The PlayStation 3 verison of Unreal Tournament 3 will feature unlimited maps, mods, and skin downloads by using a PC editor and then moving the data to your PS3 through a memory stick.
Sony’ press conference was one of the best at E3 this year. They emphasized the games that stuck to their strong points and had very surprising updates concerning the hardware. People expected a new PSP but what really caught most off guard was that Sony now has an exclusive port of Unreal Tournament III until 2008 when it can be played on the Xbox 360. If you want to play Unreal Tournament III on a console this year, it’s PS3 or not at all. Even more surprisingly, user-created maps, skins, and mods from the PC version will be able to run on the PS3. The UT engine will even be reorganized to run on the PS3, a very good strategic move that will make it much easier for every developer licensing Unreal Engine 3 to get better results from Sony’s hardware.
When arstechnica.com sat down with Adam Hanson, executive producer of Midway Games, he got visibly excited when asked about the about the ability to add content to the PS3 release. "What other game does that? You make something using the editor on the PC, slap it onto a memory stick, and bring it over to the PS3. We’re looking at other transmission methods through the web, but right now you can physically put it on the PS3," he told them. By using a memory stick, any developer can add from any where on the web and bypass Sony’s online store.”
Not to hate on Microsoft, but it is notorious for exercising a blanket grip on what users can and can’t offer on Xbox Live. Sony’s ability to offer unlimited new content for free is an absolutely fantastic selling point for gamers. This ability to get free content to the gamer and then import it onto the PS3 without having to use Sony’s network is the major selling point for the PS3. What kind of content? Anything. "You can use this great, you know, Halo map that you’ve copied over," Hanson told arstechnica.com.
At this time, it is unclear what other methods of delivery there will be for user-created content, and it’s unclear if you’ll be able to use the PlayStation Network to upload your content or if you’ll have to rely on the PC community. "We’re researching to see what works, what doesn’t," the executive producer of Midway Games told arstechnica.com. "I’m sure people will be posting their levels online, and we’d love an official way to download those through the interface, but that’s something we’ll talk about closer to launch." Hanson was also unsure of what will happen if a user tries to connect to a game running new content. "We’ll have to see how that plays out; it could be you’ll have to have the content on every machine to play it, it could be we’ll be able to stream it to them."
This would be hitting Microsoft exactly where it hurts. Unreal Tournament III on the PS3 will then have incredible freedom with an unlimited stream of free, high-quality content and the ability to import any new map or skin without having to download it through Sony’s servers. .
"Our community is an absolutely essential part of what we do," Hanson says. Sony’s willingness to harness that community should make the PlayStation 3 version the best Unreal Tournament III console experience.