Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) has almost halved the purchase cost of its PlayStation 3 development-kit hardware, making game creation on the console significantly more affordable for small and independent game developers.
Sony is also rolling out new software-development features, debugging tools, and support for applications such as ProDG and its SN tool suite. The price cut will see the PlayStation 3 Reference Tool fall in cost to ¥950,000 in Japan, $10,250 in North America, and €7,500 for European developers.
The move follows a similar price-cut timeline set out by SCEI on the PlayStation 2 development hardware, which saw its price reduced just a year after the console's launch in 2000.
A Sony Computer Entertainment Australia representative confirmed that the news represents a worldwide price adjustment, and as a result would also extend to Australian games developers.
Game Development Association of Australia (GDAA) CEO Greg Bondar was supportive of the announcement, and he confirmed that it would allow smaller software developers to be competitive in the Australian game industry and open the door to companies with smaller startup capital. "A lot of the larger, established studios can get into it, even they find it cost prohibitive, but in general it now gives us and our members a broader base of access to such technology and opportunity to develop. I think it has been a prohibitive factor," Bondar said.
"If we have access to such development kits, it allows us to produce a better product, so we welcome it; [we] highly welcome it and congratulations to Sony."