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Sony: PS3 "Had Some Issues" With Developer Accessibility

One of the biggest reasons the PlayStation 4 has gone over so well is because it appears to be very developer-friendly.

And as it turns out, that was a primary goal for Sony due to the reception the more complex PS3 architecture had when it launched. In speaking to Gamasutra, PS4 lead system architect Mark Cerny said they knew they "clearly had some issues with the PlayStation 3." And they knew it as of 2007.

Cerny said that above all else, they didn't want their new hardware "to be a puzzle that programmers needed to solve to make quality titles." The Cell processor was certainly powerful but many developers found it difficult to work with. So in 2008, Cerny began meeting with game makers for the express purpose of getting their feedback for the future, but he had to do so delicately. "It's not like we could come out and say we were developing the next generation of hardware; we certainly couldn't say that in 2008," he said.

So after that, Sony opted for the x86 processor and AMD tech for the upcoming PS4. Since its unveiling in February, the new console has received praise from many industry insiders, especially developers. So yeah, essentially, Sony learned.

Tags: ps3, playstation 3, ps4, playstation 4, sony

3/27/2013 1:10:39 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (17 posts)

Snaaaake
Wednesday, March 27, 2013 @ 1:40:28 PM
Reply

I thought Sony themselves already said it was made to be difficult for developers on purpose?

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Lord carlos
Wednesday, March 27, 2013 @ 3:01:03 PM

I think that was the line spun but really sony tried to corner devs with a complex architecture believing companies would'nt care based on the PS2 sucess.
But it didn't work very well
Advantage microsoft.

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Lord carlos
Wednesday, March 27, 2013 @ 3:31:41 PM

off topic
MGS V just announced
Are the phantom pain & ground zeros the same game??
i'm confused !!

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Beamboom
Wednesday, March 27, 2013 @ 4:21:31 PM

Oh my, that day when the Sony representative said that was an embarrassing day for at least this Sony fan.

It's like if Adobe should release a new version of Photoshop and say that it's interface has been redesigned to be difficult on purpose, so that graphics artists across the world have to work for years before they achieve a proper result with their work.

Last edited by Beamboom on 3/27/2013 4:23:27 PM

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Solid Fantasy
Wednesday, March 27, 2013 @ 5:48:07 PM

Yes they are the same game according to the FB page for Ground Zeros. *Awaiting Release date*

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Excelsior1
Wednesday, March 27, 2013 @ 11:00:59 PM

The we made it difficult to code for on purpose was just ridiculous. Kaz is the person responsible for that quote btw. Maybe not as bad as Ken's get two jobs if you want a PS3 but still cringeworthy.

One of the biggest issues developers had with the PS3 was its partitioned memory. Memory contsraints have been said to be the cause of some of the problems Bethesda has had with the PS3.

So I'm thrilled Sony went with unified memory this time. It sounds like Sony has learned some painful lessons this generation and they are doing everything in their power to address some of the issues the ps3 had. It looks like they are going out of their way to make a developer friendly system which will benefit gamers. No more nasty multiplats like Bayonetta or most of bethesda's ps3 games!!!

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Beamboom
Thursday, March 28, 2013 @ 4:11:52 AM

Yeah this is probably the worst Sony-quote of the generation. The whole episode reminds me of when we do something idiotic and just to save face respond with "Hey I did it on purpose!".

No professional want to hear that someone has deliberately tried to hinder your work. That's just stupid no matter how it is spun.

Last edited by Beamboom on 3/28/2013 4:25:25 AM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, March 27, 2013 @ 2:48:29 PM
Reply

Things have changed and Sony has to change with them. Rigidity is the path to death.

