Officials from Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) have made a number of announcements regarding development tools for the forthcoming PlayStation 3 console. As part of these announcements, the company will begin its tools and middleware licensing program for the new console from October 1st this year.
The licensing program will be offered to qualified tools and middleware companies that develop and supply products for the PlayStation 3 platform. SCEI will also begin to offer technical and marketing support to these companies at the same time.
The initial list of tools and middleware licensees for the PlayStation 3 (in alphabetical order) are Alias Systems, Autodesk, Avid Technology, CRI Middleware, Emergent Game Technologies (recently merged with Numerical Design), Epic Games, Firelight Technologies, Havok, Interactive Data Visualization, Metrowerks Games Team, Pixelux Entertainment, RAD Game Tools, SiliconStudio and Web Technology Corp.
Also today, SCEI officials announced that the company has completed its acquisition of SN Systems and will start providing evaluation versions and final ProDG tools to the development community from October, along with the PlayStation 3 SDK (software development kit).
Sony seem keen to address previous comments that the PlayStation 2 suffered from an initial lack of in-depth tools, and was relatively difficult to program for, as discussed recently by SCEE developer support manager George Bain at Game Developers Conference Europe. However, it's notable that, despite the acquisition of the company by SCEI, SN Systems will continue to offer its ProDG products to other formats, according to Sony.
Finally, the company confirmed that the Ageia PhysX SDK physics library would also be made available to PlayStation 3 developers from October, joining an evaluation version of the Unreal Engine 3 engine by Epic Games and Havok's Havok Complete XS physics engine to provide a significantly more complete set of tools for the PlayStation 3 compared to those initially available for the PlayStation 2.