Time Machine: The PlayStation 3 Bible (2005)

The year is 2005. I still don’t have broadband internet. While most of the world has already moved on from buying stacks of magazines to get their fix on information about the latest games and consoles, I sure as heck haven’t. Being a massive PlayStation 2 fan at the time (and not being of an age to have a job yet, so I was limited to one console), I’d decided to opt for its successor, the PlayStation 3.

I bought any magazine promising scraps of information on the new Sony console I could obtain – Official PlayStation 2 Magazine, PLAY, PSM, PSW. If it had a DVD stuck to the front with some PS3 game trailers, even better.

But one issue of PLAY – 134 to be exact – came with a little thin book. At the time, a lot of magazines did this – but they were generally used for either undetailed walkthroughs of games, or compilations of cheat codes for popular releases. This one, however, was “The PlayStation 3 Bible” – “all you need to know about PS3”. Sign me up!

So this article will be about some of The PlayStation 3 Bible’s more noteworthy contents – among some uninteresting/unnoteworthy stuff like the PS3’s hardware specifications (which never changed) and some details on a few specific games, it also contains pages on FAQs, rumours, and most interestingly, a list of all known PS3 games of the time. Let’s delve in!

Comparisons to its contemporaries

 

Because PLAY was a magazine focused exclusively on the PlayStation platform, it was completely mandatory for it to compare its coveted console with its evil contemporaries.

While I’m not that up on my specification rundowns, I do know that the PlayStation 3 was notorious for the difficulty of developing games for it – completely against what the Bible suggests. In the long run, it didn’t really matter – despite all of the hardware differences between the two, and how PS3 had FOUR MORE SUB-PROCESSORS THAN THE XBOX GUYS, most multiplatform games were pretty much identical between the two.

Although it’s understandable thanks to the lack of information, it’s retrospectively hilarious to see them predict the Nintendo Wii (then the Revolution) as following in the GameCube’s footsteps – appealing only to the Nintendo hardcore and failing to expand its audience – when the Wii almost did the complete opposite and ended up pissing rings around the PS3 and Xbox 360 at least in terms of sales figures. Oh, and that USB dongle enabling DVD playback – I’d never heard of this rumour before and I can’t find any information about it online, so… what?

And the PS3 versus PC section is fairly off, really. PC became a platform far more accessible to console gamers, thanks in part to the Xbox 360 controller becoming standard for PC as well, and PS3 never replaced the computer in homes. Not even slightly. It’s still fiddly to upgrade PCs if you’re a lazy bastard like me, though.

Frequently asked questions

A mixed bag of information that turned out accurate, and some that totally didn’t. “April 2006, if not sooner” for its European release was way off – we didn’t see the console’s release until March 23rd, 2007. Plenty of meaningless comparisons between consoles too – like how PS3 and Xbox 360 games turned out to be relatively indistinguishable in the long run, I’ve never seen an Xbox game that looked noticeably superior to its PS2 port.

Everything about the abolishing of multitaps is spot on, as was the PS3 backwards compatibility… sort of. Original PS3s could do PS1 emulation well, and had PS2 as well, but the latter was shaky – the Ratchet & Clank PS2 games were horrendous on an original PS3. Later models of PS3 removed PS2 compatibility, but could still play PS1 games just fine.

Then it goes downhill – I’ve already mentioned how the PlayStation 3 was notorious for its difficulty in developing for it. But the price – oh boy. “Expect a price tag somewhere between £200 and £250” – due to the complexity of the console, its Blu-Ray drive (then still a fledgling technology) and some other factors, the PlayStation 3 initially cost £425 here – the most expensive a console’s price has been in my lifetime, topping even the ludicrous £399 Sega Saturn.

I still bought a PS3 on launch.

Rumours

Oh my yes, this is the sort of thing I like to see. Let’s dissect each one individually!

“PlayStation 3 will ship with a hard drive”

It did! A 60GB one, specifically – 20GB was also an option if you weren’t a European getting screwed and wanted a cheaper alternative. And it was a fundamental piece of the puzzle for the system – you needed it to install chunks of games to alleviate limited disc reading speeds, download updates, and eventually also download digital copies of entire games, demos and more. Infact, even 60GB after a few years was arguably far too small.

