First PS3 game shown - Gundam

Written by Geoff Richards

July 22, 2005 | 15:44

Tags: #demo #footage #gundam #middleware #playable #playstation-3 #ps3 #screenshots #video

Companies: #ign

After much press coverage of various Xbox 360 games in development, such as Project Gotham Racing 3, Sony have finally blinked and IGN have posted screenshots and video footage of the first playable PS3 game demonstration, of Mobile Suit Gundam, held recently in Japan.

Expectedly, the game is a bit early in its development cycle. After entering the game from the title screen, the player, who played using a Dual Shock 2 controller, was able to move his Mobile Suit around and shoot...

...There isn't much life in the game world at this point, and with good reason. The demo doesn't use any physical calculations. Such calculations, which will add effects such as wind and smoke, will make use of the Cell's seven SPU processing units. The game in its current form uses just the main Cell processor (minus the SPUs) and the system's graphics chip.

That would explain why the footage is somewhat uninspiring. Also worth mentioning is the fact that this demo was coded from scratch, and not employing the popular trend of using Middleware.

For the uninitiated, Middleware is a set of tools and code routines that allow the developer to focus on gameplay, rather than divert resources to many mundane issues. Easily the most successful Middleware is RenderWare, powering the GTA and Burnout franchises across all major platforms. Sony have signed a number of deals to bring quality Middleware to the Playstation 3, including Unreal Engine 3.0, and advanced physics engines from Ageia and Havok.

There is clearly a long way to go before Gundam meets the expectations of the series' fans and general gamers alike, and we will no doubt see impressive gameplay demos from various developers closer to the consoles launch next year.

If you're keen to know what else is in store, IGN lists 30 titles expected to be part of the launch line-up, including Metal Gear Solid 4 and Final Fantasy PS3.

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