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PS3 Harder To Develop For ...Yeah, If You Go Multiplatform

I'm sorry, I must've missed something. Or rather, others missed something.

Everyone is freaking out over what Vigil game director Marvin Donald told Eurogamer in regards to the PlayStation 3 being "a pain in the ass to work on." Firstly...no sh**. Really?

It has been a complaint of developers since the original PlayStation launched in 1995. I remember the fallout over the PS2. Designers were losing their minds; some went so far as to say the new system was just "impossible." It's the reason why, over time, games for PlayStation machines get increasingly better. It's why the PS2 started with Summoner and Fantavision and ended up with God of War II and Final Fantasy XII. Unfortunately, the PlayStations have always been tough on designers.

But I've been reading all this and one thing occurred to me- while I'm sure the PS3 is more difficult to work on than the Xbox 360, I'm also certain the majority of "pain in the ass" comments are due to multiplatform efforts. It's trying to jam the same product onto two entirely different machines. It's trying to keep the exact same design vision intact, all the while trying to offer gamers the exact same experience from a performance standpoint. If the PS3 was such a colossal annoyance, I'm not sure why first-party studios would be so high on Sony. Sure, Sony pays their bills but developers are developers. There's a lot more to this.

All we've ever heard from stellar first-party teams like Naughty Dog, Insomniac, Sucker Punch and Media Molecule (Uncharted, Resistance, inFamous, LittleBigPlanet) is how great the PS3 is in terms of potential, and what they might be capable of doing. Either all these designers are the foremost geniuses of the world, continually capable of overcoming the "overly challenging" PS3 where other developers can't, or it's just because they only have to deal with Sony's machine. I can pretty much guarantee all of them would have similar issues trying to bring their products to another platforms.

People are acting like the PS3 is this massive crutch, all the while ignoring the fact that PS3 exclusives are - and I'm sorry, there is no debate on this issue - the absolute cream of the crop. Something isn't gelling, here. And you know, maybe there's a good reason why guys like Kazunori Yamauchi (Gran Turismo) and Hideo Kojima (Metal Gear Solid) absolutely refuse to bring their franchises to Microsoft or anywhere else. And I'm willing to bet it goes well beyond brand loyalty. The shouts of, "see, the PS3 is too hard to develop for" will continue, I bet.  Just not sure they mean anything. 

But whatever. People love inflammatory headlines.

Tags: ps3, playstation 3, sony, gaming industry

7/20/2011 10:47:33 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (126 posts)

DcIronfist
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 11:13:24 AM
Reply

Why are we still hearing about this? Thought the smart developers already learned the system.

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maxpontiac
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 12:14:31 PM

Yes. The SMART ones did.

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sirbob6
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 2:08:16 PM

Wait... who are the smart devs?

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Jawknee
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 2:49:29 PM

Naughty Dog, Media Molecule, Sucker Punch, Santa Monica Studios, Irrational Games, 2K, Insomniac, Rock Steady, RockStar, PolyPhony Digital, Valve, DICE, IW, Capcom(to an extent), Kojima Productions etc...

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Temjin001
Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 1:24:10 AM

I would add Team Ninja to that list, Jawknee. Not only did they convert a highly optimized 360 exclusive to PS3 (NGS2), they made it look more detailed and ran at a higher res too. That's a rarity from multi-plats. Especially when they were ported over from 360. Bayonetta suffered much harsher treatment.

Hayasashi-San also said that any dev who complains that the ps3 is hard to program for should just get out of the business.

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manofchao5
Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 9:31:48 PM

even valve started getting better, i forgive them but these other dev leaders need to shut up and just get to work actually programming it right instead of wasting time bitching!

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mastiffchild
Friday, July 22, 2011 @ 9:38:26 PM

Thig about Valve,though, is that up til Portal NT ONE of their console ports had cut it on any console. thye made a hell of a lot of noise about how the PS3 was pnats and the PSN commuity wasn't as good as Live's when asked about L4D coming tio PS3 and happily ignored the FACT that it represents just about thew worst value for money EVER on the 360.

In runs at a low FPS than on PC, it's way below the PC version (compared, say, to the gap between Mass Effect PC and 360 it's WAY behind Bioware's efforts in making the gap as small as possible and it's the same with most multiplat devs)in every technical area, it hasn't got any mod support(and considering the paucity of content on the disc you NEED mod support to make L4D fun after a few days let alone weeks or months) and the actual on disc content is just appalling in terms of value when compared to just about ANY other full price retail game. consider this: I bought L4D on PC and 360 to play with two sets of mates. On PC I paid £18(Steam)and two weeks LATER I paid £45(most expensive console game for me this generation)and couldn't, that week, find it any cheaper without buying used. Then consider the lack of mods,lack of single player beyond light training for the MP/co-opand the lack of reasonably expected quality for a C to 360 port and my FAVOURITE ever developer who'd been making TONS of pro 360 noise seemed, to me, to have let "their" boys down and as I was one of them I was a bit miffed.

Valve have yet to convince me in ONE single way that they even care about making console games and if we're still waiting for EP3 or HL3 itself BECAUSE of L4D2 which should, no matter WHO they bought to support it's release this week,have been an expansion costing ten quid tops, then it's no justice and massive gravy train with no effort for Valve. There were, and are, better sodding mods than L4D2 ever was if you had the PC version of the original anyway.

Whatever, point is Valve didn't ever care for the PS3 and just because EA wheeled him onto Sony's stage changes little-the've never made a decent value console game in their lives and aren't about to start whikle we pay full price for Portal2 as it's another game, though the quality gap was much more bearable between console and PC versions, with ZERO replay value and little ACTUAL value as a result yet, you guessed it, we paid more for it again on console. Sure, they offered a bonus of the PC game free with it but if you don'town a PC that's BSD anyway plus who'd WANT to replay Portal2 just for better textures or resolution? Once you do the puzzles the game's dead, isn't it?

I guess i'm at a point with Valve where I think that they either need to get enough staff to actually make their games and make them outstanding places other than PC OR just give up with the watery console versions already. Gabe, I love your fat arse and your company and it's games but I hate the way you treated PS3 owners to years of ridicule for ZERO reason(and amateurishly as all hell)and despised the way you coned us 360 owners it thinking you were on "our" side just so we'd support your sub standard(yes, tOB was awful for PS3 but the 360 version was still weaker compared to it's PC brethren than virtually any other PC/360 game released around the same time-look at Gears1 for example)ports without thinking and without comparing them to PC. They even managed t have a lot of 360 fans singing their praises for it too-and that;'swhat broke the camel's back for this angry little gamer.

They're meant to be one of the "good guy" devs and listen to gamers but the whole console thing this gen with valve stinks of making the easiest money they could and being tools about it all the whie to boot. Jus make with the sodding HL Gabe and stop prmising console gamers stuff if you won;'t be bothered making it to a decent standard or at reasonabe prices considering the gap in features they always have to bear.

I wouldn't EVER buy a Valve game for consoles again unless a lot changes and advise anyone with a PC capable of even close to 360/PS3 standards(,most PC these days then)that the should follow suit.vave have to show they care enough about console gamers before console gamers should care about them. Those unprofessional outbursts they made about, not just PS3 but it's GAMERS were really bad and if they weren't even making great 360 games why on Earth did the World turn cartwheels when Gabe was forced onstage with Kaz and Tretton the other year?

I'm sorry but I'm angry because I LOVE Valve and love their games and feel everyone should get a chance to play them but, currently, can't feel happy telling console gamers TO buy them. If iD can ,seemingly, get it right then surely a similarly talented dev like Valve comfy with an engine which doesn't even push hardware on PC these days should cope too, no? If not then why not? I STILL feel that money I dropped on L4 for 360 and what makes it worse is the feeling that Gabe KNOWS how shonky heir console output has been yet still had the nerve to make out PS3 and Sony were the things holding them back-if that's the case then why were their 360 ports so weak? Arggh, sorry I'm that annoyexc I'm ramblng and repeating but, Christ, why did Valve have to make themselves look ike tools over all this?on;'t they get the fact a lot of us on every system were big fans not just of their games but the way they do business and,used, to bother talking to us and even listening sometimes? You get the sense, mind, that the conversation with console gamers was only ever one sided with Gabe,sadly.