“PlayStation 3 will not support any last-gen peripherals”

Pretty much true. You could buy third-party conversion peripherals, and Sony themselves released a device that converted memory cards to a USB hookup, which was handy for transferring their contents to the PS3’s hard drive for back compatibility. But for the most part, PS3 was a completely clean slate.

“The hard drive will be locked…”

There is DRM all over the place, but not (as far as I know) in the way this piece suggests. Digital games are tied to your PSN account, so you can’t just stick the HDD in a PC and transfer its entire pirated game library onto one without some serious fudging.

“PlayStation 3 will be compatible with PSP”

Since there was apparently no real thought about digital games in 2005, this misses what the link up between PS3 and PSP can do. You can download digital PSP games to your PS3 and transfer them via USB or Wi-Fi. You can also stream PS3 games to the PSP and play them elsewhere. And some games featured “cross buy”, which let you download them for one system if you bought them for another – most or all of the PlayStation 1 classics featured this.

“PlayStation 3 will launch with a 2x Blu-Ray drive”

It did! Not much else to say.

“You can change resolution to improve performance”

As far as I know, opting to cap the PS3 to 720p or (god forbid) 480p did nothing for its performance – it was simply there for people who didn’t have a 1080p TV, which at the time was a lot of people. I was stuck with a widescreen SD CRT TV that weighed about a trillion kilograms myself for the first couple of months of owning a PS3. And as far as I know, no games individually offered this feature (or any similar performance options).

“A Final Fantasy VII remake is coming out for PlayStation 3”

Hasn’t happened yet, but is now in development for PS4. The trailer that spawned this rumour was a tech demo made to demonstrate the potential power of the PlayStation 3 while also hyping the FF7 film that came out in 2005, “Advent Children”.

All the Games

Now this is the juicy stuff. These games fall under a few categories – released games, games released for other systems but not PS3, and games with slightly more elaborate stories.

Games that came out for PlayStation 3

Games that came out for other systems

In most cases, these games either came out prior to the PS3’s launch (since it was delayed more than once), or were snatched from the system by exclusivity deals.

But what happened to the rest? Well…

2 Days to Vegas

“Presumed cancelled”, although never officially stated as such. Its developer, Steel Monkeys, still exists and recently released “I, Vikings” for iOS, but 2 Days to Vegas disappeared quietly years ago.

6Gun II

The then-next-gen sequel to 6Gun was cancelled in 2006. (It appears that the editor of the PlayStation 3 Bible mistakenly “corrected” 6Gun II’s title into it being a sequel to the 2005 western game Gun. Gun 2 has been rumoured for years but never entered production.)

Akira Kurosawa’s Oni

…was never a game by the looks of things. It was actually a film that accompanied Ni-Oh. The film was cancelled.

Avalon

Climax Studios’ futuristic vehicular combat game was announced, but cancelled long before any first screenshots of the game could be seen.

Broken Saints

The PS3 game of the Flash series disappeared and was presumably cancelled shortly after it was announced.

Clown Combat

Appeared on a bunch of press lists of PS3 games, but no information on it has even been released it seems. Even its developer, Eagle Claw Studios, only exists online as an automatically-generated game developer, whose only ever announced game was Clown Combat.

Demonik

Clive Barker’s horror game Demonik was announced for PS3 and Xbox 360 in 2005. It was cancelled for PS3 and became an Xbox 360 exclusive… which was also then cancelled. As was its film counterpart. Although messy, he recovered quickly and was responsible for the 2007 game Clive Barker’s Jericho, unrelated to Demonik but released for the same systems.

Dirty Harry

Cancelled in 2007, seems like as a result of The Collective, its developer, being merged with Shiny Entertainment into Double Helix Games.

Elveon

This hack and slash fantasy game was cancelled later on in development, with tech demos and promotional material having already been released, after its developer 10Tacle Studios went out of business.

That was it for Elveon… until 2015! Several of the company’s former employees purchased the rights to the name and engine of Elveon, and began a project to revive it. Its new website has not been updated too frequently since then, though they have released an updated teaser trailer.

