Developers Need Help With PS3
That Cell processor is certainly proving to be a tough nut to crack.
Jamil Moledina, head of the Game Developers Convention, is always talking with developers regarding all the latest and greatest in videogame technology. And while we're aware the PlayStation 3 is the most powerful game console ever designed, it's also widely considered to be the most difficult to develop for. According to Moledina, there are plenty of developers all set to leap aboard the PS3 bandwagon, but they haven't yet been shown how to fully access the power of the Cell processor.
In speaking with Games Industry, Moledina was quoted as saying the following-
"It's a relatively complex platform to develop for, considering it has a very unique multi-core processor with the Cell. A lot of developers are new to figuring out how to work with that structure, as well as the RSX, the graphics processor. It's always a challenge for developers to dedicate resources to next-generation titles like this -- consider the cost, resources, and time it takes to make these games."
Instead of taking a big gamble by attempting to work with hardware they don't yet fully understand, Moledina believes some developers are simply working with handhelds in the meantime. "A lot of the developers I know are waiting out on the first round and focusing on handhelds; they're creating DS and PSP titles because that's actually a much simpler migration from the current-gen."
However, with the PS3 finally on the market, Sony should begin providing information and details to third-party developers. "A lot of Sony's effort has been focused on helping first party understand how to develop games for it," said Moledina. "I think you're goin to see that knowledge shared more robustly now that those first-party titles are in the can, as it were, or close to being complete."
In retrospect, it's very similar to the PS2 situation, and as we all know, history tends to repeat itself. Launch titles for the PS2 were hardly indicative of the system's power, as proven by games delivered in the past few years. The real question is, when developers finally get Sony to help 'em out a bit, how far can they take the PS3? ...as with the PS2, only time will tell.
11/29/2006 Ben Dutka