Sony Interactive Entertainment, LLC. (SCEI)
Tools & Middleware Information Newsletter
Winter 2001

Comdex Report
       -- Criterion Software Releases RenderWare Graphics 3.2
       -- Metrowerks' "CodeWarrior for PlayStation®2"
       -- Korg - Sound Middleware
       -- ACCESS - NetFront
Tools & Middleware Expo 2001 Fall (Tokyo)
Tools & Middleware Licensees List


By Kathleen Maher

At last year’s SIGGRAPH it seemed as if the show had been hijacked by the forces of 3D web, but between last year’s SIGGRAPH and this year’s the high tech natural selection system kicked in and the emphasis was once again on professional, high end and really gorgeous graphics.

Big fun, big standards

Video editing has invaded the hallowed halls of computer graphics and that’s partly because 3D is becoming more and more important in production work. The OpenML group made an appearance at SIGGRAPH and set up their own booth this year, to promote their API for video control and for combining 3D, CG, audio and video easily in applications. SGI was also a huge promoter of OpenML, which makes sense given their commitment to open standards. The Khronos group had several events including a presentation and a Birds of a Feather session at SIGGRAPH. Consortium chair, Neil Trevett reported that attendance has more than tripled over last year, from around 30 attendees to around a hundred this year. Also, it seemed that people understood and want the new standards. The OpenML 1.0 spec has been released and people are already putting it to work. Next up the group is working on a embedded spec applications that’s going to be used to create applications on PDAs, phones, etc. In addition, the consortium has added a new level of membership, called contributors that they hope will increase the active membership so that the features people need will be suggested and added to OpenML.

Trevett, as you know, is also a member of the Web3D consortium and that group announced the X3D API, which is expected to be the 3D format that will be used by MPEG 4. The X3D format is a subset of VRML and is designed to be flexible and most of all portable. VRML, in contrast is a very complete standard designed for use in complex visualizations as well as cute little web bots. The consortium borrowed from OpenGL and devised a structure in which X3D is the solid core of the spec. There is also the ability to add extensions and anyone can do that. If the extensions are adopted they’ll become part of the X3D core or, if more appropriate, VRML, which of course continues to exist.

Nvidia and ATI at war again

Nvidia and ATI are on the floor with pitched battles but after visiting 3D caves, virtual reality systems, visiting with movie characters created from little more than light and imagination, we’re impatient to see the future generations of products that will give us the incredible images and interactivity. We’re fast reaching a point where one more rendering demonstration is going to put us over the edge. Besides, we were awed by digital cinema systems being demonstrated at the NTT both and clusters for graphics. In a way we are profoundly grateful that these fierce competitors are concentrating on creating products to create great graphics and content rather than accelerating the rate at which blood flies out of bodies or the bounce rate of game girls’ boobs.

Trade show parties are getting a lot better these days. ATI featured Smash Mouth and the Blasters played at Rhythm and Hues

But it was good to see ATI strutting their stuff at SIGGRAPH as well. The company threw a party for their new product line at Paramount Studios and the friends, family, press and business associates found themselves bopping as till they dropped and wishing Smash Mouth’s Steve Harwell would stop acting like they’re hopeless nerds. They’re not. Who’s paying the bills, after all?

Nvidia was playing their card as a company can provide workstation level graphics to digital content creation professionals, thus they highlighted their high end features quite a bit. Off to the side and in back rooms, etc. They’ve been busy dismissing ATI’s new generation of graphics products and promising driver upgrades that will help clear up any discrepancies in the benchmarks. God we love this business.

Vertex shaders and OpenGL 2; Renderman lives

If you, like us, fondly remember bowling pins, glass and wood paneling, and snowdomes, you’ll like the new images that will be appearing to demonstrate the glories of hardware enhanced vertex shading. The new graphics boards from both ATI and Nvidia support the vertex shaders supported by DirectX 8 as the 1.3 and 1.4 subsets. They’re both making their way to OpenGL 2.0 (maybe, see below) and DirectX 9 and we believe hardware supported vertex shading is going to be a cause celebre over the coming year. Some of this procedural rendering stuff has come to DirectX from Renderman and certainly the philosophy has. There are a lot of Renderman geniuses who are excited that their algorithms have finally found support in mainstream hardware. Processos have finally become so powerful that their designers have been looking for problems to solve and they’ve found it in vertex and pixel shading. Now companies like Pixar that have been throwing processors at problems are looking at solutions that will be considerably less expensive than the workstations from SGI, Sun, and HP.

OpenGL 2.0?

So what about the OpenGL world? Is this finally where the roads diverge and OpenGL gets left in the dust? The workstation graphics companies are mounting a campaign to advance OpenGL to incorporate vertex shading in order to offer 3D content creators an alternative to Windows based DirectX products. As you may have heard, DirectX is Windows-centric. Leading the charge to expand OpenGL is 3Dlabs. Neil Trevett tells us they have the support of their competitors, ATI and Sun, all of whom recognize the real danger of Microsoft offering the only broadbased API that exposes vertex shading to the hardware. The issue was raised and presented to the OpenGL memberships at SIGGRAPH and 3Dlabs’ Trevett tells us the group was very interested in the idea.

Meanwhile SGI rolled out OpenGL 1.3 with new features including cube map texturing, multisampling, new texture modes and a compressed texture framework. Given the state of graphics APIs today, that does sound a tad on the tame side. No wonder the feisty desktop workstation vendors are champing at the bit for more. It’s not enough, says Trevett and the gang to add extensions as OpenGL allows because ISVs don’t want to deal with features that will only run on one platform, i.e. SGI (or for that matter Windows, really.). That’s why the gang wants to see OpenGL pushed further.

