GDC: Sony's 'Skinny' strategy backs non-game apps

GDC: Sony's 'Skinny' strategy backs non-game apps

By Michael French in San Francisco

March 12th 2010 at 5:55PM

'One day turn-around' tool for making PSN comics, strategy guides, eMagazines and more detailed in San Francisco

Sony has been briefing developers touring its GDC expo booth this week about a new lightweight tool that allows content creators to get non-game apps onto the PlayStation Network - with almost no software development needed.

Called Skinny, the tool is described by the format holder as "a simple yet effective means for content holders to put their intellectual property on the PlayStation platforms without software development".

In fact Sony is claiming that content creators can develop an app using the tool in as quick as a day.

The platform holder says the service is ideal for strategy guides, game maps and cheats, training manuals, episodic videos and the like, eBooks and eMagazines, comics and event content (such as show guides to download for stadiums or conferences).

Skinny consists of an authoring tool and a native client runtime for PS3 and PSP.

The editor is a web-based tool for PCs and workstations - content creators supply images, audio, video and text and use the design software and a simple flowchart organiser to decide how their pictures and sounds are presented, which is all managed with a simple XML file.

Skinny's authoring tool then lets you publish straight to a UMD or PlayStation Network image file.

The only catch is that the PS3 or PSP file still has to be submitted to Sony for approval, as with all game content.

A SCEA rep on the showfloor said it was "very quick and easy" to get up and running.