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Cesar_ser_4
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 11:26:12 AM
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So what if it is a pain in the arse to develop for? That doesn't seem to stop them from making a mediocre port or PS3 version of the game for that matter...

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SoulController
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 11:27:11 AM
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Ignorant developers who make comments like this don't even deserve to be in the industry. If you'd rather develop for the easier piece of crap system, go right ahead. What this really means is, our game might suck because were too lazy to start development on the ps3 & port it to the 360.

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Cesar_ser_4
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 11:47:14 AM

dude the wii doesn't come into place, Ok?, and if you meant the box, that thing is no slouch I'll tell you that.

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Clamedeus
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 11:52:31 AM

He wasn't mentioning the Wii.

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Cesar_ser_4
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 11:55:20 AM

@Clamedeus
I know

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kevinater321
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 12:15:58 PM

...i'm confused.

Last edited by kevinater321 on 7/20/2011 12:16:12 PM

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SoulController
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 12:43:00 PM

@Caesar I didn't mention the wii. At this point in the genration who cares about the wii...

Kevin, what is there to be confused about?

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Jawknee
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 12:43:02 PM

No the Wii doesn't come into this because the said games aren't on the Wii.

Soul, I still like the Wii. :)

Last edited by Jawknee on 7/20/2011 12:44:33 PM

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Cesar_ser_4
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 12:50:51 PM

Geez, is everyone so uptight that I can't even make a joke? I know he wasn't talking about the Wii.

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jimmyhandsome
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 1:04:11 PM

I don't think anyone had any idea what you were talking about.

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GuernicaReborn
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 6:49:32 PM

Whats a wii?

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MyWorstNightmar
Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 10:39:47 AM

Guernica, you should get out more.

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Wissam
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 11:29:55 AM
Reply

Some of multiplatform games are better on PS3. and that what distinguish a good from a lazy developer. like Castlevania los. and FFXIII.

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Highlander
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 12:06:46 PM
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This? Again? Oh good grief.

Look folks, I've been working in computing for 25+ years, and I've programmed on so many different platforms I've lost count, but this is just total BS. The PS3 is not a pain in the.... to deal with, nor is it inherently harder than the 360 or the Wii, or for that matter the PS2 that preceded it.

It is however different from both the PC and the Xbox360. It seems to me that numerous western developers have this very PC/Microsoft centric focus that basically labels anything that does not fall into that classification as a pain in the a$$.Whatever you want to say guys, the truth here is that you're lazy and ignorant if that is truly what you think.

The fact is that when moving a game from the 360 to the PS3 there is a lot of effort required to do the port because the two are completely different architectures both in hardware and software. The 360 development environment uses the PC dev standards as a crutch to let PC devs quickly transition to the 360. It's no coincidence that as Microsoft essentially controls that environment on the PC, they can do the same on the 360, and no you won't find that on the PS3, because MS owns the dev environment it uses and won't license it to Sony.

But this really is complete trash. I am really shocked that any self respecting software developer would say this kind of thing, because if they are really competent developers they know enough to know that their comments are rooted in the difficulties in porting a game from one platform to another when you are not experienced with the new target platform.

There is nothing inherently difficult about the architecture or the software environment with the PS3, the difficulty is that you have to re-think your game engine because unlike the 360 where you have three cores all the same and can just rely on the compiler and hardware to assist in dispatching multiple threads and processes, the PS3 has 1 PPC core and 6 available SPUs which use their own instruction set. They are hugely powerful, but you actually have to plan on using them. You can still rely on the compiler to an extent, but you have to change your game engine to stop relying only on the PPC core (as it would on the 360) and push some of that work out to the SPUs. However because the PS3 is designed to offer the maximum performance, the hardware allows the developer more choice in how to allocate tasks and processes, but the price for that flexibility is that the developer has to be more attentive to laing out how the tasks and processes should be allocated and/or dispatched at run time, they cannot simply rely on the compiler and hardware to do it for them.

But really, at the end of the day, all of this talk is just avoiding one simple thing, when you start working with a new platform that you have little to no experience with and are porting a large piece of software from a very different platform under tight timelines, you are going to feel the squeeze, and the learning curve is going to be steep. That is true whether you're going to PS3 from 360 or to 360 from PS3. Though, going from PS3 to 360 is a little easier, you are not able to tap as much performance from the platform.

But, yet again, we have a whiny developer who's not able to instantly learn the PS3 and complaining. God, it reminds me of the freshmen at university trying to figure out how to access an code for the university mainframe.

Ah well, no real surprise here since the story comes from Eurogamer - a publication not unknown for it's blatant bias and controversial headlines to generate hits. Sometimes it seems that such stories emerge at about the same time as something good happens for Sony or PS3, almost as if someone was trying to muddy the waters with some good old fashioned Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD).

Last edited by Highlander on 7/20/2011 12:09:28 PM

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Cesar_ser_4
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 12:15:22 PM

My friend you just got yourself an award, Not sure what category. But man that was an awesome rant.

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Ignitus
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 12:50:56 PM

In Eurogamer's article, the developer had a hard time fitting the game in the PS3's memory. That was it.

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Highlander
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 12:57:02 PM

That's fine, but it doesn't excuse their comments.

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Him
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 1:40:28 PM

Seriously, what would we do without you Highlander. You really are the coolest member here. Keep it up man.

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MyWorstNightmar
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 3:15:23 PM

This director is making comments regarding the PS3 because of what he hears from his team. What we don't know is how talented or knowledgable his team is? So PS3 gets drug through the mud by this guy according to comments his team members make because of the PS3 *shortcomings*, when the truth may well be his team members are the ones with the *shortcomings*.

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packersfan66
Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 12:51:33 AM

I'm just going to make an educated guess and take all the developers' (who have complained over the years) word over TheHighlanders..

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StangMan80
Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 1:23:19 AM

Your have to be the best on this site. I don't understand the down thumbs you got.
maybe because they are to lazy and thought your comment was to long. I read all of it and loved it.
Keep it up TheHighlander!

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Ludicrous_Liam
Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 8:47:48 AM

Have you actually programmed in a PS3 enviroment though? These guys are still developers at the end of the day, they've dedicated alot of time & effort to get to where they are; they know what they're talking about. Pretty sure every developer said that the PS3 was hard to programme for at one point or another (albeit most at the start), even overally so. Wether theres any truth to that I couldn't say, but then I've never worked on the PS platform.
So no offense but if you indeed haven't worked on the PS3, then how are you to judge if it is harder or not to work on? I know your smart so maybe I shouldn't accuse you of not knowing, but... yeah I'll wait for you to answer first :)

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Highlander
Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 12:54:18 PM

No, I'm not a PS3 developer.

No, all developers have *not* said this. These kins of comment have come from third party developers with PC/360 backgrounds porting games to the PS3. Seeing a theme there?

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Helghast
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 12:13:32 PM
Reply

Im sure the Xbox fanboys will always try to make a big deal out of the fact that the PS3 is harder to develop for than the 360, but I stopped caring what the fanboys think years ago. People that hate the PS3 will always hate the PS3, and people that hate the 360 will always hate the 360. PS3 is my console of choice because I like its exclusives, its reliable, even the quality of multiform games that use PS3 as the lead platform, and I like the free online, and even just the PSN community over the Xbox Live community. I have my reasons for choosing the PS3, and I really don't care what people think of my choice, it's MY choice, not theirs.

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Ignitus
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 12:52:53 PM

Well said. I agree with your post. My 360 is now my second choice when it comes to living room gaming.

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Clamedeus
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 1:26:23 PM

Amen.

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Oxvial
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 6:56:29 PM

Yes those fanboys talking like if they were making the games and hate the Ps3 because it makes them work more xD

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jdt1981
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 12:35:27 PM
Reply

I thought this was 2011 not 2006/2007... You're telling me there are still some developers crying about how "difficult" making games on the PS3 is?

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Beamboom
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 12:35:39 PM
Reply

Funny thing is of course that none of us have developed a single application for the ps3 and basically have very little idea of what we talk about.

Neither have I of course, but it *may* be that they do have a point. Especially if your software engineer education is based on a very different platform (presumably PC). If the ps3 differ a lot from what you know and what you've got practise on then I can easily understand how that might be a pain in the rear.