3D modeling?

NxView cites the education and corporate markets as the most promising markets for 3D on the web.

If there’s one business where we are amazed that people keep getting in there and pitching it’s in the realm of 3d modeling software. There is a plug in that does everything today. But still new companies are willing developing new stuff. Among the companies to watch are Exluna and AIST representatives of both sides of the 3D modeling continuum. Exluna is one of the first companies on the scene with tools to take advantage of the new hardware support for pixel and vertex shaders coming out of ATI and Nvidia. Also, we saw the U.S. debut of AIST, which is showing their low-cost video editing products. The company has products from the entry level to professional but, from what we saw, none of the software is more than $1000 dollars.

3D on the web

Last year SIGGRAPH was dominated by people enthusiastically selling 3D on the web. If you’ll remember, once Intel joined up with Macromedia, it seemed as though the future were plotted for the following year. Quite a few of the people we talked to who were creating content as well as tools figured they were seeing the establishment of a new standard that would propel 3D on the web into the big time. Not exactly, as it turns out.

The failure of the dot.coms has sucked quite a bit of money right out of the industry. In fact, 3D on the web has long been an incubation project for companies such as Intel, Palm, NTT, etc., who believed they could sell their technology along with 3D on the web. With the bust, a lot of that seed money has dried up. However, there is still quite a bit of energy to go around. As we mention elsewhere in this story, the Web3D consortium has presented their new, pared down standard, X3D, which they believe is more adaptable to the requirements of next generation efforts like MPEG-4.

Far from creating a standard there were quite a few companies with their own approach to getting 3D on the web and in fact, one company NxView has a product that creates Shockwave files and it doesn’t happen to be Macromedia. Instead, as it turns out, NxView’s principals were involved in the development of Shockwave and the company has been able to use their technology to build an easy to use tool to create 3D images for the web. Like so many companies they were creating their own content for the web and they found when dealing with big corporate customers (who tend to be the main people buying 3D on the web at the moment) that their customers were more comfortable with a company that has supportable technology and a product. NxView’s incredibly enthusiastic president Myles A. Owens III, was practically hopping up and down at the response he was getting from SIGGRAPH (enthusiasm can be dangerous). He told us, "we’re going to be so freakin’ rich," and we realized that this is a man who sees the wheel coming back around and he’s ready to catch the brass ring . The edge for NxView, and it’s a good one, is that creating a 3D model doesn’t require a visit to Macromedia Director and it doesn’t Lingo programming.

CAD has been a holy grail for the 3D on the web types who think wistfully about all those 3D models just sitting out there waiting to be turned into little tiny 3D models for use on the web. Unfortunately, there are format translation issues and simple processing problems as large CAD models have to be taken down to manageable file sizes. Interestingly, this same problem came up as 3D came to the 2D CAD world and users often found that so much work can go into processing a model that it makes just as much sense to redraw it from scratch. We talked to both Cycore’s Jerry Peterson and NxView’s Owens who told us that they see the vast reserves of CAD files as an obvious resource — maybe some day.

Swedish based Cycore has a very simple set of tools and they’re setting out to educate the public in the value of using 3D on the web. At SIGGRAPH, the company was demonstrating its newest version Cult3D 5.1 and their new feature is ColorCode 3D viewing. The company uses the relationship between colors to create a 3D effect that can be seen with glasses. As a result, there’s no strange red and blue doubling effect like we grew up with or even a flicker double image like we often see now. Other new features of Cult3D 5.3 include enhanced speed, and ease of use. The company says they’ve automated much of the 3D object creation and they’ve also created tighter links inside 3ds max and they’ve added an enhanced JavaAPI.

Another company that knows a little something about backlogs of drawings is Viewpoint. The company came into this world as a creator of content for CAD, the web, and for the movie industry. Unfortunately, though it is definitely the leader in the field, Viewpoint has learned the hard way that it just isn’t that big of a field. Now the company is combining their models and modeling expertise with tools. At SIGGRAPH, Viewpoint was demonstrating their Viewpoint Experience Technology (VET), XML based tools designed to work with Macromedia Flash, video and other media to work through their Viewpoint Media Player.

Using VET, Viewpoint’s customers have access to low cost models and the company adds ZoomView which enables customers to get a fast, low resolution JPEG image to the screen quickly and then let visitors zoom into higher resolution images. Large resolution images are broken up into tiles and as the user pans and zooms into the image, more detailed tiles are transmitted and displayed. VET supports animation through support for Macromedia Flash and interactive 3D and ZoomView. The product supports 3D, Flash, 2D, Object Movie, and IPIX.

As we said, the day of the specialized 3D viewer has not passed. It’s been estimated that there are approximately 30 viewers currently available. Our Web3D expert Sam Staples maintains that counting 3D users through browser downloads is fruitless, she herself has 18 viewers on her computer. Viewpoint is no different. Their Viewpoint Media Player, otherwise known as the VMP enables users to view models created through VET. Viewpoint’s viewer blends into the web page creating an invisible, window for 3D content. At SIGGRAPH Viewpoint was highlighting,,, and as sites where there technology can be seen.

We also met with Wild Tangent, a company that has no intention of being limited in any way by the web. The company is developing games, and online environments, and not just objects with twirling knobs and opening doors. They would argue that an open standard for 3D on the web simply limits all developers to a common denominator, and they’re not having it.

Interestingly, Cycore also took on the concept of an open format for 3D on the web and asked about security. Cycore claims it’s too easy to steal models when they’re all in a standard format like Shockwave. Instead, Peterson told us, Cycore is taking the Adobe Postscript/Acrobat approach to models on the web that means they’re more protected.

