Koei begins 'PlayStation 3' game development

Japanese software maker Koei is about to start development of its first game for Sony Computer Entertainment's (SCEI) next-generation PlayStation console, Koei said Thursday.

The game will be released to coincide with a historical-action movie called "Oni" that is scheduled for release in 2006, said Hisanori Yoshida, a spokesman for Koei. The company will liase with the movie production team during the scripting and casting stages, and software development will likely start in 2005, he said.

The announcement is one of the first involving the upcoming console. Few details are available for the machine, which has popularly acquired the "PlayStation 3" name, although what is well known is that it will be based on a new microprocessor called the 'Cell.' The chip, which is being developed jointly with parent-company Sony, Toshiba and IBM, will be built using a 65-nanometer manufacturing technology.

Commercial production lines for 65 nanometer manufacturing do not exist yet, but all three companies have said they would invest hundreds of millions of dollars in building them. Sony and Toshiba are building plants in different parts of western Japan, while IBM is planning a line at its New York, facility. Test production of the Cell chips is due in the first half of 2005 and, should that go well, commercial production could begin the same year.

In September, SCEI said the new PlayStation will also support Blu-ray Discs, an emerging blue-laser optical disc format that supports storage of around 25G bytes of data on a single-sided disc the size of today's CDs or DVDs.

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Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
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