Just my 5 cent...

Last edited by Beamboom on 7/20/2011 12:39:56 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 12:41:31 PM

That's hardly the point.

The best of the best is on the PS3. That's the only statement the machine needs to make.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 12:46:20 PM

Indeed Ben. Indeed.

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Cole
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 12:49:45 PM

It doesn't matter how difficult something is initially. If you work hard and put some real effort into it, you will improve over time.

These devs complaining about how hard it is to work with the PS3 are most likely just inexperienced. Look at Valve.They said the same thing before they even worked with the console. But then they made Portal 2 and it turned out to be one of the best multiplats on the PS3.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 12:51:34 PM

I understand how it might be a pain too if you are untrained, but the best way to slit your own throat is to complain in this manner about a system your game is on. Nobody's gonna buy it for PS3 now.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 12:53:40 PM

@World: If you mean untrained on this specific platform we agree. And the more it differ, the more pain it will be to write effective code. This may be why some multiplats runs best on the xbox (afaik).

@Ben: That may or may not be so but regardless, that's the reward. It may still be a pain to develop for.

Last edited by Beamboom on 7/20/2011 12:59:01 PM

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Highlander
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 12:55:15 PM

Beamboom,

I know the Cell architecture pretty well, I'm not a PS3 developer, but I feel that I can categorically call BS on this idea that the PS3 is a pain in the... to develop for, or so very much harder that it's a huge penalty.

Every architecture I have ever learned to program on felt like a pain in the... for the first weeks or month, the more different the architecture, the more severe the culture shock reaction. but after that reaction, you realize pretty quickly that it's just another architecture, and you start exploiting it properly. Given - as Ben points out - the clear difference in quality (positive) when looking at PS3 exclusives vs multi-plat titles, you have to concede that competent programmers familiar with the environment can make it sing. But truly, these comments about things being too hard or a pain, are the kinds of immediate and emotional reaction people have when they are learning something new that is not immediately obvious to them.

I will concede that there could be some features of the development environment that are inferior to MS' environment, just as I expect you would probably agree that there may be things in Sony's environment that are superior to MS' one. The point is that the underlying architecture and the concepts at work in PS3 are really rooted in the PS2. The PS2 featured a main CPU core with twin vector processing units that could be programmed separately or together. The PS3 extends on that concept. Hell, if anything the Cell CPU is an architectural facsimile of the Cray supercomputer systems of old, only on a single chip instead of a computer room floor. The architecture has great pedigree and is very powerful, but if you are not familiar with breaking workflows out and identifying things that can be done in parallel, you are going to have problems transitioning to the PS3 until those concepts are bedded into your mind.

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jimmyhandsome
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 1:01:40 PM

I think the exclusives are the cream of the crop because the first party developers only know playstation hardware. Naughty Dog for example is no stranger to all 3 Playstation platforms, so in a sense they could have a "1 up" on other multiplatform developers- or developers who are used to the PC.

I know nothing about programming, so I'm not going to speak to it, but that was your point, wasn't it Beamboom?

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Ignitus
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 1:04:08 PM

The developer wasn't bitching about the architecture, the cell or something like that.

It was that they couldn't fit the game in the PS3 available RAM.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 1:11:24 PM

@Highlander: I agree in all you say about how one react to things that differ too much from what you are experienced with. Isn't that essentially what they say anyway?

But creating software with multiple, independently running threads (that's how I understood your text) is immensely more complicated than a more linear approach to problem solving.
Drifting off topic now, but if there is *one* argument to use Java versus C++ programming, it's Java's memory and thread handling.
Multiple threads are, simply put, a *major* pain in the ass.

@Ignitus: That makes sense to me - it *is* a pain when the memory is a bottleneck. But how do Xbox differ in that respect?

@Jimmy: Well, yeah something like that :) If you know the ps3 architecture well (and obviously, if you are owned and sponsored by Sony you will) then sure things are easier. But in the large picture that's just a tiny fragment of the entire developer pool.



Last edited by Beamboom on 7/20/2011 1:19:27 PM

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Highlander
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 1:15:13 PM

Of course it's more complex to develop multi-threaded applications, but in truth, no reasonably large application being built today is a single threaded application. Games are no exception.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 1:25:21 PM

Highlander: No of course, but having threads running independently on separate cpus (please correct if I am mistaken), and not child processes running their own threads (that's what I mean by more "linear" approach, maybe "hierarchical" would be a better choice of words) sounds like a *major* pain to me!
(NB NB! I know *nothing* about writing software for the ps3. I am only able to relate to this subject purely from a traditional programming perspective. I just want to re-state that.)

But regardless of the finer technical details (*lovely* discussion High, but I feel we're sliding beside my main point here) the bottom line is that I just want to voice the idea that maybe, just maybe they *do* have a valid point.

In a console world that seems to become more and more multi plat it's not *always* an advantage to create a platform that differ too much from the norms.


Last edited by Beamboom on 7/20/2011 1:34:23 PM

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Deathb4Dishonor
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 1:30:31 PM

They really shouldn't be crying at this point... maybe at first they could bc it was a new tech but it's been a few years now and if they haven't got a handle on how to use it by now then they are either morons or lazy.... Simple as that

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Ignitus
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 1:43:47 PM

@ Beamboom.

Though the 360 and PS3 on paper have the same amount of RAM (512MB)in the real world the story is different.

On PS3 you have two separate memory pools of 256MB each. One for graphics and the other for main memory. The problem lies in the OS memory foot print.

The PS3 OS memory foot print is around 48MB that is stored in the main memory pool. So that leaves around 208MB of available main RAM memory, plus 256MB of graphics RAM equals 464MB of available total RAM, though on two separate memory pools that you must manage in you code.

On the 360, there is just one 512MB memory pool and the OS memory footprint is around 32MB, so the available RAM memory is 480MB.

As you can see the difference between the two lies in that the xbox has more available RAM than the PS3 for developer use and it is simper to manage because it is just one memory pool instead of two.

This is the reason more developers are using the PS3 as lead platform.

If it fits in the PS3, it will surely fit in the 360. That's the reason moving a proyect from PS3 to 360 is easier than moving from 360 to PS3, in PS3 there is less available RAM and you must go thru the aditional effort of managing two separate memory pools.

I hope I explained myself.

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maxpontiac
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 1:48:33 PM

Well Beamboom, as a professional studio, it's their personal responsibility to adapt to whatever technology is out there.

If the staff in place is still struggling with the PS3, perhaps it's time to bring in some PS3 experienced personnel.

You don't need a degree is software engineering to exercise business sense.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 2:01:46 PM

@Ignitus: That was an incredibly informative post, thanks a lot Igni! Now I finally understand this whole memory discussion.

@Max: Of course they should get skilled programmers for their software. But the harder it is to become skilled on a given technology, and the harder it is to find competent developers within that particular platform, the bigger the pain for the studio. Professional or not, it may then easily become a source of pain both to heads and bottoms :)


Last edited by Beamboom on 7/20/2011 2:04:10 PM

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Highlander
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 2:48:18 PM

Ignitus,

That's a little disingenuous. The unified memory architecture in theory leaves 480MB, but you're not partitioning out the memory used by the GPU. In the PS3, that memory is hard partitioned, so you can point at it and say that the PS3 has limited RAM. The 360 isn't that much different once the memory has been allocated to the GPU and you have whatever is left over for the game code to run in. If the dev uses a lot of memory for the video, you could end up with a more or less identical memory situation on the 360 as on the PS3, it all depends on how much RAM is allocated to the GPU. If you code the game at a lower target render resolution, you can get away with allocating less RAM to the GPU, and create the illusion of more system memory - at the expense of video quality. It's all a trade off, and both systems are capable of various techniques to 'stretch' the system memory.

Beamboom, really, you're talking about it as if coding for the SPUs was akin to speaking English and Japanese in the same conversation and switching between the two languages on the fly. It's not that at all. The SPUs are independently programable, but they are RISC designs with a simple instruction set and optimized FP ops. They are basically super-capable floating point co-processors.

Last edited by Highlander on 7/20/2011 2:57:15 PM

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Ignitus
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 3:13:14 PM

@Highlander.