One of the interesting issues to emerge talking to web 3D developers is their universal determination not to get caught in the same trap as the 3D content tools developers, many of whom are trapped in ruinous price and feature wars. Though the 3D web guys are trying to one up each other with features, they’re also looking at licensing schemes for corporate customers that will keep their margins in respectable levels and help pay for R&D. We’re seeing licensing in the realm of $1500 to $3000. In these early days, this approach has a chance and most companies are combining it with some kind of content creation service either in house or through associated developer sites.

It’s a long road to that hockey stick. Most of the vendors we talked about it are looking at making money in 2003.

The return of the big

Given the relative quiet now that the web 3D hoi polloi are out looking for jobs, we have noticed a renewed interest in big systems. After all it was only a few years ago, when the big systems seemed so promising, PixelFlow, which evolved into PixelFusion before it evolved itself out of business. That same year, 1999 SGI and HP introduced their visualization systems designed for the manufacturing and engineering segments and they hardnessed off the shelf multi-processings systems.

Ah but then came the web and we forgot all about these noble experiments. We did, because we’re event driven, shallow journalist types, but the companies and people who have devoted countless hours and sleepless nights to making this stuff work haven’t forgotten about it. They’re convinced this plan to start big and shrink it down a multiple processors on a board or even multiple processors in a chip is going to work. Some of the problems so far as been that these systems require their own graphics subsystem, or special compilers. They’ve also been aided by the growth of the military industrial complex. As we’ve commented before, the big funders from government, science and the military have been replaced by the growth of the entertainment and game development complex. Unfortunately, since the people in the entertainment business have to make money, they tend to be a tad more cautious about how they spend their money.

Off the shelf: SGI’s graphics cluster
uses NT workstations and Nvidia graphics

But while the idea of clustered processors going to work on big time graphics problems appeals to the entertainment industry, the price tag and cost of maintenance doesn’t. This year, though, there are ideas going to work that are designed to make high-ticket ideas more affordable and the machines are being built from standard parts. This is an interesting subject for us, and we’re going to go into it in more depth next week. We’ll tell you this much: at SIGGRAPH, HP, Intel, SGI, and Sun all addressed the problem and all were working on a way around it. These things are going to run about $170,000 for up to 16 processors and believe it or not that’s a bargain price for what these things are designed to do. SGI demonstrated a graphics cluster with 4 NT workstations and Nvidia graphics. HP showed off a system with 16 HP-UX based systems and 16 fx10 boards. Intel and Sun were a little cagier about their plans, but they definitely have them. Intel was showing their system in the booth and it too included 16 processors and 8 graphics boards that were located outside the cluster.

And, we hope we’ll see more next year. This year the companies are trying to figure out how to make these approaches invisible to the applications (some have it figured out, some are working on it). Also, they’re looking for uses for this stuff that goes beyond the esoteric visualization market. (However, they’ll all be happy to get a healthy chunk of that market as well and they’re all looking to the research industries with funding from the military, oil and gas exploration, and the manufacturing segment for a jump start for these machines. Next up? Digital cinema.

Far from being bored by yet another trade show we were thrilled with this year’s SIGGRAPH. We were amazed by the early chrome balls and we clap our little hands with glee when we see hair fly. Clearly a lot of incredible work has gone on since last year and we’re seeing the first fruits of that labor.

Comdex Report

By Gerry Frankel & Ivy Lessner

Comdex is the greatest show on earth, just ask Barnum & Bailey. It’s supposed to be the three-ring circus that everyone who attends comes away loving or hating. It’s an event staged with eye-catching glitter. And you can find some talented devices and technology performing for the crowd, even in an off year. This year some of the luster was lost to current events. There were fewer exhibitors, security was tight and grabbing a cab was no big deal.

Still there are so many different devices and gadgets it’s going to take a couple of issues to report on them.

Speaking of Sony, they’re touting the latest version of their entertainment robot, the Aibo. It has a Sony Memory Stick for a brain. But entertainment and consumer products are a serious part of the future for those who make a living creating technology, like the Archos Jukebox Multimedia MP3 player with a talent for delivering video.

Sigma Designs is also capitalizing on the public’s taste for multimedia. They have conjured up a new MPEG-4 chip for set-top boxes. The EM8470 series of MPEG and DVD decoding chips are designed to support full resolution in digital set-top boxes and interactive DVD players as well as streaming video clients.

MSU Devices’ V5 Internet appliance is designed to simplify PC-to-TV convergence and incorporates a Focus FS450 Interface Video processor.

ATI continues to release new products at a rapid pace. The new Mobility Fire GL 7800 is designed to deliver 3D graphics to mobile workstations. Their Fire GL 8700 3D graphics board is targeted to Digital Content Creation and optimized for OpenGL and DirectX.

National Semiconductor is showing off its Origami, a design concept created for National by Studio RED, Inc. The handheld device integrates wireless video communications, phone, digital camera, video camcorder and really is a way to demonstrate what National’s Geode SC3200 can do.

ATI’s Fire GL 8700 optimized for OpenGL and DirectX

graphics board geared to entry-level workstations

The Fire GL 8700 3D workstation graphics board is geared toward Digital Content Creation (DCC), MCAD and 3D game development applications. The board is preconfigured for Windows XP, NT and 2000 operating systems, as well as Linux. It is said to be optimized for applications using OpenGL or DirectX 8.1.

