bomb.
-- PlayStation 3 Demo Breaks Gaming Ground

I dunno, sounds an awful lot like when the PS2 was coming out and Sony released demo vids of islands being formed in seconds or whatnot. Seems like the ramp up to console releases always have big, big promises that are usually accompanied with slideshows and mpegs ... but that doesn't always mean much for the final product.

I just can't get excited about the next-gen stuff until it matures a bit.

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