We wouldn't be surprised to hear that most gamers missed the new music visualization included in the PS3's recent 2.10 update. Its new visualization of a beautiful space view of Earth seemed to appear out of nowhere, but Gamasutra managed to speak with creator Q-Games to get the story behind it.
The Kyoto-based developer was commissioned by Sony to make this visualization, which was originally a candidate for the PS3's boot sequence.
"Originally, we were working on the Gaia project (our name for the earth viewer) as a possible boot sequence for the PS3. The waving cloth background, also created by Q-Games, got the nod when the PS3 launched," said Q-Games' James McLaren.
"We persevered with Gaia, and this visualizer came out of that ongoing work. We've had this under our hats for a while, so it's nice to finally see it released into the wild."
Even though they explain that this visualizer was slimmed down due to ROM constraints, some serious work was put into the realism.
"This representation of the earth is a 3D model with some shaders and SPU trickery going on. We tried to accurately model the earth's atmosphere and have all the correct highlights on the oceans, etc. The texture data is sourced from the NASA Blue Marble project."
This is a pretty nifty feature, and it's a sight to behold in high-definition. Sony seems to have kept quiet about this wonderful addition. In fact, if you use the PS3's music player and start the visualization feature, the default "silky waves" visualization comes up. It takes another press of the square button to bring up the new 'Gaia' visualization. How sneaky!
Hit the jump for more pictures from Gamasutra.