Sony Worldwide studios boss Phil Harrison has confirmed that allowing users to create their own content forms a major part of the company's strategy for PlayStation 3.
Speaking in an interview with Official PlayStation Magazine, excerpts of which have been published on Sony's "semi-official" ThreeSpeech blog, Harrison said, "The area that Iâm most excited about at the moment is empowering user-created content. Embedding the user creation tools into the game application and opening it up to a cloud of users.
"I have to be really careful not to give the game away because we're keeping this secret, but don't think about it in terms of maps, think of it in terms of behaviours, environments, physics, rules... All the tools that you could want, but in a very consumer friendly way."
Pointing to Second Life as "a very, very powerful metaphor for where we're going", Harrison went on to say that users would be able to use a USB mouse to find "a deeper level of finesse, that you could get in terms of pixel manipulation and paint programs or fine tuning things". (The PS3 also supports USB keyboard input throughout.)
"We've got two things in development," he specified. "One in this building and one with an external developer that, when we do share them with you, I think you're going to go 'Ah now I know what he was talking about.'"
News that Sony is considering how to make use of content creation facilities is likely to draw comparison to Microsoft's XNA Studio Express suite, which is already up and running in beta, and will soon allow users to make their own playable Xbox 360 games using simple tools - albeit for the cost of a subscription fee.