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Game Developers Conference – Day 2
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by Greg King on March 23, 2006 in Game Developers Conference

“Upon arriving at the San Jose convention center, I was in awe size of the venue. Once we had our press tags securely around our necks, we decided it was time to start the booth crawl.

March 22, 2006 – San Jose, California
Day 2 of the GDC conference

Hello once again from sunny San Jose.

The day today was spent as best as I could spend it. I woke up around 7:30 am, only to hit the snooze button at least 3-4 times. Upon waking up, I showered, got dressed and went to meet my new friends in the press for breakfast, compliments of AGEIA. After that, it was off to the GDC.

Upon arriving at the San Jose convention center, I was in awe size of the venue. After snaking though the scores of people who apparently had no clue where they were going other than that they somehow knew to stand directly in front for me, we made it to the press registration booth. Once we had our press tags securely around our necks, we decided it was time to start the booth crawl.

If you have never been to a large scale convention such as the GDC, the amount of people, booths, insiders and outsiders is overwhelming. Seeing all this made me realize something, something rather important and I don’t really have time for this right now! I have to get across the street to the Sony keynote speech to hear Phil Harrison speak about the future of Sony. Obviously this was spent on the PS3.

Sony is to many the second coming of Christ. Not the Darkster. Once we were shown to our seats, Mr. Harrison sent into salesman mode and bombarded us with plenty of information.

He talked about the marketing strategies of Sony dating back to the original PS1 and ending with a forecast for the coming years. He spoke of their continued support for the PS2 and the future products to be introduced for the PSP. Some of these products include a mountable web camera as well as a GPS device and both of these will certainly add to the versatility of the all ready good PSP. He spoke of God of War 2 for the PS2 and does it ever look good. I hate to say it, but I was more excited about that game more so than a lot of the peaks we got into the PS3. Speaking of the PS3…

We were shown a few different demos showing off the computational power of the Cell driven PS3. In one demo, hundreds of soldiers were lined up in a battlefield type arena. The area was then bombed, in real time, causing the unfortunate soldiers to flail about crashing into one another and knocking other over with their momentum. This was perhaps the coolest PS3 demo I have seen to date and even Mr. Harrison seemed to enjoy the demo, chuckling as he suggested that "I think we should just ship it like this." Keep in mind that this realism is brought to the PS3 with help from AGEIA. AGEIA, as it was announced yesterday, had partnered with Sony and has provided Sony with their PhysX SDK for development with and for Sony’s cell technology. Another topic that was touched upon was the Sony Network Platform. Out of all this, there are 2 topics he touched on that stand out in my mind the most.

Blue Ray and the launch date. Mr. Harrison was confident that Sony would be able to release the PS3 in November. I know we have heard about the battle between HD-DVD and Blue Ray and I am here to say that Blue Ray seems to be where it’s at. The space that this technology provides is incredible. There could theoretically be five, six, ten different languages on one disk as well as sounds for virtually anything imaginable in the game. The vast amount of space that the Blue Ray can provide will be definitely beneficial to the game developers and ultimately beneficial to you and me, the end users.

Please check back tomorrow for my day 3 rundown as well as the summary of Mr. Satoru Iwata, President of Nintendo Co. I will also have a complete rundown of the GDC and an in depth look at the AGEIA PhysX card that I had the privilege of working with and using for a fair amount of time.

Feel free to discuss the day 2 report here.