Microsoft’s XNA announcements were not the only news to come out of the Game Developers Conference related to user community development tools for games. Sony will be releasing their PhyreEngine tools, which will allow development of games that can be recompiled for the PS3. PhyreEngine has already been used to create several games that are available on the PlayStation Network Store, including Flow, but the availability of PhyreEngine as a free download will really open up the opportunities for developing games at a reasonable cost, and then sharing them with other users. PhyreEngine supports cross-platform development on the PC and PS3 (and apparently possibly the Xbox360). It will also support a number of leading 3D model formats, including Maya and COLLADA.
There’s no official word from Sony on when PhyreEngine will be available, but I really want to give it a try and compare it to the development experience with XNA, which I have had a lot of success with so far.