If you thought that the Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY would by just another fancy smartphone that can play PlayStation ports and app-sized Android games, then think again. Sony Ericsson and Havok revealed during Game Developers Conference 2011 that the latter company's middleware will now work with the PlayStation-sanctioned Gingerbread-powered smartphone.
"As part of Havok’s overall support for the Android platform, we are very pleased to partner with Sony Ericsson to put the full power of the Havok product line into the hands of Xperia PLAY developers," said Havok managing director David Coghlan. "We were extremely impressed by the performance of the Xperia PLAY and the ease with which we were able to port and optimize our technology to the platform."
For consumers, this means that developers will have access to Havok technology which will create "cinematic, rich 3D immersive games" for Android, especially the Xperia PLAY. According to Havok lead pre-sales engineer Steve Ewart, there's a particular set of hardware instructions on the PlayStation phone that's not on all the Android platforms. Those instructions and the phone's "relative hardware power" convinced the company to bring its middleware to the platform.
Thanks to all that horsepower packed under the hood, Ewart said that players will see more complex games than what's seen on previous mobile devices. "If you're going to have a physics simulation in there, and you're going to have lots of characters dying and piling up on each other – that's the core physics problem – you're going to need extra capabilities [like Havok's middleware] to push that particular scenario,” he told Gamasutra.
Set to launch this month on Verizon Wireless, the Xperia PLAY will arrive with 50 launch titles from Electronic Arts, Gameloft, Glu Mobile, Namco Bandai and numerous other publishers that was designed to make use of the phone's slide-out gamepad. Fifteen of these games will be ports of original PlayStation titles, one of which has already been confirmed to be the original Crash Bandicoot (booga booga).
Current titles which make use of Havok's middleware include Halo: Reach, Fable 3, LEGO Universe, Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising, Just Cause 2, DJ Hero 2, and numerous other games found on the PC and current gaming consoles. Havok tools include Havoc Physics, Havok Script, Havok AI, Havok Behavior, Havok Destruction and others.
Sorry, DROID, I think I found a new Android to love.