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NGP ( PSP2) Supported by Game Engines and Middleware Developers
Not long ago a new Sony's portable gaming console codenamed Next Generation Portable ( NGP ) was announced, when technical specs and actual device was revealed, and now some game engines and middleware developers are happy to claim their support for NGP platform in their products. Following companies announced or already presented their solutions with NGP support: Crytek, Epic Games, FMOD, Havok, Trinigy, Termianl Reality and more. With such tools games on NGP should be really great!
Game Development Tools and Libraries that will be available for NGP
So, there is a current list of companies that can support third-party game developers with their game engines and middleware, accordingly to Sony Computer Entertainment:
- Blitz Games ( BlitzTech )
- Crytek ( CryEngine )
- Epic Games ( Unreal Engine )
- Terminal Reality ( Infernal Engine )
- Trinigy ( Vision Engine )
- Vicious Cycle
Middleware for sound, AI, physics, GUI, etc.:
- NaturalMotion ( Morpheme )
- CRI Middleware
- Firelight Technologies ( FMOD )
- RAD Game Tools
As can be seen from the list, some major companies on game development tools and solutions market are already their turn and implemented support for NGP in their products, making the whole platform more attractive for game developers due to powerful AAA-class solutions available. Obviously this list will be expanded over time, because it's highly unlike that other companies have plans to skip such possibility of expanding to new promising platform. I personally have no doubts that Unity Technologies ( Unity 3d Game Engine ) will present support for NGP in the nearest future.
Now let's take a quick look on what we got already as game development tools and middleware for NGP.
Blitz Games with their game engine and toolset called BlitzTech announced support for NGP on February, 18 and informed that updated BlitzTech is already available for licensing. Company makes accent on cross-platform features of it's game engine( BlitzTech supports PC, PSP™, Xbox 360™, PS3™, Wii™, Mac OS X, browser, NGP, iOS, Android and Nintendo 3DS ) and certain that proven on PlayStation 3 BlitzTech tools is able to provide possibility to transfer current-gen games to new Sony portable console. With BlitTech over 70 games is shipped for different platforms. You can check features of this game engine on BlitzTech page.
Crytek yet officially didn't confirm that their CryEngine will support NGP, but thanks to Sony Computer Entertainment we already know that Crytek was put in the list, so we can count it in. Probably CryEngine for NGP will be something similar to other game development frameworks, where target platform is determined during "exporting" process, or project compilation.
Epic Games with their Unreal Engine technology demonstrated "Epic Citadel" demo, running on NGP, along with console presentation on PlayStation Meeting 2011, also ported version of Dungeon Defenders game from Trendy Entertainment was showed. Additional details about licensing terms and engine capabilities for NGP not yet announced, but, if keep in mind presented demo — it's possible to expect almost all features of "major" version of engine on NGP. Better watch it yourself:
Terminal Reality with their Infernal Engine also not yet announced NGP support, but their website already has news about Nintendo 3DS support in Infernal Engine, so no doubt — NGP soon will be added to supported platforms list. Infernal Engine, much like BlitzTech, features cross-platform development and was used for development of such games as Ghostbusters: The Video Game, Wipeout: The Game, Bass Pro Shops and more. More details about Infernal Engine features can be found on Terminal Reality website.
Trinigy with Vision Engine also annoucned NGP support on February, 18. Updated game engine version was demonstrated on Game Developers Conference 2011, that took place in San Francisco on March, 2-4. Accordingly to company, now developer team continue to enhance game engine and NGP support in it, among other features highlighting next ones:
- Optimized character skinning system for NGP – allows for efficient rendering of detailed characters with very high polygon and bone counts.
- Full support for cross-platform and platform-specific texture formats – offers a straightforward workflow and easy porting of existing content, while providing high-loading performance and platform-specific content optimizations, where required.
- Multithreading system – takes full advantage of NGP’s CPU cores for animations, mesh deformation, particle simulation, physics, visibility determination, and more.
- Highly efficient rendering – Efficient rendering system minimizes CPU load.
- Optimized shader/shader constant handling – includes full cross-platform compatibility.
- Comprehensive support for NGP’s user interface – includes multi-touch as well as support for dual analog sticks.
- Fully featured graphics technology – includes normal/parallax maps, specular maps, dynamic lighting, post-processing effects and more.
Going to middleware, we can see that thing here also are good — NaturalMotion announced support for NGP in animation solution Morpheme 3, Havok most likely will support new console with Havok Physics, Audiokinetic offers Wwise for sound solution on NGP, Firelight Technologies — FMOD library, CRI Middleware and RAD Game Tools will help with media content and Scaleform will implement the GUI systems.
In overall, there is enough to choose from for game development on NGP, so we can expect new and exciting, quality titles that will be developed for this console.