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Temjin001
Wednesday, March 27, 2013 @ 3:01:23 PM

yep, Sony really seems to have learned to get out of their 'ivory tower' and consider the needs of those who make their platforms successful.
Sony's efforts to really embrace the devs and grass roots indies I think will help keep Sony's rep high throughout the next-gen.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 3/27/2013 3:03:42 PM

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Lord carlos
Wednesday, March 27, 2013 @ 2:55:34 PM
Reply

Funny thing is if you put an up to date gfx card in the ps3(like a titan) and a bit more RAM then the ps3 would be a beast for years to come...because the cell is still a fast microprocessor....complex but a beast...just like wolverine.

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Cesar_ser_4
Wednesday, March 27, 2013 @ 5:45:54 PM

You do know you're way out of your league with a Titan right?

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Solid Fantasy
Wednesday, March 27, 2013 @ 5:49:14 PM
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I bet Gabe Newell is having a field day over this one.

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Cesar_ser_4
Wednesday, March 27, 2013 @ 7:16:23 PM
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Imagine if one of these devs came out and said "the new PS4 architecture is too simple, it doesn't impose any sort of challenge whatsoever" hahahaha

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___________
Thursday, March 28, 2013 @ 6:39:27 AM
Reply

yea........ lets leave it at *some*...........

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Ultima
Thursday, March 28, 2013 @ 1:28:58 PM
Reply

While incredibly stupid in hindsight, there IS a legitimate reason for making your console hard to program for: Games designed on your system then become difficult to port to other systems. This puts you in a considerable advantage if your system happens to be the lead system to design on, which usually happens if your machine is the market leader.

Don't forget: The PS2 was also very difficult to program for. It got a pass because it was not just a market leader, it was the leader by a VAST margin. Devs had little choice but to develop for it, and were forced to learn its architecture in the process until they started cranking out great stuff. Thus, when easier to program consoles came along (GC, Xbox), it didn't matter.

Obviously, SOny was thinking history would repeat itself with the PS3, which had the exact same arrogant attitude in its manufacture as its predecessor, only more so. The biggest difference here was that a) Microsoft got their much-easier-to-program Xbox 360 out early, which trained developers to use the 360 as the lead system, and b) the PS3 was TOO expensive out the gate, which resulted in sluggish sales for years. Thus, developers had no incentive to use the difficult-to-program PS3 as the lead system because it wasn't the market leader (or even second place), leaving PS3 ports as an after thought for many.

Since Sony isn't going into this generation as market leader, they had zero choice but to switch tactics.

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Ultima
Thursday, March 28, 2013 @ 1:29:21 PM
Reply

While incredibly stupid in hindsight, there IS a legitimate reason for making your console hard to program for: Games designed on your system then become difficult to port to other systems. This puts you in a considerable advantage if your system happens to be the lead system to design on, which usually happens if your machine is the market leader.

Don't forget: The PS2 was also very difficult to program for. It got a pass because it was not just a market leader, it was the leader by a VAST margin. Devs had little choice but to develop for it, and were forced to learn its architecture in the process until they started cranking out great stuff. Thus, when easier to program consoles came along (GC, Xbox), it didn't matter.

Obviously, SOny was thinking history would repeat itself with the PS3, which had the exact same arrogant attitude in its manufacture as its predecessor, only more so. They were coming into this generation as not only market leader, but off the success of the best selling console of all time. Why should things be different?

Well, the biggest difference with the PS2 -> PS3 transition was that a) Microsoft got their much-easier-to-program Xbox 360 out early, which trained developers to use the 360 as the lead system, and b) the PS3 was TOO expensive out the gate, which resulted in sluggish sales for years. Thus, developers had no incentive to use the difficult-to-program PS3 as the lead system because it wasn't the market leader (or even second place), leaving PS3 ports as an after thought for many.

Since Sony isn't going into this generation as market leader, they had zero choice but to switch tactics.

Last edited by Ultima on 3/28/2013 1:31:24 PM

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xnonsuchx
Saturday, March 30, 2013 @ 6:37:46 PM
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i.e. Many developers are too lazy and prefer inefficient PC hardware at fast enough speeds to compensate.

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