LittleBigPlanet: New social game for the PS3.

littlebigplanetI’ve just been treated by Pete Smith, a Senior Producer with the European branch of Sony Computer Entertainment to a demo of LittleBigPlanet, a new game title designed for the PS3. While the game strategies are somewhat basic as a result of the targeted younger demographic , what makes this new title unusual and attractive are its online features. Gamers connect to LittleBigPlanet’s online presence through a fun graphical representation of the community. By default, various levels of gameplay are provided by the publishers and are available online.

But here’s the attention-grabber: The environment sports a palette of tools and building blocks that allow a user to create their own levels rich with custom objects and objectives. A gamer can then publish the level out to the community who then has the ability to rate the level in terms of complexity and enjoyment. Much as users voting on a youtube video can propel an amateur videographer to cultural stardom, the LittleBigPlanet community can float imaginative levels to the top of the must-play lists. And as an incentive, custom objects can be shared as a prize for completing the level’s objective.

But one of the most compelling features of the game is the ability to invite friends into your world to collaborate on your creation in realtime. Your local PS3 acts as an online host while the level is constructed. Each player can work on individual objects or team up to quickly build complex objects complete with animated items.

The social aspects of the game and the potentially unlimited availability of user-created game objectives make this an important new title for the PS3 arsenal.

Look for it in mid-2008.