Ubisoft: "Worried," Then "Impressed" With PS3
What a difference a year makes. At about this time in 2007, all we had were reports of doom and gloom revolving around the PlayStation 3, especially with so many developers complaining about how difficult it is to create software for the complex hardware. However, the system seems to have pulled a complete 180 in one year's time, as the recent news is almost entirely positive and those devs are starting to see the light.
One of those teams is Ubisoft Montreal, who will be releasing the highly anticipated FPS sequel, Far Cry 2 for the PS3, Xbox 360 and PC. At first, Technical Director Dominic Guay said despite being "impressed by the raw processing power," they were still "worried by some of the reported high complexity of developing for the PS3." (source- CVG) But being the capable developers they are, Ubisoft assigned a group of programmers to the PS3 who weren't intimidated by the challenge. The worked hard to make Dunia (the Far Cry 2 engine) work as well as possible on Sony's system, and along the way, they came to learn a lot more about that powerful console.
"One thing that we realized pretty quickly as we started R&D on PS3, was that the hardware architecture had a very nice fit with some of our technical design decisions. We were positively surprised by how efficient the SPUs (the Cell processing units) were to do such things as run our vegetation simulation, our animations or our physics systems. So while it did require quite a bit of R&D to understand how to use the system correctly, once we started having results we saw that it was a very capable console and that FC2 could run on it."
Guay goes on to praise the PS3's Blu-Ray ability and the hard drive, which evidently combined to make their lives "easy."
"The hard drive and Blu-ray are making our life easy considering FC2 is an open world continuously streamed around the player. That streaming bandwidth and disk space is very appreciated. So, in terms of AI, game structure, physics, dynamic time of day, open world gameplay, dynamic weather system, destructible vegetation, all of those things where we had really pushed the envelope technically, they run well on PS3."
The more we hear this, the more encouraged we are for future multiplatform titles on the PS3. Like we always said from the beginning, if the game is developed simultaneously for different platforms, it'll be fine...if the PS3 version is nothing more than a port of the Xbox 360 version, we're in trouble. So keep that ambition high, developers!
Related Game(s): Far Cry 2
2/11/2008 Ben Dutka