F1 on the PS3 – PSP in the Rear View

Gran Turismo was obviously the most notable racing-related demo at Sony’s pre-show event this year, but it wasn’t the only one making laps. Sony also gave a short demo of the upcoming PS3 version of their Formula One racing series, a game shown briefly last year as a pre-rendered video. This year we saw the game live, but the point wasn’t really to show off the game, or even the PS3 for that matter. Instead, the point was to show off the connectivity between the PS3 and the PSP.

As a developer went cruising around Monza in a BMW as Marc Webber, a PSP was used as a sort of wireless secondary display, providing a rearward-looking view of the action. The PSP and PS3 were sync’d up wirelessly, with the PSP rendering the view out the back and the PS3 rendering giving you the view out front.

The idea is cool, but the thought of actually using it in real life sounds more painful than innovative. Unless you have some sort of PSP-stand it’s hard to think of a convenient way to prop up your PSP anywhere near your line of sight. Most likely it’d wind up sitting in your lap or beside you on the couch, and that’s not exactly a convenient place for a rear-view mirror.

Anyhow, the game itself looked good enough but wasn’t quite breathtaking. The dense trees surrounding the track were fully rendered in 3-D, and the grass, sand, and asphalt textures were nicely detailed. The model of the BMW was good and the audio effects were impressive. Overall it did look nice, but no better than the PC racers that have been released in the past few years. No word when this will be released, or whether Sony will choose to bring this latest iteration to the US, but if it’s ready at the launch and they’re hurting for launch titles, don’t be surprised if it shows up domestically.

tim.stevens

Freelance journalist and software architect based in Upstate NY. I write for a variety of different places (as you’ll see) -- maybe even for you if you ask nicely.

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