Endless Saga

Endless Saga was cancelled at an unknown time. It gained a little notoriety for being one of those game announcements – the ones where they’re announced, a few screenshots that are blatantly just CGI/target footage are thrown out (especially notorious for games on upcoming new systems because nobody knows how possible those graphics might even be), and then they disappear – with very little evidence than an actual game ever existed.

Eyedentify

Seemingly more of a tech demo for the new PlayStation Eye than an actual fully-fledged game, Eyedentify is another one that disappeared quietly after a small amount of promotion early on – partially because the technology didn’t work.

Fear and Respect

A sandbox action game starring Snoop Dogg, there is no further evidence that development of Fear and Respect for the PlayStation 3 ever happened. All footage and information released is for the PlayStation 2 version… which was cancelled in early 2006.

Fifth Phantom Saga

One of the first games announced for PlayStation 3, Sonic Team’s Fifth Phantom Saga went missing soon after and is presumed cancelled. Sonic Team contributed Sonic the Hedgehog to the PS3’s launch line up, so Fifth Phantom Saga was perhaps canned to conglomerate the workforce into one game.

The Getaway 3

Sadly cancelled in 2008 – that was put into question a year later, but after years of it probably being cancelled, it’s disappeared.A well-publicised trailer showing London’s Piccadilly Circus was confirmed to have been pre-rendered. SIE London Studio still exist as an in-house developer for Sony, but mainly focus now on games for various PlayStation peripherals such as the PlayStation Eye and the SingStar microphones.

Grand Raid Offroad

Yet another game announced with a trailer made up of almost-certainly-prerendered footage, Grand Raid Offroad disappeared without any formal permanent cancellation – but may not have made it very far anyway. Its developer, Asobo Studio, still exist today, most recently having partnered with Microsoft to create two demos for HoloLens, and the game ReCore.

Indiana Jones

The PS3 game of Indiana Jones appears to have disappeared. In 2009, almost three years after the PlayStation 3 came out, Indie lassoed himself a new game in the form of Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings… which came out on Wii, DS, PSP, and… PlayStation 2! The only PS3 action Indie saw was in Lego form, with the two Lego Indiana Jones games.

Infraworld

Okay, this one is a little interesting. Infraworld was Quantic Dream’s first foray into the PlayStation 3, having just freshly released Fahrenheit/Indigo Prophecy for its predecessor console. Infraworld was cancelled following publishers’ unwillingness to pick it up – Quantic Dream instead diverted their focus onto Heavy Rain., which finally saw a release in 2010. But then… their next game after Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls, which came out for PS3 in 2013, featured a parallel universe called the Infraworld! I can’t find anything that suggests Beyond: Two Souls is Infraworld, or if it takes any concepts originally developed for it… or if it’s even just a nice little reference to the cancelled 2006 game.

John McTiernan Game

Sadly, no evidence exists of any specific game helmed by the creator of Die Hard and Predator – might have been a fun one. Likely, there was a partnership between him and some developer/publisher, it was announced, and then the partnership ended.

Killing Day

The king of fakery. Ubisoft’s FPS Killing Day was announced for PS3 release with a trailer that was comically fake – everything from the exaggerated graphics, to the subtle stuff like the player animation, was CGI. The game was cancelled “midway into development”, without any screenshots or trailers resembling an actual legitimate game ever surfacing. The glossy statue seen in the footage is almost the poster child of the “bullshot” controversy these days – screenshots clearly enhanced far beyond reasonable expectation.

Metronome

Metronome, later revealed at E3 2005 to be called “The City of Metronome“, was never formally cancelled but like so many other games disappeared without further announcements. A real shame – the E3 2005 reveal showed what appeared to be legitimate gameplay footage, and the game looked like an entertaining, quirky platformer. Its creator, Team Tarsier/Tarsier Studios, had not released a game up to that point – but they still exist, having released several games since 2009, including porting Media Molecule’s Tearaway to PlayStation 4 in the form of Tearaway Unfolded, and in a couple of months will release Little Nightmares for multiple platforms.

Notcom Racing

A few pictures of Notcom Racing exist, showing off both excellent, genuine-looking graphics, but also a complete lack of anything beyond one tech-demo-looking environment. No further information on it has ever been mentioned, and information on its developer, ForwardGames, is sparse and vague.

