The strategic alliance with NCsoft, the world's leading developer and publisher of online games, will provide a wealth of connected gaming expertise and create several online games exclusively for PlayStation platforms, including PS3 and PSP, accessible through the Playstation Network. NCsoft is the creator of Lineage, the world's largest online game franchise with a customer reach of more than 60 million. In addition, PlayStation fans will have further reason to get excited about growing their game libraries as Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) and industry veterans Epic Games announced a multi-stage agreement. Revolutionizing the industry with the advent of the Unreal Engine when first launching the Unreal franchise several years ago, Epic Games has joined with SCE to fully optimize the Unreal Engine for PS3 development to assist developers using this engine to accelerate game creation and maximize performance. Already underway, this optimization currently affects seven developers using the Unreal Engine to create 20 games already in the works and with many more to come.
As a result of the agreement, Midway and Epic Games will make the platform debut of Unreal Tournament 3, one of the world's premiere first-person shooters, exclusively on PS3 this fall, unleashing the full power of Unreal Engine 3 with graphics, gameplay and challenges brought to a whole new level. Featuring powerful futuristic weapons and vehicles unlike anything seen before, players will engage in intense and hyper-realistic battles with other players online, or against the Unreal artificial intelligence that has become the defacto industry standard.
"The raw power of PS3 and Unreal Engine 3 allow us to provide gamers the full Unreal Tournament 3 first-person shooter experience normally found only on a PC," said Mark Rein, vice president, Epic Games. "The PS3 is the ideal platform for us to deliver stunning visuals and awesome gameplay. But now, with the PlayStation Network, we're also delivering a great community experience and robust user-created content -- everything that gamers have come to expect from the Unreal Tournament franchise -- for the first time on a home entertainment system."
Also, releasing this fall, legendary PlayStation development team Free Radical Design and leading publisher Ubisoft have teamed up to deliver the mind-altering, technologically superior game HAZE exclusively for PS3 this holiday season. This highly anticipated first-person shooter marks the next- generation debut for Free Radical, and will introduce unique gameplay driven by 'Nectar'. Providing players with the opportunity to fight on both sides of the same war, HAZE also features genre-defining multiplayer action for the PlayStation Network.
"Ubisoft and Free Radical are thrilled to be introducing Haze exclusively for PS3 this holiday," said Yves Guillemot, chief executive officer at Ubisoft. "When you combine Ubisoft's reputation for top quality FPS games, Free Radical's outstanding track record on SCE platforms, and PS3's power and network functionality, it is clear that HAZE will open up a new arena of entertainment possibilities for players everywhere."
Set for a simultaneous worldwide launch in early 2008 exclusively on PS3, a new trailer for Metal Gear Solid(R) 4: Guns of the Patriots also was unveiled during the press conference. In a six minute presentation of all-new footage, the latest Metal Gear Solid 4 trailer features stunning real-time graphics, new revelations in the ongoing Metal Gear saga, and a new location that will be one of many backdrops of Solid Snake's final, globetrotting mission. In its first-ever presentation in English, the new trailer also offers a taste of Kojima Production's ambitious, stylized localization of the game's original script, penned by Hideo Kojima himself, and highlighted by the return of the industry's most memorable voice talent, featuring David Hayter as Old Snake, Pat Zimmerman as Liquid Ocelot, and Phil LaMarr, who will reprise his role as iconic Metal Gear Solid 2 character, Vamp.
In addition to these key exclusives from NCSoft, Ubisoft, Midway, Konami, Epic Games and many other publishers, gamers can look forward to 15 more PS3 only games from SCE this fiscal year that truly demonstrate the advanced technological capabilities of the system.