I didn't partition the memory used for the GPU because I said the xbox has just one memory pool. And the developer is free to use it how it pleases for graphics and "main" memory.

On xbox the developer is free to allocate the memory as they like and (responding to Beamboom) in that regard it's a diference with the fixed set up on PS3, not to mention the other difference in total amount of available RAM and the additional effort of managing two separate memory pools, which multiplat developers face.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 3:14:29 PM

High, I'm talking about it as if I do not know this platform at all - and I don't. :)
But if they are behaving like conventional co-processors then why should it be such an issue? NB Not that I don't believe you, I am merely trying to understand.

Anyhow, bottom line here is that all I am suggesting is that maybe, just maybe "there's no smoke without fire".
They may have a reason for saying what they are saying, especially since they are not the only ones saying it.
That's all, really.


Last edited by Beamboom on 7/20/2011 3:22:33 PM

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Highlander
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 11:03:37 PM

Ignitus, you say that you're talking about it all as one single memory pool and comparing it to the PS3's system memory alone. How is that an apples to apples comparison? For a game rendering at 720p on the 360 with the usual effects and filters the GPU memory allocation is going to be not far south of 256MB. You can play semantics all you like but the total memory available to applications and graphics in both systems is 512MB. The PS3 uses a hard partitioning of the memory based on the hardware architecture, the 360 uses a unified memory architecture partitioning the memory in software. Both systems have the same raw amount of memory available but partition it differently. Is it possible that the 360 has more memory available to the programmer for a game than the PS3? Of course it is, apart from anything else the PS3 uses abut 16MB more for it's resident OS and security functions than the 360. However in a typical working configuration for a typical game, they are not really that different, except of course that the PS3's memory is much faster, and the programmer knows going in what the limits are.

Unified memory isn't some great new discovery, my first computer - an Acorn BBC Micro featured a massive 32KB of memory that was soft partitioned to provide video memory and system memory. Depending on the screen mode chosen, the amount of system memory available could be as little as 12KB. However the headline number was the 32KB of RAM, more than half of which was typically eaten up by video. That is true with the 360.

You keep claiming this 512MB of RAM for the 360, well fine, 512MB of ram 40-50% of which is typically eaten up by video leaving the remainder, minus the 32MB for the resident portion of the 360's OS. PS3 has 512MB of RAM too, 50% of which is allocated to video in every configuration, and the remainder minus 48MB (or there about) for the resident OS is available for applications. Suddenly they don't sound so different do they?

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Beamboom
Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 2:45:29 AM

But Highlander, if it's not the processors, not the memory handling, then where is the major difference? What is it that makes the platform not immediately obvious to a professional programmer? What is it that makes them all complain?

That would be interesting to know, preferably in a short, precise answer if possible. :)


Last edited by Beamboom on 7/21/2011 2:47:46 AM

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JMO_INDY
Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 5:44:07 AM

And Xbox kids argue about how their COD match went last night... and we... we talk about memory partitioning, RAM Pools, information throughput, and core distribution.

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Mornelithe
Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 8:29:03 AM

@ Beamboom: Long story short, the PS3 utilizes in order coding, whereas the 360 (and most common CPU's) utilize out of order coding.

The 360's General Purpose Processor, which is virtually the same as any processor you'd find in a PC, is designed as an everyday handler, for a wide variety of uses, tasks etc..

The PS3's Cell, has a much much more rigid structure that code must adhere to. The PPE (primary processing element) is basically a scheduler, it tells the SPE's what to do, when to do them etc...

The problems we've seen with mult-platform games is developers trying to toss an engine that utilizes a General Purpose CPU, onto the Cell...without rewriting the code. Attempting to force the Cell's PPE to run in the same fashion as our normal CPU's. The result sucks. As we've often seen.

However, we've also seen when devs take the time to write for the Cell, the results are pretty amazing. That's why devs call the PS3's architecture a pain, because it's simply 'different' than the rest, IE, they can't half-ass a port and get away with it.

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Beamboom
Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 8:46:46 AM

@JMO_INDY: Lol! There's no doubt on what side the geeks are gathered, huh?
... And that's yet another reason why I know I chose the right side. :D


Last edited by Beamboom on 7/21/2011 8:48:53 AM

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maxpontiac
Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 10:40:35 AM

Beamboom -

Well, you can give myself or others one myriad explanation one after another, and it still doesn't excuse any developer from not hiring the right technician(s) for the job.

As others have stated, if developmental studios such as Naughty Dog and DICE (for example) weren't offering superb software on the PS3, there would be cause for concern. This is 2011, is it not?

This is just another case of a studio not wanting to break age-old-habits, and stick with what works. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but as time progresses, it's time to look outside the box and get out of your comfort zone, no matter how uncomfortable or frustrating it might be!

Last edited by maxpontiac on 7/21/2011 10:42:05 AM

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Beamboom
Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 11:22:21 AM

Maxy,
I guess we could say "hire more people" as a solution to most challenges in this world, but it's not always that easy.

What if it is hard to find *experienced* ps3 developers on the market? Or that you got enough developers inhouse, they just need to learn to develop for this platform too? How are the documentation and developer tools they are offered by Sony? How many hours of studying will it take before they can return to production? What is that cost, and how should that be covered?

Please note that I'm not really trying to defend one or the other here, I'm just considering what may be the *reason* for these complaints. Cause these are professionals. I don't buy that "they are just being lazy".


Last edited by Beamboom on 7/21/2011 11:29:23 AM

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Mornelithe
Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 11:27:39 AM

@ Beamboom: Well, there's a really simple fix to that, that developers and publishers need to come to terms with. Stop being whores. Seriously, stop being money grabbing sluts. Because, that's really all they are. They care nothing for their reputations, simply the possible cash gains from throwing a hunk of crap on the market, before the common consumer is made aware of how aweful the game is.

I really have no sympathy for them either, they choose to sign off on a game, they choose to allow something shoddy to go Gold. It's their fault. Most PS3 gamers are more than happy to _wait_ for IP to come out. We aren't in a rush like some other folks. I expect an increased dev time, because of the PS3's architecture, and when I don't see an increased dev time, it's cause for concern.

They don't _have_ to hire additional staff, anymore than I _have_ to buy a piece of crap with a pretty bow on it.

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Highlander
Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 12:52:54 PM

BeamBoom,

In answer to this "But Highlander, if it's not the processors, not the memory handling, then where is the major difference? What is it that makes the platform not immediately obvious to a professional programmer? What is it that makes them all complain?"

Here's the short and sweet answer (which incorporates the gist of pretty much everything Morne, Qubex and myself are saying);

A poor workman blames the tools.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 12:49:19 PM
Reply

The SNES is easier to develop for too, that doesn't make it superior. If you can't handle a powerful car get the hell out of the driver's seat.

What I found particularly funny was that Microsoft had the balls to say recently how 360 has the much better exclusives. Fanboys ate that up, and they actually believe it! So sad.

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Highlander
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 12:55:58 PM

Coding for a 6502 is easy, let's go back to that, along with 32KB of system memory and coding in assembly language. That has to be easier right?

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Cesar_ser_4
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 12:56:29 PM

good thing microsoft isn't an entity that can go for the presidency

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Ignitus
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 12:57:06 PM

Well, fanboys believe everything their respective holy manufacturer tells them.
No critical thinking on their part and that's why they are fanboys after all.

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jdt1981
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 1:02:59 PM

I've read about that as well and it's ridiculous... M$ is just going by sales numbers not quality. IMO sales doesn't equate quality, just because 10+ million people line up to buy the latest Halo or COD doesn't mean those games are better than Uncharted, Heavy Rain, Infamous, etc.

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Beamboom
Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 3:15:15 AM

Hehe yeah let's go back to assembly language. *That's* dead easy indeed. Childs play, even! :D

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Highlander
Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 12:50:10 PM

Assembly on the 6502 is ordered execution, just like the Cell, and technically, the 6502 almost qualifies as a RISC design too, it just needs a design update to give it 64-bit capability and a crap load of cache...