The board’s support for 3D modeling in MS DirectX 8.1 suite of multimedia APIs (application programming interfaces) includes:

  • Smartshader programmable pixel and vertex shader technology, which the company claims enables more complex and realistic lighting effects;
  • Truform rendering technology to deliver smooth and natural 3D images;
  • Hydravision desktop management software, which supports dual monitors using traditional CRTs and flat panel displays;
  • Hyper Z II, a memory bandwidth saving technology;
  • Charisma II, the transform, clipping and lighting engine;
  • Pixel Tapestry II, the 3D rendering engine capable of 2.4 gigatexels per second for fast fill rates in 32-bit color.

The company claims these features enable game developers to create their software while being able to see the results as a gamer would. The Charisma II engine has a peak processing capability of 62.5 million triangles per second

ATI’s Fire GL 8700 3D Workstation Graphics Board


The board is powered by the Radeon 8700 GPU and 64MB of double data rate (DDR) memory and support for 3D resolutions up to 2048 x 1536 pixels, and digital flat panel (DVI) support. A 165 MHz integrated TMDS transmitter supports DVI up to UXGA (1600 x 1200 pixels) resolution. The board requires a Pentium 4, III or II, or an AMD Athlon or compatible, with AGP 2X or AGP 2X/4X slot. (

New Mobile GPUs strive to go easy on the battery

using less power while increasing performance

The phrase "low power" could be heard everywhere at Comdex. As Internet appliances proliferate and merge functions into single devices, the demand to extend battery life increases. It’s quite a balancing act for graphics platforms—ramping up the performance power of "mobile workstations" and notebooks for graphics-intensive applications, while still cutting the drain on the battery. Yet, such are the demands of users who want notebooks with more flexible graphics capabilities¼such as the ability to hook it into a desktop monitor and make use of both screens at once without bringing the machine’s processor to its knees. Gamers also want to see better rendering as 3D games get more sophisticated, without having the battery die after a few short hours. It may seem like asking the impossible, but chipmakers claim they are succeeding at doing just that.

For the professional CAD/CAM market, ATI’s new Mobility Fire GL 7800 GPU brings 3D graphics performance to mobile workstations. ATI is expanding its line of low-power Mobility technology chips: the Powerplay voltage and frequency scaling technology modulates clock speeds and voltage settings automatically. Block-by-block activity-based power control shuts off blocks of circuitry to functions that are not in use, conserving battery power. User-selectable voltage/frequency scaling, which allows for maximum performance even when running on battery power, is optional.

This chip incorporates ATI’s Radeon technology. Like the Fire GL 8700 (see related story), the 7800 includes 64MB of 128-bit double data rate (DDR) memory and support for 3D resolutions up to 2048 x 1536 pixels in 32-bit color. It too features the Charisma engine, Pixel Tapestry and Hyper Z technology¼all performance enhancing features. Its Hydravision allows end users to define up to several multi-monitor configurations, with work spread across the entire workspace or apps configured to either of the monitors. TMDS support for external digital flat panels is included.


By Samantha Staples

Criterion Software Releases RenderWare Graphics 3.2

Criterion Software, based in Guildford, UK, is the leading middleware provider for PlayStation®2 game developers. Some of the charts topping titles using RenderWare include:

  • Winning Eleven 5 + Pro Evolution Soccer by Konami Co., Ltd
  • Tony Hawks Pro Skater 3 by Activision Inc / Neversoft Entertainment
  • Grand Theft Auto III by Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. / DMA Design Limited
  • Who Wants to be a Millionaire 2nd Edition by Eidos Interactive / Revolution Software Ltd
  • NFL Blitz 20-02 by Midway Games Inc
  • Burnoutェ by Acclaim Entertainment Inc / Criterion Games

The latest version of RenderWare Platform’s 2D/3D graphics game development module, RenderWare Graphics 3.2, has just been released and fully supports PlayStation®2 specific features. Offering even higher performance on PlayStation®2, version 3.2 also includes many enhancements to the art exporters and animation system, as well as new plugins. In addition, RenderWare Graphics version 3.2 includes the beta version of Criterion’s new menu and overlay toolkit called Maestro, which includes a Macromedia Flash™ 3 importer and can be used to easily create powerful in-game menus and interactive overlays.

Criterion’s new pipeline construction kit, PS2All, claims up to 400 percent performance increase over its previous pipeline, PS2 Manager, with in-game performance now averaging a stable 9+m polys/s. RenderWare Graphics 3.2 also supports asynchronous texture upload, which sends textures via path 3 and geometry via path 1. In addition, the Sony Performance Analyzer has been used to optimise the PlayStation®2 platform-specific implementation, improving overall performance for users. In order to make the art path more streamlined, RenderWare Graphics 3.2 exporters feature significant performance improvement, batch exporting and multiple UV support, as well as support for the latest releases of 3ds max [version 4 & Character Studio 3] and Maya [version 4].

Finally, RenderWare Graphics version 3.2 also features a curved surfaces plugin which allows developers to take advantage of PlayStation®2’s inherent strength to transport objects modelled as highly-efficient “control point” data (Bezier Patches) until rendering. This is an exceptionally efficient way of generating high quality, curved-surfaced objects whilst allowing the PlayStation®2’s maximum performance of 30m polys/s to be consistently reached.

Criterion is in the process of extending RenderWare Platform to provide game developers with even more middleware solutions designed to tighten up production cycles and focus on content and gameplay rather than reinventing the technology. Today RenderWare Platform’s modules include RenderWare Graphics 3.2 as well as RenderWare Audio, an intensively immersive audio solution, with new modules to be added soon, including physics and networking.

