The latest PR missive from the Sony mothership in Tokyo comes this week in the form of a video interview with Gran Turismo creator Kazunori Yamauchi, which is hosted on the firm's official PS3 "concept" website and explores the Polyphony Digital boss' great big love for the forthcoming console.
Okay, yes, it's quite clearly a carefully PR-managed piece of spin masquerading as a real interview, and it's universally positive and glowing in its praise for the PlayStation 3 (a bit like all the other PR-conducted interviews and, dare we say it, ostensibly "unofficial" but clearly corporate-approved insider blogs which have sprung up like a rash around the industry of late) - but buried in the marginally-more-tolerable-in-a-foreign-language hype are a few interesting titbits about Yamauchi's view on next-gen development.
For a start, Mr Gran Turismo reckons that he's now finally happy with a videogame console in terms of physics modelling power. PlayStation and PS2 couldn't manage the degree of simulation he wanted in his games, he tells us - but the PS3 will do "true" physics, which is presumably code for "good enough to look real".
Assuming it's not just more "jacking into the Matrix" style spin, this could be worth considering for fans of simulation-style racing games; like it or loathe it, Gran Turismo is a game which prides itself on its realism, and if Yamauchi reckons PS3 (and presumably, by extension, other next-gen systems such as the Xbox 360 and high end PCs) packs enough of a punch to bring physics in those games up to scratch, then this generation could be a golden era for simulation-focused games.
On the topic of graphics, Yamauchi says that he's "surprised" at the major impact of moving everything to high definition, and thinks that players will probably be somewhat shocked by how much of a difference it makes to the games they play. Yes, we know the Xbox 360 users are looking smug right now, but bear in mind that this interview is for the Japanese market - they sell more condoms in the Vatican in an average week than they sell Xbox 360s in Japan.
Interestingly, Yamauchi also claims that while making high definition content is really hard for developers because of the level of detail involved ("on the same level as movies," he claims), he does believe that game developers have a big advantage over those working on bringing other types of content into high definition. Games have "unusual potential" because they are the fastest and simplest way to produce high quality hi-def content, he says, which could give them the edge over movies.
Of course, it wouldn't be a PlayStation 3 PR interview without a lovely soundbite which Sony will now proceed to be mocked over for months. This time, it's Yamauchi's claim that as a developer, he wants to make products that "change society." "For us, the PlayStation 3 is a weapon for revolution," he concludes. Whether he'll be spurring this revolution by jacking into the Matrix and fighting a giant enemy crab remains a closely guarded secret.
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