Sony has nearly halved the cost of its PlayStation 3 hardware development kits to $10,250/€7,500, while also announcing a new integration of existing SN Systems software development tools, including ProDG, into the standard software development kit.
The PlayStation 3 Reference Tool will drop to $10,250 in North America, ¥950,000 in Japan and €7,500 in Europe, effective immediately and excluding tax. Although the price cut may be seen as a reaction to the console’s continued low sales worldwide, the drop is in line with similar cuts made to PlayStation 2 development hardware a year after its launch.
As well as the hardware price drop, Sony will also integrate SN Systems (now a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc.) tools into the standard PS3 Software Development Kit (SDK). This will include the core ProDG programming tool, which can now be used on both the PS3 Reference Tool hardware and the Debugging Station.
Other SN Systems tools now included in the SDK include the SN Distributed Build System (SN-DBS) for reducing compiling times, the SN LINKER used to link compiled programs and the SN Compiler (SNC) which will be released in beta form from mid December.
Sony will also enable the Debugging Station for PS3 to be used in the programming process, assisting development on the Reference Tool hardware – instead of only being used as a quality assurance system for games under development.
In detailing the price cuts and new SDK a Sony press release also promised that, “As more and more new titles are developed for the PS3 format, SCEI will significantly reduce the price of the Reference Tool in order to contribute to the cost saving measures of the development community."