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GDC: SN Systems show off new handheld to

Leading development tools specialist SN Systems is focusing heavily on the handheld platforms at GDC, with new technology for PSP and DS both on show, but there's also a glimpse at the next generation to be had.

Leading development tools specialist SN Systems is focusing heavily on the handheld platforms at GDC, with new technology for PSP and DS both on show, but there's also a glimpse at the next generation to be had.

The Bristol-based company is demonstrating a host of new features across its products at the show, including the Nintendo DS development kit which has been co-developed with Japanese firm Hudson, and the leading-edge PSP development toolset.

On the PSP, SN is showcasing its self-developed compiler, SNC, which ships as the default compiler for the first time in the PSP suite and offers a number of competitive advantages over the previously used GCC compiler.

"SNC has been designed with the next-gens in mind," according to SN Systems' Tony Liviabella. "If we'd stuck with GCC, we'd have been forever retrofitting features into existing versions - whereas with SNC, it's ours, so we can make changes very quickly and easily, and as it's been designed specifically for the consoles, it also offers better performance."

Also designed with the next generation machines in mind are the new user interfaces which are being rolled out for the first time on the PSP development tools, the first major overhaul to SN's UI since the launch of the PS2.

Both the Debugger and the Tuner have been given a more user friendly and easy to navigate interface - while the debugger also boasts a fresh design which has been created to meet the needs of multi-core architectures and multi-threaded code.

The firm also has a number of other tools on show at its booth, number 322 in the main expo hall. One of these, a distributed build system that promises to cut down project build times significantly, is already creating significant buzz among developers. Further details are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

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Rob Fahey avatar

Rob Fahey

Contributing Editor

Rob Fahey is a former editor of GamesIndustry.biz who spent several years living in Japan and probably still has a mint condition Dreamcast Samba de Amigo set.