Quietly unveiled at yesterday's PSN session was PhyreEngine, a new "free to use graphics engine" from Sony Computer Entertainment. According to the presentation, the package includes full documentation, "70+ samples" and "full source code and artwork" of sample game templates. Working on both OpenGL and Direct3D, this engine will allow developers to more easily develop for the PS3 by using PC environments they're more familiar with. A "simple recompile" is supposedly all that's needed to make the game run on the PS3. Sony is promising "ongoing development and support" for the PhyreEngine.
The ramifications of this subdued announcement are actually quite significant. Three titles have been revealed to have used the PhyreEngine for development: flOw, GripShift and DiRT. Of those three, only one is exclusive to PlayStation. It appears that the PhyreEngine is truly cross platform -- Sony is indirectly contributing to the development of PC (and Xbox 360) games.