Intensively immersive audio is expected to become more important in games as the audio capabilities of video consoles increase to meet the complex expectations of the consumers who are looking for new levels of interaction such as audio cues. Recognising this trend, Criterion has developed RenderWare Audio, an interactive audio engine with full support for 3D positional audio, which is provided on the PlayStation®2 by Sensaura 3DPA middleware. RenderWare Audio has a data-driven architecture as well as full support for the Sound Designer.

For more information, please check out

Metrowerks' "CodeWarrior for PlayStation®2"

Metrowerks develops, ships, and supports CodeWarrior for PlayStation®2 providing the broad suite of development tools. CodeWarrior provides an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) Solution for the following tool-sets:

  • Windows-hosted tools, termed "CodeWarrior for PlayStation®2"
  • Linux-hosted tools, termed "CodeWarrior Linux hosted tools for PlayStation®2".

Metrowerks also provides:

  • IOP Development Tool Kit, termed "CodeWarrior for PlayStation®2 IOP Extension"
  • CodeWarrior Analysis Tools for PlayStation®2

The Metrowerks' CodeWarrior solution provides everything that a commercial developer needs to get their PlayStation®2 game software to market quickly.

The "CodeWarrior for PlayStation®2" IDE includes an editor, command line tool, source browser, compiler, assembler, linker, and a multi-core debugger (EE, IOP, VU, DMA). You can program in C/C++ and assembly on Windows Me/98/XP/2000/NT. CodeWarrior for PlayStation®2" provides everything you need to create the next blockbuster PlayStation®2 game software.

CodeWarrior for PlayStation®2 development tools use an easy-to-navigate graphical interface and supports command line tool development to allow makefile builds. The CodeWarrior debugger also supports GCC-built applications with our STABS reader. You can select to use either "GUI" or "Makefile", For "Makefile" builds, you can choose which compiler you would like to use: the CodeWarrior compiler or the GCC compiler. CodeWarrior for PlayStation®2 is fully customizable, allowing you to use multiple development environments to suit your development needs.

The latest release for CodeWarrior for PlayStation®2, Version 3.0, has the following features:

  • Create PlayStation®2 game on Windows Me/98/XP/2000/NT.
  • Robust code optimization feature to improve the performance of your PlayStation®2 game software.
  • Supports multimedia instruction of CPU of "PlayStation®2", "EmotionEngine®". Debug GCC tool chain application at the source level.
  • DMA debugger with improved DMA tag view, and a Vector Unit Static Analyzer
  • Command line tool for "EmotionEngine®" to create the identical code generated by CodeWarrior compiler.

You must be a licensed developer through Sony Computer Entertainment to obtain our CodeWarrior game software development tools.

Korg - Sound Middleware

For PlayStation®2 developers, Korg offers a complete arsenal of sound middleware. The KORG IOP Sound Driver allows the developer to use two 24-voice, 16-channel sound generators and cross fade the two, thus providing more elaborate audio effects within a game. The Sound Driver has advanced features such as a pitch envelope generator for making pitch changes and a looping function that can be used as a low-frequency oscillator. Noise is reduced via the Sound Driver’s "smoothing process," which allows the user to adjust the smoothing level from within the song data and reduce noise through volume related operations such as volume, pan, and expression.

The KORG IOP Sound Driver also helps manage voice resources through its dynamic voice allocation function, which smoothly mutes the sound when the note data exceed the maximum voices allowed. In conjunction with KORG USB-MIDI Interface Driver (described below), the PS2 can function directly as a MIDI sound module without use of the USB-ethernet adapter, providing a more stable environment for previewing sounds. *2

Windows 98/Me/2000 can be used to graphically edit sound data, and plans are in the works for Macintosh and VST versions of the Sound Driver.

KORG IOP Audio Effects is Korg’s library of audio effects which uses full 24-bit processing and doesn’t require the CPU of PS2, "EmotionEngine®". Audio Effects work only on the IOP. Modules included in the Audio Effects library are:

  • korgicho.irx—stereo chorus—modulates the delay time of the input signal
  • korgiflt.irx—2-pole low pass filter with EG—a low pass filter with resonance control, used to dampen sounds and/or add distinctive sound characteristics
  • korgiam.irx—amplitude controller—an amplitude control module with level and pan controls
  • korgimmf.irx—Multi Mode Filter—a filter for creating various effects such as a telephone/radio voice effect, etc.

Korg’s USB-MIDI Interface Driver is not only as middleware but it can use as development tool, depending on the user’s preference. For a middleware application, the MIDI drum pad or MIDI keyboard of an external synthesizer can be used not only to play music, but as a controller. As a development tool, the USB-MIDI Interface Driver provides a stable preview environment when using the DTL-T10000 or DTL-H10000 PS2 development tools. The Interface Driver is compatible with Roland UM-1, UM-2, and Yamaha UW-500; other MIDI interfaces are also compatible and information can be had by contacting Korg. (

Korg Inc. is a maker of electronic musical instruments, founded in 1963, having its headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. Ever since its foundation, Korg music synthesizers have been supported by many renowned musicians all over the world for their superior sound quality, and became one of the leading companies in the electronic musical instrument industry. Korg will continue to provide musicians with innovative, fine-uality musical instruments. (

ACCESS - NetFront

Founded in 1984, ACCESS is a Tokyo-based company providing software solutions for consumer information appliances, including AVE-TCP, a reliable TCP/IP protocol stack for the PlayStation®2 platform. AVE-TCP is RFC compliant and enables not only game consoles but many other embedded systems to achieve networking capability. Protocols supported of AVE-TCP for "PlayStation®2" include: TCP, UDP, DHCP, DNS, PPP, and PPPoE.

