IO Interactive: PS3 Development Tough, But "Fun"
Until most all developers have a firmer handle on the PS3's complex architecture, we're all going to worry a bit about multiplatform titles. However, the first holiday titles are looking good on Sony's next-gen console, as we've already heard that Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare runs beautifully on both the PS3 and Xbox 360. Now, we've got more good news for the highly anticipated Kane & Lynch: Dead Men.
According to a recent Pro-G interview with IO Interactive Hitman developer Morten Heiberg, while developing on the PS3 definitely requires "special effort," the system's potential is undeniable.
"It's a new platform for us. It's our first PS3 game. It's a challenging platform to develop on, but it's also one that has a lot of potential that's just waiting to be unlocked as people get to know it better and as developers get more skilled at utilising the machine."
Obviously, it's always tough when dealing with all new hardware, but Pro-G wanted specifics from Heiberg. What about the PS3 made the project such a challenge? Not surprisingly, he says while the Xbox 360 and PC are "very similar," the PS3 is an entirely different animal.
"The Xbox and the PC are very similar. They are just two very powerful CPUs and you can make it through your threads and be sure that it's going to run reasonably OK. The PS3 doesn't have many general purpose CPUs like a multi core system has on the PC side. It has a CELL processor which is itself a pretty powerful processor, but if you're really going to get something out of it you're going to have to utilise the SPUs on it, which are small special purpose units that you write little programs for doing whatever you need to get done.
Those are not just standard threads that you just spawn like you do on a PC. You have to really think it through and identify areas in your game that will benefit from this and isolate that code and make the cuts so you can transfer the minimal amount of data to and from those units and get the most processing power out of them."
But despite it all, Heiberg has confirmed the PS3 version of Kane & Lynch: Dead Men absolutely will not suffer from frame rate issues. Furthermore, while the challenge can be tough, he thinks the machine has a very intriguing architecture and loads of potential. This is something we've heard before from developers, although some tend to focus on the negatives due to the inherent difficulty. We like IO's approach.
"Well obviously it's something that requires a bit of resources and special effort, which costs money", he added. "But on the other hand it's something that I think most developers are rather keen on getting into because it's a new fresh system and it's an interesting architecture. Development wise it's fun. It brings back a lot of memories from college and university. In many ways it's a fun architecture to work on but definitely one that's also going to cost you some money because you need to write special purpose code for it."
Related Game(s): Kane & Lynch: Dead Men
11/7/2007 Ben Dutka