Thursday, March 23, 2006

Sony Notes from GDC

1UP.Com was part of a group that was able to ask some questions to Phil Harrison after his keynote address at GDC. Here's a link to the full article:

Most importantly, Harrison said that software was going to be region-free. Period.
It's possible for developers to put all the TV formats - PAL, NTSC, HDTV, and so on - on the disc.

Much better than consolidating region codes. Well done.

Then there was his answer as to whether the hard drive would be included with the console:
As head of the software studios I don't want to be the one comment on the hardware, but I'll say this: developers are all designing their games to support the hard drive. All of our games are absolutely using the hard drive.

That's a very furtive answer to what seems like a very simple question.

Here's another interesting question and answer:
Question: You've announced that you're going to soon offer PS1 games on the PSP via emulation. Will these titles see any sort of upgrades in the process?

PH: That's a good question, and I don't have any answers at this point. The PS3 is certainly going to offer high definition display when PS1 and PS2 games are played on it. Technically, it's possible, though the headroom is obviously less than what we can accomplish on the PS3.

Another excellent idea--converting your back catalog to the smaller screen. They won't look nearly as bad or dated that way. MLB '06 on the PSP looks so much better than it does on the PS2, just because the smaller screen hides quite a bit of the terrible aliasing that the PS2 is famous for.

Harrison also said there was going to be a new PS3 controller unveiled at E3. Good job, because the last one looked like ass. So long, batarang.

He also pumped up their online network. I have no idea how substantive it's really going to be, but at least they're going to have one, and only six months ago they were saying it wasn't needed.

At least we're getting some kind of information now out of Sony. That's a huge improvement over even a month ago. And I wonder if it had anything to do with the 360 coming out with two five-star titles in the last ten days?

Thanks to DQ reader Phoenix for sending me the link to the 1UP story.

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