Browsers have become ridiculously flexible and powerful over the past few years. They now support advanced 3D graphics, among other features, that power Google Maps and other such applications. Keeping that in mind, Epic Games’ CEO Tim Sweeney noted that the gaming industry will embrace browsers, predicting a future where games can be enjoyed in a browser.
“We’re slowly heading in that direction as an industry,” he said. “You should be able to take any game – a PlayStation 3 or iOS game, for example – and just go to that and play it from any web browser.”
The studio has ported Unreal Engine 3 to Flash, enabling developers the chance to make their games run in supported web browsers. Sweeney hopes this will eliminate the middle man.
“In another few years, I think that’s going to be a very realistic scenario,” he concluded. “And so the web will generally be a platform, and you can have a real application with a full feature set that runs within a web browser.”
I can’t help but agree with him. I practically live in browsers now. The only desktop applications I run are games and MP3 player (because I have a large offline collection).
Eidos and Warner Bros. Interactive have announced that they have signed an agreement that will see the former publishing Justice League: Heroes for the PS2, Xbox and PSP in North America and Europe this Fall.
Developed by Snowblind Studios, JL: Heroes is an action-adventure game with role-playing customization, letting players step into the underwears of Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Wonder Woman, Manhunter, Zatanna and other unlockable heroes. Each hero will possess character-specific, upgradeable superpowers, resulting in unique controls and fighting styles. Co-op will make its presence in the game in the form of one-to-two player cooperative combat.
Shocking people worldwide, Sony finally popped the lid on the PlayStation 3, divulging more information than expected. Well, the company today held its “PlayStation Business Briefing” at Tokyo, talking to partners and press about the upcoming console, as well as the PSP and the PS2.
First up is the PS2, which has been selling very well. Launched almost six years ago, the console has marked its place in 32% of US homes, 41% in Japan and 33% in the UK, with the numbers increasing daily. Seeing how well the console is doing, Sony stated that there will be no price cuts for the time being, and that the machine will sell at its current price of $150 for some time to come. Ken Kutaragi, also known as the father of PlayStation, expects the company to ship over 10 million PS2 units this year.
Things get interesting as it comes to the PSP. At the event, Sony announced that it has already shipped more than 15 million units of the handheld and that it has gained huge support from a range of users. And to further accelerate penetration of the handheld, Sony announced what many have been wanting: a new base model that will sell for $200 in the US and 200 Euros in Europe starting March 22. The Japanese market will see a new Ceramic White base model of the handheld at a RRP of 20,790 yen.
Sony also announced Macromedia Flash player support in a future browser update, as well as extend the RSS Channel function. As for the hardware – the console will receive two new peripherals this Autumn: camera (PSP-300) and GPS receiver (PSP-290). The camera peripheral will see the introduction of EyeToy, as well as the video chat function.
The handheld will also see a new download service that will offer selected popular PlayStation titles that users can download to their Memory Sticks and play them anytime, anywhere on the PSP. (great move from Sony)
Some more surprise announcements were made… this time regarding the PS3. Astonishing everyone, Sony announced that the PlayStation 3 will launch worldwide in early November, with a total of six million units to be available by the end of the year. SCEI has a monthly production capacity of one million units, expecting at the very least a million units per month in 2007. No exact reason for the delay is known at the moment.
It was also announced that all PS3 games will come on Blu-ray Discs, and that there will absolutely be no DVD games. This is to curb piracy, as BD-ROM is expected to be much more secure than other formats.
Confirming previous reports, Ken Kutaragi mentioned that a 60 GB hard drive will be bundled with all PS3s. The drive will be upgradeable, will run Linux, and act as a media hub. Also, all games will be developed assuming the HDD is present.
Talking on backwards compatibility, Kutaragi went on to mention that the next-gen console will feature full support for PS1 and PS2 games. He also mentioned that all legacy games will be displayed at a higher resolution, and that the system will be built in (not like Xbox 360).
Sony also talked about its Xbox Live competitor – the PS2 will feature community tools including lobby matching and voice chat, as well as commerce features that include bootable software via the hard drive. It will be provided free of charge to every user. IGN is reporting that Gamespy has been contracted to work on the online implementation, along with the assistance of Sony Online Entertainment. Note: Gamespy was also hired to work on Nintendo DS’s online service.
The company confirmed that final PS3 development kits will ship this June. No price point was mentioned for the console and no games were shown, too. But as a consolation, Ken Kutaragi did leave some crazy comments. The undisputed champion of infamous quotes stated that PS3 games are “live” and that the console’s concept is “4D.”
Sony is expected to showcase its titles at E3 this year. The price point is also expected to be set at the event. Be patient.