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Bloodysilence19
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 12:55:36 PM
Reply

I didn't realize it was 2006-2007 again. Valve had the same statement wouldn't touch the ps3 cause it was to advance and coding was difficult. Look what happen eventually Valve came around and made portal 2 ps3 version the best version. I think its better to have challenge make something hard cause once you accomplish it than you know you can do the work and improve even more the next time you do it.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 12:57:11 PM
Reply

Okay I just read the interview, it sounds like he doesn't know how to manage memory on the PS3. Sounds like he's still trying to cram it into the GPU. Honestly now, this isn't 2008. Darksiders was mediocre at best anyway so whatever.

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Ignitus
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 1:09:14 PM

Yeah, not a big loss, really.

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Highlander
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 2:58:26 PM

So, he's complaining about something because he doesn't understand it and it wasn't immediately apparent to him? *sigh* Kids today....

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godsdream
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 1:10:19 PM
Reply

If they don't want to develop for the PS3 fine, I don't mind keeping away lazy developers from my favorite console (pseudo-developers for me). If you "are" a developer, you should do your job and shut up. That's what you wanted to do, and probably why you studied it.

The wrong thing with this is that now Marvin Donald spilled bulls**t and the whole company is now spilled too. WTF several years later still saying it is difficult to develop for the PS3, OMG. Can somebody tell that idiot how long ago MGS4 was released please? He doesn't deserve to be a game director.

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Lawless SXE
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 2:22:27 PM
Reply

Well, duh. Thanks for telling us what we've known for years, Mr Donald. Now get you a** into gear, stop yapping and do what needs to be done. That's what people do when there's an obstacle in their way. They move it. And if you don't have the balls, or the smarts to do it, then go sit in your corner and keep your mouth shut. Let those that can do it do your bloody job for ya.

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godsdream
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 2:46:12 PM

Exactly

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MyWorstNightmar
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 2:51:31 PM
Reply

Ben, a fix for your article if you like.

"teams like Naughty Dog and Insomniac and Media Molecule (Uncharted, inFamous, LittleBigPlanet)"

Sucker Punch made inFamous (as if you didn't know)

At any rate, Insomniac is moving into multi plat territory for their next game. Wonder how that will turn out for them...

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Highlander
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 2:59:28 PM

In case you want to keep Insomniac in the discussion (which I would) you could/should mention R&C and Resistance, both of which demonstrate that Insomniac understand the PS3 architecture pretty well.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 3:02:27 PM

Yes, I know. I had meant to include Sucker Punch and Resistance, too, but I got them mixed. Fixed now.

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MyWorstNightmar
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 3:10:21 PM

Ben, that was a ridiculously fast response. Do you have some sort of data flag that anytime someone starts a comment with Ben, that it emails/instant messages to you, or are you just superhuman?

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 3:45:55 PM

Pretty sure it was just coincidence. ;)

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Riku994
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 3:03:01 PM
Reply

Dude come on... I like Summoner XD

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 3:46:08 PM

I did, too. But come on...the comparison. ;)

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Excelsior1
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 3:05:55 PM
Reply

sony's own kaz hirai is on record statiing the ps3 is harder to to develop for. here is his statement. "it is hard to program for and a lot of people see that as a negative but if you flip that around it means the hardware has a lot more to offer. we don't provide the easy to program for console that developers want becuase easy to program for means anybody will be able take advantage of the system. then the question is what do you do for next 9 and 1/2 years?"

one thing i wish sony would have done is made sure the ps3's cpu/gpu combination had enough raw horsepower to get multiplat games working just as well without forcing developers to use the spus. sony then could have kept the spus as an upside for the more talented developers to work with.

i also wished they would have put a better gpu into the ps3, and made sure the unreal 3 engine could perform just as well on the ps3. i think these choices really would have helped at the start of this gen, and kept the upside that sony wanted.

Last edited by Excelsior1 on 7/20/2011 3:10:08 PM

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Warrior Poet
Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 12:29:51 AM

It's not the hardware designer's problem to make sure a certain piece of software will run on his hardware - that's the developer's job.

I also don't think it follows that making something easier will somehow give a programmer less options. It's just that the PS3 and 360 are just completely different machines. It's probably more accurate to say the 360 is more familiar, since it uses well-known and well-liked Microsoft APIs.

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Mornelithe
Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 8:41:42 AM

@ Excelsior: The CPU/GPU architecture works just fine on the PS3, it simply employs a different standard of software design.

The Cell is designed to be a much more orderly processor, than the current crop of intel/AMD based CPU's. The primary processing element (the main core), is simply a super-fast scheduler/routine runner. Whereas, the cores on Intel processors, are designed to handle basically everything on the primary core(s).

With the Cell, the PPE sends directions to the SPE's (Synergistic processing elements), which do the majority of the grunt work. The GPU in the PS3, really only draws lines on the screen. Most of the visual affects are handled via post-processing via the SPE's.

It's not necessarily 'hard', it's simply different than what developers these days expect from the primary processor.

Last edited by Mornelithe on 7/21/2011 8:43:30 AM

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Highlander
Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 12:48:22 PM

Morne,

That's the issue, and has always been the issue, for the PC centric developers, largely western developers, who came to video game production by way of the Xbox360. When they see the PS3, the architecture is too different from what they are used to, and they have to learn something new. That's when the poor workmen start blaming the tool, they'd rather blame the system than their understanding of it.

What's interesting is that developers who came from a video game background, particularly with the PS2, have hand far, far less trouble and have generally got nothing but praise for the architecture.

The problem I have with all of this is that when I learned to be a programmer we didn't learn a single architecture, we learned how to program in various languages on various platforms to teach us to be programmers, not PC developers. I just don't see that basic programming ability these days from people, they have become platform specific before leaving school. The ordered execution on the Cell is really not an issue to any programmer (or should NOT be anyway), besides the compiler helps. The SPUs are under the control of the PPE - but once they are running code, they can do their own thing too. They are simply ordered execution RISC processors with a hefty bias towards FP operations. But none of this should be in any way challenging to a good programmer. It's only those that can't see past the luxuries and crutches of the PC world that have an issue with it.

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Mornelithe
Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 1:08:13 PM

@ Highlander: That's really not fair though, considering PC development has been going just as long...if not longer than any platform. Blaming PC is kind of misplaced, don't you think? I think it's simply an excuse, no offense. When you get down to it, it's really not about education either. It's about attention to detail, and allowing yourself to be blinded by dollar signs.

Really, if you think about it, any old school PC programmer should recognize in order coding from the Cray days. That's how those computers functioned also. So, let's be realistic here, Sony based the design of the Cell on....old computer tech (albeit, revamped of course).

But no, I don't think it's fair, or right, to blame the PC development side of things on this. That's a crutch, in and of itself, rather than actually making the developers accept responsibility for not doing what they're paid to do.

It's also gamer's fault, in general. Raise your hand if you bought a bunk port. If you're raising your hand. You, are to blame. You should've done the research, just like devs are supposed to do theirs. Blaming another platform, for crappy developers... I just don't agree with it. People set the precedent, once developers and publishers realized they could get away with it, it's pretty hard to stop them from continuing the practice.

Track my comments and remarks back the entire life of the PS3, and I've been saying the exact same thing. Buying crappy ports, sets a precedent everyone will come to regret.

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Beamboom
Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 1:34:50 PM

Mornelithe: Interesting!
Do you by any chance also know what language the games are written in? And if relevant, if it's an ansi standard compiler or a proprietary dialect?

And just for the sake of the discussion: *Why* did Sony design it this different? What is there to earn from that? Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?

Also: From what I understand/read from you guys 8/10 multiplats run better on the xbox than the ps3. Can this all be explained with a simple "they are all lazy"?
I can't help but thinking that sounds more like a excuse than an explanation, really.


Last edited by Beamboom on 7/21/2011 1:48:22 PM

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Mornelithe
Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 1:55:10 PM

@ Beaboom: 10/10 multiplatform games run better on my PC. That's why I only buy exclusives for consoles, I simply don't trust developers enough, anymore, to deliver a solid multi-platform experience....that DOESN'T CARE what the other effin console version looks like.

It's very simple why Sony did this. Very, very simple. If you want a console to have a 10 year life cycle, you need to make it challenging for developers to harness all of its power.

