May 20, 2005

Too Real To Believe?

I've been watching the riveting coverage of E3 on G4, G4TV, or whatever the hell they're calling themselves this week, and I've seen the awesomeness of the PlayStation Three. After the non-event of the Nintendo Revolution and all the thunder taken away from the XBox 360 unveiling courtesy of MTV's infomercial last week, Sony's newest 800 lb. gorilla really impressed me. The demostrations of what the new processors could do as well as the demos of actual gameplay impressed me. The fact that it's backwards compatible with the PlayStation and PS2 disc I already have as well as keeping my DVD collection relevant made me a happy fella.

Of course, there are doubters about whether or not the demos shown, particularly Killzone 2, were actually in-game demos or prerendered visuals. Could it be that people think that Sony's lying about what their PS3 can do? Or are they just doubting Thomases, refusing to believe what's there.

And if what was shown really was prerendered, I think that every animation studio should have access to the PS3 developer's kit. If what was shown was prerendered, we have witnessed the best computer animation ever made in half the time. Better than Pixar-quality (and not so ubercartoony), better than Dreamworks, even better than Square Pictures productions. It's obvious whoever's behind the scenes at the studios know what they're doing with the tools they were given, and I have no doubts that the next generation of games will be the best since the last generation, but perhaps Sony has shown the world the future of computer animation. Machimema be damned. If the PS3 has created a dev kit that makes the average critic wonder if it's live or Memorex, perhaps the animation industry may want to pay attention.

Who knows? Maybe we'll have interactive animation in our hands in the years to come, and if the demos shown by Sony are any indication, it could be a reality in about a year's time. Imagine if somebody like Spielberg, Lucas, Tarantino, or Rodriguez got their hands on this technology and the stories they could bring. Perhaps the motion picture industry may be a thing of the past. Well, maybe not, but the video game industry, which earned more money than the film industry last year, is certainly catching up. The current generation of consoles have titles that blur the line between film and game, so the next generation will oblitherate that line, and Sony may lead the pack.

Of course, this may be a little too hard to believe for some. But things change. Attitudes change. Perhaps the evolution of the animation and film industries will be ignited with the PS3's launch. Then again, maybe I'm reading too much into a real-time presentation of an awesome looking game.