ACCESS’ NetFront embedded Internet browser for consumer information appliances is currently in use in over 130 different information appliances including internet TVs, video game consoles, PDAs, and STBs. NetFront for "PlayStation®2" SDK allows PS2 developers to embed the browser function into game applications. NetFront for "PlayStation®2" SDK supports:

  • HTML3.2 (and a portion of HTML 4.0)
  • Frames
  • Macromedia Flash 4.0 (excluding MP3)
  • HTTP1.0 and a portion of HTTP1.1
  • JavaScript 1.1
  • SSL ver 2, ver 3 (option)
  • GIF (option), JPEG, PNG, MNG
  • Cookies
  • Bookmark support
  • UI customization function

The NetFront for "PlayStation®2" SDK supports Dual Shock2 as well as USB mouse and keyboard. Supported compilers include CodeWarrior, ProDG, and GCC. This SDK has been developed by ACCESS and SEGA ACCESS CO., Ltd., which established in 2000 to develop and offer software optimized for network games and entertainment contents.

The company specializes in modular and scalable Internet software, especially for Internet-ready non-PC devices with limited memory. The company’s proprietary Internet browsers and micro-browsers, real-time OS and APIs are compliant with open Internet standards and specifications such as HTML/XML, CompactHTML, SSL, Linux and Java. ACCESS regularly submits proposals to standards bodies and is committed to developing software that can be integrated with any number of hardware devices.

For more information on ACCESS, go to

Tools & Middleware Expo 2001 Fall (Tokyo)

"Tools & Middleware Expo 2001 Fall" was held in Tokyo on October 19th, 2001. About 40 companies exhibited, and about 300 invited people attended.
Many products in the various graphics middleware improved its expressive power and the performance from the previous version.


Compiler systems of integrated development environment also raised the efficiency of development and their new aspects were introduced, and those users had ardently received the explanation. The sound related Tools & Middleware also increased it's variation, and the attention of the attendees also seemed pretty high.
A lot of products for the preview environment on the PlayStation®2 development tool from various 3D/2D graphics tools are introduced, and the lineup of the USB equipment which corresponds to PlayStation®2 has increased. Online game systems, the browser, and VoIP, etc. were exhibited in the network related field.

By using these high-quality tool middleware, PlayStation®2 titles with the higher quality will be expected to be released in the future.

Tools & Middleware Licensees

Please note this list has been created at each company's request and does not cover all official Tools & Middleware Licensees.
  1. Graphics
    - Graphics / Art Production Tools
    - Graphics Middleware (3D Engine)
    - Graphics Middleware (Physics/AI/MPEG/etc.)
  2. Sound (3D/Effect/Software Synthesizer/Recognition/etc.)
  3. Network
  4. Compiler Technology
  5. Peripherals
  6. Others (Mastering/etc.)

1. Graphics

Graphics / Art Production Tools

Mike Wilson, Tom Harper; ,
The Maya Comprehensive Game Solution, from "Art to Engine"

Custom Technology Corporation;
Hiroshi Taguchi;

discreet, a division of Autodesk;
Jeff Yates, Shinichiro Ichinose;,
3d studio max Game Development Tool

D-STORM, Inc.;
Yoshiaki Tazaki;
3D Animation Software - LightWave 3D

Enroute, Inc.;
Carol Soper
Immersive Video SDK for Playback of Spherical or Cylindrical Immersive video

ImaginOn, Inc.;
Rebecca Gray;
Authoring tool for creating interactive streaming video that branches seamlessly

Improv Technologies, Inc.;
Lance Fieldman;
Layer animation on the fly to create complex non-repetitive animations

Dan Kraus;
Run-time libraries for automatic lip-syncing and motion-capture character mapping

Matrix Corporation;‾matrix/
Masayasu Yamamoto, Software Development Dept.;
A reasonably priced tool to edit or convert 3D models in the next PlayStation format on PC

Micronet Co., Ltd;
Kaoru Ogi, Isao Nakasugi;,
The 3 Dimensional Authoring Tools of Game Development for the next generation PlayStation

Not a Number bv ;
Sian Lloyd ;
Blender’s world-class 3D creation suite includes polymodelling and a game engine accessible via GUI. Available for Unix, Linux and Windows, with import and export of PS native files, its the artists’ choice to create assets and interactive animatics.

Side Effects Software Inc.;
Richard Hamel;
Particle-system engine for run-time support of special effects created using Houdini

SN Systems Ltd,
Tracy Hatch,
Proview—Artist preview tool for Debug Stations using iLink for the fastest downloads

Softimage, Co.;
Chris Johnston, 3D Product Manager;
"STORM"(code name) is a 3D media conduit architecture and on-target scene playback engine

Sony PCL Inc.;
Kazuhiro Niino;

Hiroki Agawa;
2D Graphic tools / 3D Tools & 3D Library

web technology Corp.;
OPTPiX iMageStudio is de facto standard color reducer

Graphics Middleware (3D Engine)

4X Technologies;
Emmanuel Forsans;
A high powerful real-time 3D engine, Phoenix 3D (already available on PC).

Takashi Izutani;
Agatha Tools/Middleware is the total solution for development environment on PlayStation®2, from Graphics, Sound to IO, especially memory card tools

Criterion Software Limited.;
Gael de Kerdanet;
RenderWare3 is powerful, open and highly extensible cross platform game development tool kit

Tadashi Hano;
OpenGL driver, 3D data converter

Epic Games Inc. ;
Mark Rein;
The Unreal Engine, a complete roadmap to make million+ selling games

Hybrid Holding, Ltd.;
Jouni Mannonen;
SurRender 3D—a class library for real-time 3D

Intrinsic Graphics, Inc.;
Steve Gleitsmann;
Next generation software platform for developing and deploying real-time graphics applications and content

LithTech, Inc.;
Jeffery Hutt;
LithTech 3D Engine is a complete 3D game operating system with content creation tools and full source provided

MathEngine plc;
Paul Topping;
Real-time physics engine for 3D entertainment application

Numerical Design, Ltd.;
Herman Kaiser;
NetImmerse C++ cross platform 3D rendering/game engine includes source, tools, and royalty-free license

Quat Technology,Inc.;
Platform independent, high performance tool & middleware for game development. (Original game engine, Viewer, Shader, Post Effects, Amination, etc.)