Have you noticed how the 360's games have been fairly similar in terms of appearance/performance, since the 360's launch. There've been some improvements here and there, but nothing like what we've seen on the PS3, right? That's why. The 360's architecture is so similar to PC, that developers pretty much know how to squeeze everything out of it (obviously there's some things to tinker with inside the 360, too, but not nearly to the extent of the PS3), from the get-go. Not so with the PS3.

Sony routinely does this, PS1, PS2, PS3, PSP, have all had interesting little twists to their design, to make them competitive for long periods of time. Nobody would've really been the wiser, had Microsoft not launched the 360. Really, MS broke a very brilliant formula Sony had going...well, didn't break it, but definitely shed some light on it.

Honestly, I don't really care what people call it. Fact is, developers are more interested in meeting deadlines and making money, than making the vision they dreamed of. Call it lazy, call it greed, I don't really know what the root is, but facts are facts, in their incessant quest to make the versions 'identical' they never really fine tune the PS3 version appropriately. Adequate, isn't enough for me. Good, isn't enough for me. Brilliant, is what I require for $60 bucks. Otherwise, what's the point? My PC'll take up the slack those morons leave.

Last edited by Mornelithe on 7/21/2011 1:59:30 PM

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Beamboom
Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 2:14:56 PM

We can't include the PC platform into this formula, that's unfair. Let's focus on the two competing platforms: x360 and ps3. Why are the x360 versions so very often the better version? And how can that be anything but a disadvantage for Sony?

Regarding the "challenge": I *really* would not mind if the quality of the ps3 games were at 2011 level already at launch. I would not mind at all. I don't see that as an advantage either for the consumer *or* Sony in the fight for the market shares.

Regarding your last point about the developers being more interested in money than visions: Well, that's the commercial world in a nutshell, isn't it?...

Last edited by Beamboom on 7/21/2011 2:21:58 PM

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Mornelithe
Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 2:28:33 PM

@ Beamboom: I understand you can't include the PC into it, but, I can. I owned a PC before even an Atari was in my house. So, whenever I talk gaming, PC enters into it every bit as much as Sony does.

As I said though, that's the reason why 360 games appear to have a leg up at times. Developers are simply more used to the architecture that the PC/360 employ, and haven't been FORCED by PS3 owners, to make damn sure their game stands on its own.

If multi-plat developers sold no units on the PS3, everytime they made one of their cash grabs...I think you'd find the industry a tad different right now. Sure, you might have less developers on the PS3 (which bothers me in no way at all..much rather have quality than quantity), but there's a point where you simply cannot ignore a user base of 50+ million people. If people were a bit more stubborn (like myself hah), making these jerkweeds waste soooo much dev time on an inferior PS3 version...just to have it sell no units. Oh man, that'd be just great to see a whole dev studio fold, because they're actually held to a standard in gaming.

We, as gamer's, should've demanded more. Many didn't, enough to make it still lucrative for companies to release not so brilliant games on the PS3. And now people wonder what happened. Blame the devs and people who feed them.

As for Sony's formula. You may not mind, I may not mind...but you and I have never, and probably will never be intimately involved in Sony's internal goings on. That having been said, there was never a problem with how Sony did business until another console came along. PC gamers were happy, console gamers were happy. Now? Add another console into the mix, and everyone hates each other. Figure that one out.

Btw, just so you don't think I have some double-standard here. I've passed on several PC games, for the exact same reason. Crysis 2, for example, was an utter betrayal to the series, and the gamer's who MADE Crytek what it was. That game would've been no more insulting, had Cevat Yerli delivered it to my house, with a kick straight to my nuts, while attempting to molest my sister.

Last edited by Mornelithe on 7/21/2011 2:34:37 PM

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Mornelithe
Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 2:37:28 PM

@ Beamboom: The industry wants to keep us talking in terms of PS3 only, PC only, 360 only, Wii only, etc... when we should ALL be discussing this stuff together, as a whole. They keep us divided so that we don't actually converse with each other to compare notes. As long as we're so focused on just one platform, you can't really see the bigger picture they're trying to sneak past us.

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Beamboom
Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 2:49:16 PM

I like your attitude. And I fully agree that we as consumers should use our power/voice more consciously.

But that same tendency is also valid for the hardware, imo. I think that we, the gamers by default defend *anything* concerning our chosen platform, with hardly any reservations ever. I don't like that for the same reasons that you express with the software we buy.
I think it's a shame cause also the hardware manufacturers could use some pressure and critics from their own customers - even Sony.

(btw: The ps3 is my first console. I was a PC gamer up until then)

Last edited by Beamboom on 7/21/2011 2:59:02 PM

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Beamboom
Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 3:05:11 PM

@Mornelithe: I wrote my reply before I read your addendum. And I gotta say:
Wiser words are not spoken around here. I wholeheartedly agree with every word you wrote there!

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Mornelithe
Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 3:39:26 PM

@ Beamboom: I agree, hardware developers should certainly receive and digest criticism, however, Sony's business model has been in place for decades, and nobody cared, or really raised any kind of opposition until MS entered the fracas.

In the same way that PS3 owners should have been demanding better development, those interested in the 360, should have been demanding better hardware architecture FROM the get-go. Unfortunately, that never happened, nor have PS3 owners really forced devs to really fine tune PS3 games. Many mistakes have been made this gen.

I know I often come across as a PC elitist, and to a certain degree, I am. But, I do own a PS3, I love Sony's internal devs...my brother owned a PS2, I own (still have) my original PS1, my SNES (my brother still has his original NES), so I definitely don't _just_ game on PC. And when I take a step back, and look at the industry as a whole, I see a great many things going wrong, the developers being money hungry is certainly part of it. But, gamer's demanding less quality is also another.

I really feel people should have listened just a bit more to the PC community at the beginning of this gen, because, they really have been in it for a long time. And they do know some things that may not be common knowledge. As PC Gamers, watching things that were commonplace being stripped out of games in order to be 'sold' to us as extras, or some kind of network perk...really helped start a cascade of behavior from the developer/hardware manufacturer/publisher side, that seemed to be the beginning of a systematic ploy to nickel and dime all gamer's out of as much money as they possibly could, for as little in return, as they could possibly get away with.

I don't look down on people who play on console only, I really don't. But, I do think that those who have been in the industry for much much longer than others, deserve at least a modicum of trust from the rest of the community. And really, PC Gamers are still not really accepted by their own freekin community...how messed up is that?

Nobody's trying to crush consoles, we're just trying to raise red flags to concerning trends in the market.

Gamer's deserve better. We've been suffering from the 'nerd, geek, virgin, basement dweller' nomenclature, since gaming first came about. Our voice is every bit as important as someone who demands a quality vehicle for the price they pay. To demand less quality, is to allow businesses to take advantage of us, and to do severe damage to the industry as a whole.

We're all gamer's, and it's about time we all stood up and said enough is enough. Deliver us quality, or find another job.

PS. Thanks for the kind words...I've really really tried for a long time to change how I convey my feelings and perception of the gaming industry, without letting my anger over the whole situation take over.

Last edited by Mornelithe on 7/21/2011 3:41:29 PM

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afisher14
Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 4:35:35 PM

I just felt the need to chime in here. You all sound like very intelligent people and its nice to not have fanboys trolling around here.

To comment on Mornelithe's comment. The developers have already stated that most multi platform games are developed for 360 and ported to the ps3.

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Highlander
Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 10:58:19 PM

Morne, Come on, you know that apart from the core x86 instruction set there's next to nothing in common programming a PC application today compared to the days of DOS. I also have to point out that out of rder execution didn't really happen until we got past the 80386, I'd have to go back and check some documentation, but I think that the 80486 featured an entirely micro-code driven architecture with the x86 instructions being executed by multiple execution units and re-ordered to suit the architecture. I'm talking about today's programmers and they wouldn't know what to do with a 386 running pre Windows NT operating systems.

I'm not blaming PC development for anything, I'm blaming the developers who have become so accustomed to one style of architecture, I'm blaming the educational institutions that teach their students how to program within the framework of the x86 world and the Windows APIs. The problem isn't the PC, it's the lack of variety and the multiple layers of abstraction between the programmer and the hardware. I also feel that part of the problem is all of the crutches that developers have with the PC today. The PS3 requires developers to get their hands dirtier and deeper in the code than is typical on PC and like development projects. There are fewer crutches in the environment leaving the programmer with more to do, with less. That is the nature of the beast.

