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PlayStationFirst opens largest teaching lab in Europe

Europe’s largest teaching laboratory of Sony PlayStation® consoles has been opened today (Friday 21 February) at Abertay University in Dundee.

Abertay’s PlayStation® lab has now permanently installed 30 new PlayStation® Vita development kits, to which Abertay’s games students have open access alongside their existing PlayStation®3 and PlayStation®4 development kits.

Every programming student at Abertay learns how to use PlayStation® Vita development kits and has access to PlayStation®4 development kits as part of Abertay University’s partnership with PlayStation®First, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe’s (SCEE) Academic Development Programme.

This programme offers development kits to universities identical to those used by professional game studios to create games for PlayStation®.

Dr Maria Stukoff, Head of Academic Development at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, said: “The next generation of PlayStation-savvy developers are now in education and Abertay University is at the forefront of bringing young and talented developers to our platform.

“It is these students who will influence the future of video games and we are delighted to work with Abertay University to make this a PlayStation training hub.”

Professor Louis Natanson, Head of the School of Arts, Media and Computer Games at Abertay University, said: “Abertay is very proud to have the largest teaching laboratory of PlayStation consoles in Europe, and it’s something our students benefit hugely from.

“Having access to professional Sony development kits is incredibly exciting for students learning how to design and build games, and we’ve seen a real jump in the enthusiasm of our students since we created this lab.

“Students are routinely staying after class to work on their own projects, with many immediately aspiring to releasing their own games for PlayStation.”

All undergraduate students at Abertay University take part in a major third-year project to build a game, working with professional mentors. Student artists, designers, programmers and audio engineers are brought together, exactly as if they were running a small business.

As part of the PlayStation® lab, two student teams totalling 22 people have been working with FuturLab co-founders James Marsden and Kirsty Rigden. One team is building on FuturLab’s successful Velocity series of games with another pitching a completely new idea to the company.

James Marsden, FuturLab co-founder, said: “We think this initiative is fantastic. It’s great for us because we’re able to effectively triple our workforce developing new prototypes, and it’s great for students because they get valuable experience working as a project team all the way from concept development and pitching, through to a playable demo suitable for pitching to a publisher.”

Thomas Garnerone, Abertay student game designer, said: “The PlayStation Vita is an interesting platform as it is a very powerful handheld game console. By combining regular buttons and new features such as the touch screen, the console offers a new gameplay experience to players.

“As a student in game design, I really like the fact that players can discover new ways to play video games.”

The students are encouraged to use the Vita’s full range of control options – from the twin analogue sticks and front touchscreen, to the innovative rear touchpad – to push their design and programming skills.

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For media enquiries, please contact Chris Wilson (Communications Manager) – T: 01382 308522 M: 07837 250284 E: chris.wilson@abertay.ac.uk

About Sony Computer Entertainment Europe:

Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE), based in London, is responsible for the distribution of PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) handheld entertainment system, PlayStation®3 (PS3®) computer entertainment system, PlayStation®Vita (PS Vita) portable entertainment system, and PlayStation®Network software and hardware in 109 territories across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Oceania. SCEE has revolutionised home entertainment since they launched PlayStation® in 1994. PS2® further enhanced the PlayStation® legacy as the core of home networked entertainment. PSP® is a handheld entertainment system that allows users to enjoy on-the-go games with high-quality full-motion video and high-fidelity stereo audio. PS3® is an advanced computer system, incorporating the powerful Cell Broadband Engine and RSX processors. PS Vita is an ultimate portable entertainment system that offers a revolutionary combination of rich gaming and social connectivity within a real world context. SCEE also delivers the PlayStation® experience to open operating systems through PlayStation®Mobile, a cross device platform. SCEE also develops, publishes, markets and distributes entertainment software for these formats, and manages the third party licensing programs for the formats in these territories.

More information about PlayStation products can be found at www.playstation.com.

PlayStation, the PlayStation logo, PS4, PS3, PS2 and PSP are registered trademarks or trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners

About PlayStation®First Academic Development Programme

PlayStationFirst is a Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) and Worldwide Studios (WWS) academic partnership programme to inspire innovation across PlayStation. PlayStationFirst establishes partnerships with University courses at the cutting edge of videogame technology, game development, computer science and research, offering platform specific licences for academic development covering: PlayStation®4 (PS4™) PlayStation®3 (PS3™), PSP® (PlayStation®Portable), PlayStation Vita, as well as software agreements for Move.me™ and PlayStation®Mobile (PSM).

PlayStationFirst Partner status is awarded by invitation only to leading university courses, educational organisations and talent incubators, and must fulfil a set of academic and PlayStation oriented criteria.

Abertay University

Scotland's leading modern university for psychology research (RAE 2008)

The University of Abertay Dundee is a charity registered in Scotland, no. SC016040

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