The first people to have had a look at the new Playstation 3 in action and that can comment on their experience, have spoken and they claim that quality is not that of the Killzone video but is certainly of the same level as the MGS 4 movie recently shown. We are warned however that very few developers will be able to reach MGS4 levels and even they will have to wait some time before they are familiar enough with the machine to reach that kind of visual excellence.
Now that most developers have received their final PS3 development kits, website Kikizo has managed to sneak into some of them and offer us a peek at the machine that will challenge XBox 360 for next-generation supremacy. The account provided by the people that tried the new Playstation games is, unfortunately, a very vague one and provides basic information which most of us suspected but it does offer some insight and a straightforward, if diplomatic, comparison of the two new systems by a developer.
So we are told not to expect visuals of the same quality as the Killzone video showcased at last year's E3 but that the titles witnessed by the Kikizo journalist, are truly worthy of the next-gen tag.
In a diplomatic comparison of the two next-generation consoles, the Kikizo source states: ...the Xbox 360 and PS3 are same-generation machines. One doesn't have additional effects over the other - 360 can do the same effects, just not as many of them simultaneously and with less geometry [because of the speed difference], but memory bottlenecks can kill part of the PS3 speed advantage anyway... the overall visual difference it makes will depend a lot on the developer's skill, and how much time and money the publisher spends on a game. So Sony's console won't have extra tricks up its sleeve it will just be able to do more of them at the same time.
Since the versions of the games witnessed by the journalists are not final we are told that some improvements are expected especially since no Blu-Ray drives or controllers were included in the SDKs used. This latter fact also suggests that there may be some basis to the rumors of a possible failure by Sony to launch its new console this spring.
Whatever changes are made to the hardware however, we are told that Sony will not be able to meet its initial target of 1080p Full HD that it had originally set and will instead deliver 720p and will upscale it or allow the new TVs to do so. This, apparently, will save CPU cycles and will save gamers from the dreaded loss of frame rate.
So when will we get to play it? Kikizo's source claims: We think that in Japan it will most likely release during Summer, Q4 in the US, and Europe in Winter or Spring 2007 - these are our internal projections.
So there you have it PS3 will probably be delayed in the U.S. while the experience has left Kikizo staff with a feeling of disappointment since the PS3 is unlikely to reach the level of visual quality suggested by E3 2005. Still expect PS3 titles to continually improve as developers become more familiar with the hardware and hopefully, as Sony begins to provide them with actual consoles.