Sony to buy U.K. supplier of tools for games developers -

Sony to buy U.K. supplier of tools for games developers

LONDON — Sony Computer Entertainment is to acquire SN Systems, a supplier of programming tools for game developers established in 1989 and based in Bristol.

The purchase is designed to improve the development environment and tools that the company provides to the creative community for developing computer entertainment content for PlayStation.

SN Systems developed the ProDG tool and has acquired both technology and experience supporting PlayStation games development, accumulated over its 10-year relationship with SCEI. A significant number of the PlayStation 2 games developers have chosen to use SN Systems’ software development tools, including an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) consisting of compilers, linkers and debuggers. In February from a line-up of 24 game titles listed in the North American launch window for Sonuy's PSP, 20 were developed using SN Systems' ProDG for PSP development tools.

SCEI believe that having SN Systems within the group will accelerate the provision of solutions to PlayStation 3 content development community by delivering ProDG and other high development tools along with a support program.

Masa Chatani, corporate executive and CTO, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc, said, “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.”

SN Systems was founded by Andy Beveridge and Martin Day (right in picture) who in 1988 were writing computer games but found the tools available for programmers to be painfully slow, unreliable, inflexible and badly supported. So they produced their own PC hosted cross-platform programming tools specifically to answer their needs as game developers. After an initial period of 'lending' their tools to other developers, the tools became a commercial product and, their products were published under the name “SNasm” (from SN Systems' Assembler).

They expanded their product line to encompass tools for other consoles including Sega Megadrive/Genesis, Sega-CD and Nintendo SuperNES.

The SDevTC development tools became part of the official PlayStation development package and the Sega Saturn product was used by over 70% of US and European Saturn developers, while the tools for the Nintendo 64 console subsequently became an authorized Nintendo 64 software tool.

Most recently SN Systems' entered into a joint venture with Japanese game developer and hardware manufacturer Hudson to develop the 'DS DEV with ProDG for Nintendo DS' development solution.

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