Morne

"That having been said, there was never a problem with how Sony did business until another console came along. PC gamers were happy, console gamers were happy. Now? Add another console into the mix, and everyone hates each other. Figure that one out."

I think the answer lies in the name of the company behind that third console...but I may be a tad biased. BTW I was a PC gamer long before I was a console gamer. I guess you could go back before PCs technically because I had an original Atari console, but In terms of the Post PlayStation era of gaming, I was a PC gamer until the last couple of years of the 90s. I've done application development (professionally) on PC in DOS, so I'm not anti-PC by any means.

Last edited by Highlander on 7/21/2011 11:10:59 PM

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Highlander
Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 11:20:14 PM

BeamBoom wrote "And just for the sake of the discussion: *Why* did Sony design it this different? What is there to earn from that? Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?"

They didn't suddenly change. This is a philosophy that they have followed with PS consoles all the way. Actually the architectural design of the PS2's EE isn't unlike a simplified Cell BE, except of course the general purpose code in the EE is a MIPS core, not a PPC one. But they both feature a single general purpose core with one or more additional processing elements to handle math intensive work, that are independently programmable. In truth, the PS3 design extends what the PS2 was doing. Also the PS3 architecture was largely a result of the CellBE itself, and that design was handled principally by IBM and Sony with some assist from Toshiba. IBM did the heavy lifting though. IBM's design brief for the CellBE was to create a media processor that could handle extreme amounts of data flow and SIMD processing of that data. IBM profiled media applications and video games to determine what kinds of things such applications needed to do, and that became the design parameters for the CellBE. That is why the CellBE is what it is, because it was built from the ground up specifically for the kind of work needed for a game console/BluRay player. Coincidentally the architecture produced is functionally similar to the EE that Sony themselves had built for the PS2. You might say that the CellBE in a sense confirm's Sony's approach with the PS2. You might also say that the research that IBM, Sony and Toshiba put into the CellBE validates the design for a game console CPU, and by extension validates the PS3's architecture since that was built around the CellBE.

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Beamboom
Friday, July 22, 2011 @ 3:53:48 AM

Highlander, *that's* the kind of explanation I were looking for. Straight to the point, drawing the main picture without too much details that would exhaust my English skills. :) Thanks a lot, sir!

Now I guess the remaining question is, "is it worth it"?
I mean, let's just nail with no further discussion the fact that the ps3 is at least as good or better than the x360 at churning out graphics. It's not the lesser platform.

But one thing is the theoretical advantages, another is the practical outcome. And it's hard to deny that the practical outcome is that the ps3 version of a game more often than not suffer from being the lesser version!

So, would the ps3 more often be the lead platform (outside Sony's own sphere of course) had it not been a platform that many (regardless of reason) find to be a pain in the ass? And would the ps3 gain from that?
These are questions we should allow to ask ourselves no matter how excited we are about our platform!


Last edited by Beamboom on 7/22/2011 4:38:32 AM

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Highlander
Friday, July 22, 2011 @ 2:10:02 PM

I think it's worth it, the whole thing about a game console is that it has to have a decently long life to make the economics of building it, and building games for it, work properly. So you can't just build something using commodity hardware as it simply won't have the power to remain relevant for long enough. Here we are 5 years after launch and the CellBE is still a cut above most with regards to computational power. Other aspects of the system such as memory size or GPU have been eclipsed over the last 5 years, but that CellBE processor has remained at the head of the class for most of the 5 years, and still does not really lag behind significantly. To me, all the work that is put into designing the console pays off with that 10+ year lifespan.

With regard to game development. There are several multi-platform developers who have found that leading on the PS3 results in a better PS3 product and a better 360 game. I think that the more extensive analysis and optimization of the algorithms to take advantage of the CellBE's architecture results in a higher quality design. When that is ported to the 360, the analysis and optimization that went into the PS3 version is not wasted, and both the PS3 and 360 versions of the game are better as a result of leading on the PS3. Leading on the 360 on the other hand does not require the additional analysis and optimization of the algorithms because the compiler can just spam process threads at the CPU. When that game is ported to the PS3, spamming the PPC core with 3 cores worth of threads doesn't work (of course) and so some of that work must be handed off to the SPUs. However, rather than re-implement the game specifically for the SPUs, the SPUs are treated more like general purpose cores than the high speed math units that they really are. The result is that the code that is ported to them is very poorly optimized for the SPUs and the design of the game engine does not use the power of the SPUs at all. An SPU used in that way is relatively inefficient compared to a more general purpose processor core, so the net result is a poorly implemented port game.

So leading on PS3 would benefit everyone, sadly though it's not how things have evolved this generation with the 360 having a year lead, many western developers started coding on that, and so when the PS3 arrived, they already had a year of experience on the 360. If you were developing a new game which platform would you pick to lead on? The one you have a year's worth of understanding with, or the brand new one that includes that scary array of SPUs that you have to figure out how to use? Which is why we have a sea of 360 games with terrible PS3 ports.

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tes37
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 3:24:01 PM
Reply

The thing that annoys me the most about some developers complaining the PS3 is too hard to develop for, is that they all forget to say 'for us'.

My job isn't easy either and there's nothing that can be done to make it any easier. You know what needs to be done and you have to make it happen or step aside. I can't do a half-assed job and tell the customer it was too hard.

The worst part of this excuse is they're still expecting full price on release day.

I look forward to the challenges I face at work. It makes the day go faster and you get paid for educating yourself.

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sha4dowknight05
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 3:36:47 PM
Reply

Unfortunately it kinda is.

It's an unconvienant truth, probably this guy doesn't like blu-ray or something?

Most multiplatform games are better on 360 and pc.
with the only exception of portal 2 is the only known disc based game, not downloadable psn title.

Most games have better framrates on the 360 then the ps3.

smart developers like Naughty Dog have found away around this.

Maybe they should talk to naughty dog about this.

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PSTan
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 5:01:53 PM
Reply

From a business standpoint, maybe some developers don't want to invest time and money into figuring out the PS3. Not every studio can claim to be a blockbuster game developer, and that's understandable.

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Claire C
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 5:27:49 PM
Reply

I read Darksiders 1 was better on PS3 than 360. Despite this comment from the studio, I doubt this will change for the sequel.

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Temjin001
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 7:06:52 PM

Yeah, that was the consensus anyway.
I played Darksiders on PS3 and loved every bit of it. And loved it a lot more than many bests.

I think this argument about hardware is built on the the relative understanding of what is taught and understood at an academic level and what sort of bleeding edge technologies make their way into the market place that exhibit changes from traditional practices. There's no denying parallel processing is a more challenging way to think about things, but it was the way the industry was headed, like it or not. Not that parralism is very new, even Sega Saturn was parallel.
Vigil is really just bemoaning the evolution of change. I think there'd have been less displeasure voiced if the market was conditioned different, or if the PS3 had a bit more RAM to give less PS3 experienced devs more memory head room to accomadate the 360s unified memory archecture.

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Qubex
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 9:39:11 PM
Reply

:: Roll Eyes ::

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

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Highlander
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 @ 11:14:23 PM

LOL!

Qubex, apparently things these days are considered too hard or a pain in the a.... if they are not easy or immediately obvious. I'll never understand why people think that when they are learning a new system it should be as easy as pie to learn. programming is an art, any artisan has to learn their craft and master their skills. A poor workman does, as they say, blame their tools.

Last edited by Highlander on 7/20/2011 11:15:01 PM

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Qubex
Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 4:23:11 AM

That is exactly it... its new therefore its hard. If they want to optimise and push the limits they need optimise and push the limits of the brain, think out of the cranium and learn how to rummage the bugger...

Nothing comes easy otherwise we would all be billionaires and we would be suffering 10's of 100's of percentiles of inflation...

I am sure Guerilla are still learning a trick or; I am sure Naughty Dog are still being very naughty with Cell and are squeezing everything out of her, and I am sure Santa Monica is not just cruis'n down Route66 they are racing down it to make GoWIV look unbelievable...