Omikron 2

Quantic Dream’s planned sequel to their debut game from 1999, Omikron: The Nomad Soul. Omikron 2, originally named “Nomad Soul: Exodus”, was announced by Quantic Dreams along with “Infraworld” (listed above). When Infraworld was cancelled and Quantic Dream diverted focus onto Heavy Rain, Omikron 2 was placed on hold – where it has remained ever since, with no mention of cancellation or development resuming.

Possession

Presumed cancelled (updates on the game ceased in 2006 a year after its announcement due to Volatile Games failing to find the game a publisher), Possession was a zombie adventure game that looked… well, see the video for the footage released. Volatile Games went on to release a poorly received game adaptation of Reservoir Dogs and Dead to Rights: Retribution before its partner company, Blitz Games Studios, closed in 2013, taking Volatile with it.

Project Delta

Just another one-press-release-then-poof! game, Project Delta was announced with very little fanfare or information, then quietly disappeared. Playlogic went bankrupt in 2010 with a significant library of middleware games. Some of its staff reformed the company shortly afterwards, but that iteration was declared bankrupt again four years later.

Psychopath

Also known as John Carpenter‘s Psychopath after its film director partner, this game didn’t get any trailers or screenshots, just a short blurb about its planned storyline: “Developed in collaboration with film director John Carpenter, Psychopath puts players in shoes of an ex-CIA operative who’s called back into action after a serial killer is reported to be on the loose. In an unexpected twist of events, he begins to question his own sanity.” Nothing else was ever mentioned. Its creator, Titan Productions, is a weird thing – it has a website that remains live but is stuck in 2005, which mentions Psychopath, Demonik (listed above), and also a game by Guillermo Del Toro, none of which ever seemed to exist beyond worming their way into lists of games coming up.

Schwarzenburg

A few screenshots of this German-developed World War II shooter were published, but like so many others, it then disappeared without further mention. Radon Labs, its developer, released a handful of other games, mainly for Windows, before filing for bankruptcy in 2010.

ShadowClan

Another game announced by John Woo-formed studio Tiger Hill Entertainment, ShadowClan was a planned territorial gang warfare that was cancelled not too long after its announcement. No footage of the actual game ever made it out, only a few promotional bits of artwork and its logo. Tiger Hill Entertainment’s only game to date appears to be Stranglehold.

Shin Megami Tensei

Couldn’t find information on which specific game in the long-running Shin Megami Tensei series this was referring to. Whatever happened, no Shin Megami Tensei game was ever released specifically for PS3, sadly – although the series continues to this day, having released a new instalment, Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse, in 2016 for Nintendo 3DS.

Thesis

Could not find any information on this one. Like, at all.

Vision Gran Turismo

Never actually came out as Vision Gran Turismo, but wasn’t exactly cancelled either. PS3’s first taste of the Gran Turismo series instead came along as Gran Turismo HD Concept, which was released digitally for the system in December 2006 (as well as receiving a small production run physically in Japan purely for those without the ability to download it). Following in the footsteps of its predecessor on PlayStation 2, Gran Turismo 5 also got a Prologue version in 2008, again a pared down game. Finally, towards the end of 2010, PS3 saw Gran Turismo, the system’s first full game in the series.

The “Vision Gran Turismo” name was revived with 2013’s Gran Turismo 6, in a feature which featured a wide spread of real-life car manufacturers creating fictional concept cars, that then featured in timed events in the game.

And that’s it!

Bless you, PlayStation Bible. You made me, as a 14 year old still far too excitable for new shinies and perfectly willing to blow £425 on a console for launch day. You got me excited for The Getaway 3, which sadly never happened. You got me excited for Sonic 06, which shouldn’t have happened.

And you got me through the painful time between the UK launches of the Xbox 360 and the PS3 when my friend got one and spent the next SIXTEEN MONTHS rubbing it in my face while I kept trotting along with my PlayStation 2. But I had the last laugh, when in March 2007 you were bored of your little white box, and there I was with my shiny new convex piano black behemoth, tilting my controller to steer the cars in MotorStorm and immediately disabling that option because it was absolutely foul.

PlayStation 3 is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

NAL

Independent game developer, font creator and occasional casual writer.

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