Qube Software, Ltd.;
Nick Hibma;
A simple, fast, low-level 3D graphics engine, 100% compatible with the PC version

Silicon Studio, Ltd.; (Japanese Only)
Koki Takehana;
Next generation software platform for developing and deploying real-time graphics applications and content

Vulpine GmbH ;
Felix Roeken ;
Vulpine Vision is an extremely powerful and innovative 3D game engine; it represents a breakthrough in realtime engineering

Graphics Middleware (Physics/AI/MPEG/etc.)

Jez San;
Game engine including state of the art physics, collisions, content creation tools and rendering

Takashi Izutani;
Agatha Tools/Middleware is the total solution for development environment on PlayStation®2, from Graphics, Sound to IO, especially memory card tools

CRI Middleware Co., LTD.;
SUZUKI Taizan;
Game Oriented Middleware related to Sound and Movie, including Multi-Track Sound System "CRI ADX" and "MPEG Sofdec"

digital fashion, Ltd;
Yoshiyuki Sakaguti;
"DRESSINGSIM", a cloth simulation software for very realistic expression of cloth and clothes.

Epic Games Inc.;
Mark Rein;
The Unreal Engine, a complete roadmap to make million+ selling games

Ed Cherry ;
Havok provides real-time physics technology and design plug-in for 3D Studio Max

Katsuji Dojun;
Countenance Synthesize, Windblown Simulation

Learning Machines Corporation;
Zhimin Ding ;
Real time animation synthesis for human and characters based-on physics and AI

Vincent Agami;
DirectIA(R): the sole complete Artificial life SDK

MathEngine plc;
Paul Topping ;
Real-time physics engine for 3D entertainment application

Side Effects Software Inc.;
Richard Hamel;
Particle-system engine for run-time support of special effects created using Houdini

2. Sound (3D/Effect/Software Synthesizer/Recognition/etc.)

CRI Middleware Co., LTD.;
SUZUKI Taizan;
Game Oriented Middleware related to Sound and Movie, including Multi-Track Sound System "CRI ADX" and "MPEG Sofdec"

Digital Theater Systems, Inc,
Glenn Arentzoff,
Audio tool set that allows developers to include real time (encode) 5.1 channel interactive audio experience.

Faith, Inc.;
Masato Nakanishi;
SoftwareSynthesizer Sound Tool & Sound Module

KORG Inc.;
Masanao Hayashi,
Development of audio/sound related middleware and tools such as software synthesizer, effector, sound driver, sound editor, USB-MIDI driver, etc.

Lernout and Hauspie Speech Products;
Imma Verheyen ;
L&H Games ASDK: State-of-the art speech recognition development toolkit for PlayStation®2

SANYO Electric Co,Ltd Semiconductor Company;
Masanori Tanaka (Marketing);
Virtual 3D surrounded sound "VASIL"

Sensaura Ltd.;
Neela Dass;
The complete 3D audio software solution including innovations such as ZoomFX, MacroFX & EnvironmentFX (3D Reverb)

Sony Corporation, Broadband Solutions Network Company, Home Audio Company;
Akiko Kimura, Mikiya Kubota;
Vertual 3D Sound Engine, Sound Effector, Voice Recognition, USB driver for headphone and microphone set

Sony Corporation, Mobile Network Company, Personal Audio Company;
Kiyofumi Inanaga, Yuji Yamada ;
"VirtualphonesTechnology" middleweare for 3D sound-display and peripherals used with it

Hiroshi Horiguchi ;
Producing to convert all sound data to format of game console

Victor Company of Japan, Ltd;
Kazuo Hikawa ;
Development of middleware and application for Acoustic Processing, MIDI Watermarking, High Performance File Compression and Software Synthesizer

Yoshichika Sakai;
Music Synthesizer, Sound Effector

3. Network

Access Co., Ltd.;
Jasmine Yang;
Web Browser, TCP/IP protocol stack and networking middleware

Auris System Co., LTD.
Toshikazu Sawada ;
Development of communication driver program

Communication system solution (Analog modem, xDSL, Cable modem, Bluetooth, Japanese PDC, DSS wireless, GPS, CMOS sensor, others)

Kalisto Entertainment;
Stephane De Luca;
K-Net : Kalisto Cross-Platform Object Oriented Network Library

OMRON Corporation;
Minoru Okamoto, Akihiro Tsukitani;,
Network Middleware: USB driver for modem and ISDN teminal adaptor

Planetweb, Inc.;
Adam Keller;
Planetweb develops SDKs and client side applications that enhance the in-game experience on the PS2 through the provision of Internet connectivity.

QEDSoft Inc.
Louis Gurtowski;
Net streaming technology, VU library

Kenneth Trueman;
NetZ network engine (SDK) for online games featuring fault-tolerance, load balancing and data extrapolation

RSA Security Japan Ltd.
Eiji Arai, Developer Sales;
With RSA BSAFE product line, software and hardware developers can implement security component of encryption, PKI, SSL, S/MIME, IPSec in their products.