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

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Beamboom
Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 4:40:04 AM

I agree with what's being said by you guys here, but at the same time, I'm thinking:
Games programmers are not your average casual programmer. They are, at least in my head, the cream of the code-writers today. You just don't get a job as a games developer unless you got well documented high skills, well educated and bucket loads of experience.

Therefore, when these guys speak, I listen. And I have to admit, I usually believe what they say...

Why would anyone display to the whole world their "incompetence" on a platform unless there really is a reason to?
I have a hard time believing this is just cause they can't be "bothered". That goes against the attitude of every developer I know!


Last edited by Beamboom on 7/21/2011 4:53:06 AM

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Highlander
Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 12:34:44 PM

Beamboom,

While I'd agree that there are some very talented programmers programming games, there are also a lot of programmers who are essentially commodity coders. In my opinion the very best programmers work on embedded real-time systems. they have incredibly fine tolerances to work under and the computing and memory resources available are generally strictly limited.

Developers are as subject to the human imperfections as the rest of us, they can be lazy, slow to understand, biased, energetic, quick to understand or objective, or any other of 1000s of possible qualities.

But please trust me on this, the very best programmers in the world do not go into video game production. Some might, but that's a personal choice.

I'll say it again because on reflection this one saying sums up my feeling on this entire topic;

A poor workman blames his tools.

Last edited by Highlander on 7/21/2011 12:39:22 PM

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Beamboom
Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 2:02:15 PM

Well maybe not the best in the world literary speaking (you have to take everything by the letter, don't you ;), but there's quite some requirements on those jobs compared to other software developer job listings.

I've just finished a period of scanning the market myself, looking for a new job (signed a new contract as software engineer two weeks ago, starting in august - yay me! :) )

And the job opportunities at our Norwegian game developer, Funcom (Anarchy Online, Age Of Conan, Dream Fall etc) the requirements were miles higher than other comparable job offerings. I've also read some foreign games developer job requirements and they really are no "entry level employer", to put it mildly.

Not sure where I am going with this but I guess I just want to say that they do deserve some respect, these developers are not newbies.

Last edited by Beamboom on 7/21/2011 2:07:33 PM

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Gabriel013
Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 1:22:12 AM
Reply

Of course it's difficult to develop for. Each generation brings new Technology. It's called pushing the envelope.

If taking current tech with a little tweak here and there was all the new generations brought then we'd all be sat playing the NES 13 and the Megadrive 10.. Both with crisp new 16 bit graphics!

This does lead me onto another thought which I've had in the past, and that is that Sony have taken the wrong path by constantly restricting their hardware. If they stomached the small issue of pirating in favour of letting bedroom programmers get elbow deep in PS3 programming then when those same 'kids' leave Uni and go for a Dev job they already have a deep understanding of the most current Sony hardware.

At the moment they have a CV list of PC development activity which in no way prepares them for developing on Sony's latest powerhouse. From day 1 they are on the back foot.

Last edited by Gabriel013 on 7/21/2011 1:26:07 AM

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___________
Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 5:04:00 AM
Reply

ould of told you that years ago, devs have been saying that since it released!
the problem is sony are asians, and this is not racist this is just how they are.
there like the french, they love being different and difficult.
they think the way they do things is the best, and they will always go out of there way to do things differently.
my car for examples french, now i have been installing car stereo systems as a hobby/ weekend job for years, but my car took me easily 5 times longer, and a hell of allot more swearing just to get the old kit out let alone getting the new one in!
id love to believe that sony will make the ps4 more developer friendly, but there asian, they wont.

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Underdog15
Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 10:22:58 AM

Maybe you're the one that's different.

Just sayin'.

Also, based on your constant profiling and consistent berating of the French, you are definitely racist.

Last edited by Underdog15 on 7/21/2011 10:23:33 AM

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Mornelithe
Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 6:59:51 AM
Reply

Not sure why it's really newsworthy anymore, myself. I think even the morons in the mainstream media have started to ignore this complaint. Everyone knows the PS3 has increased challenges when developing for it. Sony does this intentionally to help increase the platforms longevity. It's not even about multi-platform design, although, that certainly can take time away from engine tweaking, I'm sure.

It's a particularly brilliant strategy, one that worked quite well for them for years and years...until MS came along and messed up the whole formula by utilizing architecture not that dissimilar to the PC.

But, as you say Ben, the results speak for themselves. Polyphony Digital, Kojima Studios, Naughty Dog, Quantic Dream, Team Ico...have all created quite compelling IP utilizing said architecture and they've done _just fine_, more than fine really. We're talking multiple GoTY contenders, actual winners, and so on.

Seems like they blame their IP sucking, on Sony's hardware. Hate to say it, but publicly whining about hardware that's been out for nearly 5 years as being 'a pain in the ass', doesn't really instill the public with confidence in your abilities as a developer.

If you want to sell more than 1.75 million units of Darksiders 2, you may just want to shut up and work on your game...I think it needs it.

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Mounce
Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 10:38:41 AM
Reply

"Hideo Kojima (Metal Gear Solid) absolutely refuse to bring their franchises to Microsoft or anywhere else."

I am a huge MGS fan but, that's now going to be false information. Ben, you 'Do' know of the MGS3 and Peacewalker HD Remake that's going to PS3 and 360, right?....

Hideo Kojima himself is speaking heavily about how he wants to reach a broader audience with his games and the new engine he sneaked in at e3 was an engine he spoke of that wasn't meant for just '1 console'....I'm unsure as to the fate of the official MGS5 and whether or not it'd stay with Sony, but chances are now that Kojima is going multiplatform to help his studio financially and such.

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Mornelithe
Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 11:02:14 AM

@ Mounce: The remakes aren't being overseen by Kojima, and MGS4 remains PS3 exclusive. What people do with his games years, and years after their original production aren't really a big deal to Kojima. As long as at launch, they're delivered in the fashion that he desires. Which is probably why he wanted little part in the multi-plat MGS title.

Kojima most recently stated that he's very interested in refocusing his energy upon the PS-Vita, and PS3 transfarring mechanics. Per the PS Blog:

"Peace Walker is the first step. It is a PSP game in HD that lets one go back and forth between one PSP and a PSP. The next step is to take PS2-quality games, such as Metal Gear Solid 2 and Metal Gear Solid 3, to HD and then to take them to Vita transferring.

My next step is games that will come out for the PS3 from now on, so I can take advantage of this technology with the Vita with content that is exactly the same. I hope that cloud service is available now, and it would be ideal for me if transfarring were to serve as a bridge between the two services." - Kojima

As you can see, from that interview, it doesn't appear Kojima's focus will be anywhere but Sony's platforms for quite some time.

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Beamboom
Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 1:54:04 PM

But notice where it is published too, Morne. A Sony blog. It should not be a huge surprise that he appear to focus on Sony's platforms in those posts. :)

Not saying he's not, just saying that the PS blog is basically a marketing tool.

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Mornelithe
Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 2:03:06 PM

@ Beamboom: Heh, when Kojima himself leads a project on the 360, maybe I'll start to think in that fashion. But, considering he's never been interested...lol, and now is creating new tech to wrap around the PS3/Vita...just seems like his future has been set.

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saintaqua
Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 12:40:55 PM
Reply

How dare something challenge a developer to try something new?

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Masa42
Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 1:08:00 PM
Reply

Can we all just agree that PS3 devs are the best at what they do lol the proof is in the games they make.

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afisher14
Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 4:24:05 PM

right, computers software is getting easier and easier to make. Sony is not going with the flow. It takes actual dedication to make a ps3 game because the require so much hard work and determination. If they can't produce quality games for their consumers then they don't need to sell us games. If they don't wanna work on it, then they can give it to xbox

Last edited by afisher14 on 7/21/2011 4:24:22 PM

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afisher14
Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 4:20:54 PM
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PS3 is the most advanced game console to date an offers more than other consoles on the market. Everyone who is a ps3 gamer is a loyal fan on their first-party developers. Even bungie is starting to produce games for the ps3.

BTW... its hold be a pain in the ass to develop for a system that requires all-motion sensing technology like the wii, or a system that constantly breaks down and prevents people from playing the games (XBOX) lol

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Roneel
Friday, July 29, 2011 @ 2:14:51 AM
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Metal Gear Solid 2 + 3 are going to microsoft in the HD collection :( a sad sad day

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