Representatives from British publisher and developer Codemasters have revealed that the company is creating its own Neon engine for the PlayStation 3, in conjunction with Sony Computer Entertainment.
Speaking to UK trade magazine Develop, as reprinted by consumer website PSINext, Codemasters producer Gavin Cheshire indicated that, “We looked at the middleware solutions we could use - we had no axe to grind, frankly, and just wanted to find the technology we could have ready for the next-gen so we weren’t left catching up in ten years’ time. We looked around at the Renderwares and the Unreals, but nothing really fulfilled our requirements – specifically for the PS3, anyway.”
As a result of this research, Codemasters contacted Sony and have begun the construction of a new next generation engine, built from scratch over the last eighteen months.
“Sony knew early on that it was going to be hard to get the very best out of the PS3 early on, so the Japan office commissioned a team in Europe to start devising new technology and tools,” said Cheshire. “What we were able to do is exploit something that Sony was developing internally, which we were the first to see – and since then we’ve worked very closely with Sony. It’s a two-way street.”
Unusually though, the Neon engine is intended to be cross platform, with Cheshire indicating that, “Sony said that was fine. Sony realises that the only way to make next-gen viable for everyone was to allow everyone to exploit technology”. The first game to use the engine will be rally game Colin McRae DIRT, expected on both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.