Sony have announced a new middleware technology for their Platstation 2 console that allows users of Sony digital cameras to upload pictures for use in games. This will allow pictures of people to be mapped onto characters within games.

Sony Develops Picture Paradise Image Integration Middleware for PlayStation 2 Titles

Technology Enables Personalized Gaming Experience by Linking Digital Imaging Devices and PlayStation 2

Sony Electronics today announced the rollout of a middleware for PlayStation® 2(a) titles, named Picture Paradise(TM).

Picture Paradise technology is Sony's original standard in which images from any Picture Paradise compatible device can be loaded into PlayStation 2 by using a Picture Paradise compatible application. By integrating this middleware, game software can incorporate and manage image data obtained from devices connected to a PlayStation 2 console. Users can load personal images into a game simply by linking PlayStation 2 and a compatible digital still camera or camcorder by USB.

By playing back a game title with this middleware on a PlayStation 2 console, two- and three-dimensional images can be mapped onto designated characters in the game. This generates potential for a new level of game entertainment with realistic representations and dynamic story development incorporating the combination of personalization and graphics.

Picture Paradise devices include all Sony Cyber-shot® digital still cameras and Handycam® digital camcorders with USB terminals produced since October 2000. Previously released compliant models also include Cyber-shot DSC-S30, DSC-S50, DSC-S70, DSC-F505, DSC-F505V, DSC-P1 and the DCR-PC110 camcorder. Compliant Sony Mavica® digital still cameras include the MVC-FD92 and MVC-FD97.

"Picture Paradise technology will allow consumers to capture, display, edit and enjoy their digital images with PlayStation 2,'' said Takashi Kondo, senior vice president of Sony Electronics' Digital Imaging Products Division. "The integration of Picture Paradise software and digital imaging devices into PlayStation 2 allows the console to become an imaging platform, as well as one for games. It's yet another example of Sony's efforts to enhance the consumer's digital experience.''

There are currently 14 Picture Paradise middleware alliances worldwide. Sony plans to supply the middleware to U.S. game developers/publishers throughout this year.

Available in September, TECMO INC. is releasing the PlayStation 2 title, "Monster Rancher 3,'' featuring this middleware for the first time in the U.S. Tecmo will showcase this new title at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, beginning on May 17.