True power of PlayStation 3 to be revealed in 2008

2007 saw the Xbox 360 stealing the software limelight through more than a few critically acclaimed console exclusives, while the Nintendo Wii’s ongoing popularity saw it surpassing all of its market rivals in unit sales. But what of the PlayStation 3?

2007 for the PS3 saw a parade of somewhat disappointing software exclusives, repeated delays to eagerly anticipated flagship titles, and a blizzard of confusion and controversy surrounding price reductions and the culling of lower GB hardware models. Along the way it also managed to benefit from the value of its steadily expanding PlayStation Store and the likes of Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction and Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune.

That being said, 2007 certainly wasn’t the year that Sony and its faithful PlayStation fans were hoping for. Well, saddle up believers, because the videogame development community is indicating that 2008 will be the year that the true power behind the PlayStation 3 comes to the fore. Excited? You should be.

More pointedly, several prominent industry figures have recently been quoted in a Games Radar report as claiming that after a year of the PS3’s life cycle videogame developers are finally growing more accustomed to channelling the considerable capabilities hidden beneath its ominously rumbling hood.

For example, Brain Hastings, the chief creative officer at Insomniac Games (Resistance: Fall of Man, Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction) believes that the studio’s third-generation PlayStation 3 engine will provide a similar transitional leap of quality as was witnessed when Insomniac shifted up from first to second (30fps to 60fps) with the recent Tools of Destruction.

Similarly, Mark Rein, the founder of Epic Games (Unreal Tournament 3) believes that user-created content will exist as a real plus point for the PlayStation 3 in 2008, outlining that PC users will be able to utilise the studio’s Unreal Engine 3 technology to craft mods that can played via the PS3, while Media Molecule’s ambitious LittleBigPlanet will offer up user-based content interaction never seen before on a home console.

Although certain quarters of the development fraternity have seen fit to criticise the PlayStation 3 for apparent dev kit difficulties and a lack of base support from Sony, there are those who see the console as an incredibly powerful tool that remains largely untapped.

“Once you put the effort in and start to understand the hardware, you can see PS3’s huge technical potential,” enthused Dave Connell, the lead console programmer at Traveller’s Tales. Connell also noted that the challenge associated with the PlayStation 3’s synergistic processor units (SPUs) is vitally important when it comes to truly accessing the console’s promise. “We are going to see the quality of PS3 titles improve for many years to come as people get to grips with them,” he added. “It might turn out that things we’ve not even thought of end up best demonstrating the power of PS3.”

With other notable developers from the likes of Pandemic, Bethesda, and EA all chiming in with claims that current and upcoming games on the PlayStation 3 are using only around 30 percent of the console’s potential power, 2008 could well be the year that developer evolution with Sony’s hardware is mirrored through the games that we are all presently looking forward to.

Note the date on this article may be incorrect due to importing it from our old system.