Officials from Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc. have announced at a Japanese press conference that the company has entered into strategic licensing agreements with Epic Games, Havok, and Ageia to include an evaluation version of Unreal Engine 3, the Havok physics and animation engines, and the Ageia PhysX SDK (also known as NovodeX) as part of the PlayStation 3 software development kit (SDK).
In each case, Sony has sublicensed the product to enable the company to provide access to this complex and necessary next-generation middleware in an easier fashion, and each of the above-mentioned pieces of middleware will now become available for the PlayStation 3 developer community together with the Software Development Kit for PlayStation 3.
Frontline technical support for the products will be provided by SCEI, particularly important for many Japanese developers because the Western-developed middleware products do not necessarily have a major Japanese technical support presence, and a large and respected corporation like Sony sublicensing the product will imply a certain stability and reliability for those Japanese developers who might want to go on to license the software, in a territory where the growth of middleware has been relatively sluggish compared to the West.
"We're very excited to be able to work closely with SCEI to provide our complete end-to-end solution to PS3 developers," said Tim Sweeney, CEO, Epic Games. "Now, every PS3 developer will be able to try out Unreal Engine 3 and be productive on their very first day of PS3 development."
"This agreement between SCEI and Ageia marks a significant landmark in the development of advanced physics-enabled games," said Manju Hegde, founder and CEO of Ageia Technologies, Inc. "The capabilities of the Ageia PhysX SDK combined with the power of the Cell architecture will give developers the tools necessary to introduce dynamic physical properties within games that will leapfrog game interactivity as we know it today."
"We are excited and proud to partner with SCEI to provide our physics and animation technology with the PS3 development kit," said David O’Meara, CEO of Havok. "Havok’s technology has been used by major developers all over the world in more than a hundred games. Our agreement with SCEI opens the door for all PS3 developers to use Havok to create spectacular game worlds with incredibly realistic special effects and interactive game characters."