Emotion Engine: Launching An Icon

エモーションエンジン

Daryl Baxter
SUPERJUMP
Published in
7 min readMar 3, 2019

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People are always waiting for the next big thing. That wait — and the tantalising possibilities that come with a major reveal event — can fill an audience with curiosity and wonder. What will be the next big film? Album? Book? TV show? How about the next major interactive experience?

The PlayStation’s future is black

In March 1999, revealed the PlayStation 2, its vision of the next-generation in interactive entertainment.

Games had successfully entered the general public’s consciousness in the ’90s with the debut of the sixth generation of consoles. Lara Croft had become a staple of the medium, alongside Mario, Sonic and even the major characters from Tekken. And now, people wanted to know just how their favourite series would translate to a more powerful system. As was their way, Sony showed off plenty of demos — from penguins following Crash to Reiko from Ridge Racer appearing on a catwalk.

These subtle hints (which weren’t remotely about revealing actual gameplay) were incredibly alluring to viewers, myself included. As someone who was enjoying contemporary games at the time, it was exciting to see where these franchises could go when powered by greatly more powerful hardware. These early demos fuelled my imagination, as I wondered what I’d be playing in the comfort of my bedroom in the coming years.

It seemed that we were witnessing a quantum leap — Sony presented a dance sequence between Final Fantasy VIII’s Squall and Rinoa, which was rendered entirely in real-time. This was mind-blowing, because the sequence looked pre-rendered. Sony were determined to demonstrate that scenes of this calibre could now be played and not just watched.

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Daryl Baxter
SUPERJUMP

Features Editor at iMore, Podcaster & Copywriter - 'The Making of Tomb Raider' book now available!