Playtime for Sony

15th September, 2006

It’s hard to overestimate the importance of the E3 games expo to a company like Sony.

As the electronics industry’s biggest annual showcase it’s where the next generation of cutting-edge gaming technology is unveiled to an eager audience of 60,000 industry professionals.

So there was a lot riding on the launch of its high definition PlayStation 3 games console and on the quality of the videos and trailers which Sony needed to prepare for the launch.

Says Sony Computer Entertainment Europe’s Arran Green: “Once you could get away with simple images to promote consoles and games but now it’s much more about video.”

But converting the high-quality HD games output into a broadcast standard format was a painstaking task, so the Sony team called in On Sight to advise them on standards conversion.

“The biggest problem is the number of format conversions we needed to do, because games output in a range of video standards. It may be 720p or 1080i or even in some cases 1080p so there are an awful lot of issues cropping up the whole time,” says Green.

On Sight helped navigate a conversion route so that Sony ended up with all its video in HDCam-SR 1080i -59.94, as well as helping Green set up editing facilities at Sony’s London based PlayStation games development studio.

The end result was certainly worth the effort. “People were stunned by the quality of the images,” says Green. “Even though 1080i is much lower quality than the HD console is capable of.”