Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) has announced that it has reached an agreement in principle to acquire SN Systems, a leading supplier of programming tools for game developers established in 1989 and based in Bristol, UK.
According to an official statement released by Sony: "With this acquisition, SCEI aims to further enhance the development environment and tools that the company provides to the creative community for developing computer entertainment content for PlayStation 3."
SN Systems is particularly known for its ProDG range of products, which include an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) consisting of compilers, linkers and debuggers for game development. Sony also noted in its release that a significant number of the PlayStation 2 games developers have chosen to use SN Systems’ software development tools, making it a natural fit, and another way that the company intends to ease development woes on next-generation platforms.
Indeed, this move could be seen as partially helping counter Microsoft's committed Xbox 360-related efforts in this arena with its suite of XNA-related development tools, which, although also including more complex workflow tools within XNA Studio, are also intended to get the hardware manufacturer helping game developers more directly.
"It’s a great pleasure to have SN Systems on board PlayStation,” said Masa Chatani, corporate executive and CTO, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. "For more than 10 years, they have pioneered the development of great tools for PlayStation content creation. By combining our experience and skills together, PlayStation will have even more sophisticated tools to deliver to content creators around the world."
Although SN Systems' range of tools
has significant emphasis on both the PlayStation 2 and the PSP, as well as the company's in-development PlayStation 3 toolset, SN has also developed tools for the Nintendo GameCube, Game Boy Advance, and DS, and it's presumed that these tools will eventually be transitioned away from - although no formal statement has been given on the fate of those non-Sony development tools.