Mike Aquino ;
Making the tools that make the game - tools for on-line console gaming

SN Systems Ltd;
Tracey Hatch;
The Network Development Kit (NDK) comprises a TCP/IP stack (IOP) with a BSD like API on the (EE)—now supports the Sony analog modem and broadband adapter

Videomail Japan, Inc.
Jyoji Usami;
Net streaming technology, VU library

Zona, Inc.;
Monte Singman;
Terazona ™ provides scalable, fault tolerant, high capacity server solutions for Massive Multiplayer Online Games.

Louis Choquel, Bruno Carsenti;,
zSlideUniverse is a convergence middleware suite for Interactive TV over the Internet, to create mass-market content & services, leveraging the power of PS2 and its broadband kit.

4. Compiler Technology

Codeplay Limited;
Adam Slim;
Codeplay produce powerful optimizing compilers for game developers

Metrowerks Inc.;
David Gill, Game Platform Tools;
CodeWarrior - Ultra fast and easy to use C/C++, assembler, debugger and IDE on Windows 95/98/2000/NT

SN Systems Ltd;
Tracey Hatch;
Pro-DG, at the heart of PlayStation®2 games development Pro-DG: Windows C/C++, compiler, assembler, linker and blisteringly fast Debugger (EE, IOP and VU)

5. Peripherals

American Computer & Digital Components, Inc;
Vincent Lin ;;
USB & FireWire (1394) controller chipset development and applications

Yasuyuki Imada;
Communication system solution (Analog modem, xDSL, Cable modem, Bluetooth, Japanese PDC, DSS wireless, GPS, CMOS sensor, others)

EPSON Portland, Inc.;
Raymond Lee;
Inkjet printer for SDK for PlayStation®2. EPSON 4-color and 6-color Inkjet printers can be connected via the USB Port

Hewlett-Packard Japan, Ltd.;
Hironori Bouno;
We provide device drivers for HP printers and scanners

Immersion Corporation, Inc.;
Greg Belaus;
TouchSense technology enables computer peripheral devices to deliver tactile sensations that correspond to on-screen events

Intelligraphics, Inc.;
Brett Sappington;
Intelligraphics provides device driver and system-level software products and development/optimization services for Playstation®2

Iomega Corporation ;
Rafael A. Mendez;
Smart Portable storage solutions.
Makers of Zip, PocketZip, ZipCD and Jaz drives and media

OMRON Corporation;
Minoru Okamoto, Akihiro Tsukitani;,
Network Middleware: USB driver for modem and ISDN teminal adaptor

OmniVision Technologies, Inc.;
Hasan Gadjali;
CMOS Camera solutions for vision gaming and control. USB cameras for PS2, CIF and VGA resolution

Sony Corporation, Broadband Solutions Network Company, Home Audio Company;
Akiko Kimura, Mikiya Kubota;
Virtual 3D Sound Engine, Sound Effector, Voice Recognition, USB driver for headphone and microphone set

Sony Corporation, Home Network Company, e-Print Company;
Yoichi Kobayashi;
Michie Aoki;
Printer Driver for PlayStation®2

Sony Corporation, Mobile Network Company, Personal Audio Company;
Kiyofumi Inanaga, Yuji Yamada ;
"VirtualphonesTechnology" middleweare for 3D sound-display and peripherals used with it

6. Others (Mastering/etc.)

Hiroshi Kinnou;
Japanese input method (kana-kanji conversion) "EGCONVERT"

Hiroshi Kawamoto;
Simultaneous multi-CD/DVD masters creating system for the next generation PlayStation

Software Products Sales DepartmentTakeshi Asano;
MobileWnn is a Japanese input system which provides an easy Japanese input environment.



Content Delivery Networks Fall 2001 featuring iBAND
December 4-6, 2001, San Jose McEnery Convention Center, San Jose, Calif.
Contact:, Phone: 408-402-0566;

netVisions 2001
December 5-7, 2001, Desert Sprint Marriott Resort & Spa, Palm Desert, Calif.
Contact: Suzanne Costa, Phone: 312-977-1426;

Streaming Media East
December 11-13, 2001, Jacob K. Javitz Center, New York, N.Y.
Contact: Pete Headrick, 415-593-7420;

Digital Entertainment Box Forum
December 11-13, 2001, Jacob K. Javitz Center, New York, N.Y.
Contact: Christine Arrington, 415-331-6800;

MARCH 2002

The 17th ACM Symposium on Applied Computing
Special Track on Virtual Reality, Digital Media, and Computer Games
March 10 - 14, 2002, Madrid, Spain

2002 Game Developers’ Conference
March 19-23 San Jose McEnery Convention Center, San Jose, CA

Independent Games Festival
March 19-23 San Jose McEnery Convention Center, San Jose, CA

MAY 2002

Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3)
May 21 – 24, Los Angeles, CA

JULY 2002

3rd International Conference on Computers and Games
July 25 - 27, 2002, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada


September 1 – 3, Excel Convention & Exhibition Centre, London, UK


Tools and Middleware License Agreement Procedures
For all information regarding the Tools & Middleware Licensing program please refer to
the Tools & Middleware Station website -

For Inquiries
For any inquiries regarding the DDF/NDA/STMDLA, please contact the address below:

Sony Interactive Entertainment, LLC.
1-22 Akasaka 8-chome, Minato-ku,
Tokyo 107-0052 Japan
Tool/Middleware Development Licensing
R&D Div. Software Development Dept.
Telephone: +81-3-5413-8630

* "PlayStation" and "EmotionEngine"are registered trademarks of Sony Interactive Entertainment, LLC.
* Other product and company names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.

Copyright (C) 2001 Sony Interactive Entertainment, LLC. All rights reserved.