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Naughty Dog On Next-Gen: A "Double-Edged Sword"

All studios suffer a difficult transitional period when a new piece of hardware is introduced. Even the best experience their "darkest days" during this time.

In speaking to Eurogamer, Naughty Dog co-president Evan Wells said the shift to a new generation is a "double-edged sword" and that while the geek inside you rejoices at your shiny new toy, the practical part of you realizes: "this is going to be a lot of hard work." Said Wells-

"When you're going to new technology, every day is a slog, progress is slow and it really takes a different kind of attitude and mentality to get through that kind of push and it's not right for everybody."

When the team was switching from the PS2 to the PS3, Wells said Naughty Dog really struggled. In fact, they "lost people on a weekly basis" because they "just couldn't get through it." Co-president Christophe Balestra added that moving to new hardware is "terrifying" and they made "some mistakes" when they moved from the PS2 to the PS3.

The Last Of Us is Naughty Dog's latest game; no word yet on whether the Uncharted team is cranking on the fourth installment. Some are working on multiplayer DLC; others are just on vacation. Yeah, remember when we said Uncharted 4 might be on the PS4...?

Tags: naughty dog, uncharted 4, ps4, playstation 4, next gen

12/21/2011 9:04:41 AM Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (13 posts)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011 @ 9:43:54 AM

I do think that more is being made of this than was intended in some reports. When I read the actual interview, the sense I got was they they were trying to convey that any major platform change beings pain associated with the change, lack of familiarity and steep learning curve. It didn;t seem that they were suggesting that the switch to whatever the PS4 is would be particularly terrifying, or that the change up to the PS3 was either. It seemed simply that changing the entire platform is scary because there is no safety net, everything you do is new, and untried, and so it's 'terrifying', and at the same time a terrific opportunity. That's the double edged sword, the word terrific and the word terrifying have the same root word meaning frightening. Terrific can mean that something is frighteningly good. That's the duality here, it's a terrifyingly good opportunity, and terrifying at the same time.

At least that's how it came across to me.

Last edited by TheHighlander on 12/21/2011 9:44:08 AM

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011 @ 10:27:08 AM

But they "lost people on a weekly basis" because they "just couldn't get through it"? Doesnt sound too good to me :)

But more interestingly: Does this mean the step up to the ps4 will be as large as the ps2 were to the ps3? And if so: How! That's what I am curious about.

Last edited by Beamboom on 12/21/2011 10:29:31 AM

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011 @ 3:44:40 PM

Oh yeah, I think Naughty Dog had a lot less to fear next time because Sony kicked "crazy" Kutaragi upstairs. He will not be designing any future Sony hardware.

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011 @ 10:39:25 AM

No wonder the Uncharted series are so good. The team that worked on it are the most determined and and talented because the transition weeded out the people who just couldn't hang.

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011 @ 2:40:02 PM

Uncharted 4 on the PS4 would get me to get it right away, and in Canada that means waiting outside Best Buy in the miserable november snowy-rain mixture.

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011 @ 6:05:32 PM

Where I come from in Canada it was the miserable frostbite/wild moose that would kill you.

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Nas Is Like
Wednesday, December 21, 2011 @ 2:41:55 PM

They'll probably lose some more people, but it's alright, they have to drop the dead weight somehow. The strong will survive and make it.

Naughty Dog doesn't have too much to fear about, their reputation and credibility has greatly expanded since the PS2 days.

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011 @ 3:21:41 PM

I expect Sony will make a console next time that is easier to work on from a developer's point of view. They had better becuase I flat out refuse to go through another gen of inferior PS ports of multiplat games.

Next gen is coming fast no mater what Naughty Dog thinks so they might as well buckle up and embrace new technology instead of being "terrified" of it. I hate wimpy sounding talk like that. What happened to the dream of building better games, and bigger worlds? Surely there are some delelopers out there who want more power. I highly doubt you would ever hear Hideo say he's terified of a new piece of hardware. In fact he said that his vision for games have always been held back by the technolgy.

Last edited by Excelsior1 on 12/21/2011 3:22:18 PM

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011 @ 6:36:34 PM

When did they say there were terrified of the PS4? They're talking about the transition from PS2 to PS3. Besides, I'll bet you every other dev (including Kojima) is at the very least anxious when it comes to developing for a new generation of consoles.

Btw, if you think that's wimpy sounding talk, IMO it would certainly be terrifying for anyone to go from making games like Jak and Daxter to games like Uncharted, and on an entirely new platform. And they said they got through that tough period, right? And they're making some of the most technologically powerful games today, right? So how can you go talking like ND is being a bunch of wimps about this?

Last edited by Lairfan on 12/21/2011 6:39:18 PM

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011 @ 8:00:54 PM

Listen, I can understand that transitioning to the PS3 was tough since it is such a difficult machine to code for but describing it as "terrifying" experience is just a flat out turn off for me.
I would rather hear something along the lines of transitioning to the PS3 was difficult, but we had the technical know how and resources to get it done and in the end we are a stronger company for it. "terrifying" and people dropping like flies off the project...whimpy sounding talk. If they lost people so be it. That's losing the dead weight that is not cut out for it in the first place.

I think Naughty Dog will find that next gen is not going to be nearly as tough as things were this gen because Sony is going to make a system this time that does not take years and the best developers in the world to figure out. The one thing that has sucked about this gen of gaming from a PS3 owners point of view is you almost have two teirs of games. You get great looking exclusives on one level but on the other you have to watch what you buy with multiplat titles. Fallout 3, Skyrim...I look forward to the day when that crap comes an end. It's been bad enough that I would say if you like multiplats you are just flat out better off owning a 360 since about 99% of multiplats run better on that system because of either lazy or incompetent developers. Unfortunatrely for PS3 owners the majority of games out there are multiplats. The situation has improved greatly but an inferior multiplat game can still drop at any given time. Again, I can't wait until those days are a distant memory.

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Thursday, December 22, 2011 @ 1:26:13 AM

Wow something bad for them turned into something very great of all time aka special :). Hard work does pay ;)

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Thursday, December 22, 2011 @ 3:32:14 AM

which is why i was really excited to see them mention they have learned their lessons and will try release standard hardware instead of releasing exotic new architecture like they normally do.
that has always been a achilles heel of playstation, one that needs to die as quick as possible!

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Friday, December 23, 2011 @ 3:55:13 AM

I definitely don't think any first party devs are gonna need to be terrified about the PS4. Third party on the other hand need to think very clearly on who they hire, if they hire people that are either slow or unwilling to learn then their company can go down the drain. But the first party devs have little to worry about since Sony would absolutely give them a heads up on what to expect making their transition much easier.

And as Highlander pointed out terrified is not simply a negative word. It all comes down to context.

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