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    PlayStation 4 PC-like architecture, 8GB RAM delight developers (Eurogamer )

    ByWesley Yin-PoolePublished Friday, 22 February 2013Sony's PlayStation 4 press conference was a pitch to developers as well as gamers. The console's architecture chief Mark Cerny talked more about CPUs and GPUs and teraflops than he did his own game, Knack. He described the PS4's architecture as like a PC's but "super-charged for gaming". PS4 is "a platform by game creators, for game creators", he said.

    What a difference a generation makes. Cerny's run-through of the PS4's specifications marked the end of the way of the PS3, with its befuddling Cell processor. The message to developers was loud and clear: this time, PlayStation will be easy to make games for. This time, PlayStation is your friend.

    So, what, then, do developers think of the PS4? Most Eurogamer spoke to, some of whom are working on secret PS4 games as we speak, expressed their delight at the ease with which they will be able to make games for Sony's next-gen console. This, for many, is the most exciting thing about the PS4 - and will, surely, result in better games.

    "I thought overall it was a very good showing by Sony, revealing the important information but keeping enough back to be disruptive later in the year when others are announcing their new hardware - smart move," Nick Baynes, boss of BigBit and ex-game director at now-shuttered Split/Second and Pure developer Black Rock, says.

    "The console itself is exactly what developers were hoping for. The familiar PC architecture means we can fast track our focus on the content rather than navigating the system's complexities which will surely result in better quality titles for players across the board."

    Stewart Gilray, boss of Oddword developer Just Add Water (they've got a secret PS4 game in development), agrees with Baynes.
    "As Mark [Cerny] said, it's closer to PC architecture. So it's easy to develop for and easier to switch to and get something up and running relatively quickly; maybe half the time it would take to get a PS3 off the ground.
    "We had PS3 Stranger's Wrath running in four weeks from starting it. You could probably get it up and running in a couple weeks on PS4. Which is why the early dev kits for PS4 were basically suped-up PCs. So when you move forward, there's not a massive re-learning curve. It's not a million miles away."

    James Brooksby, the boss of Strike Suit Zero developer Born Ready Games, also singles out the architecture for praise. "The PS4 reveal has everybody here at Born Ready Games rather excited - lots of interesting things came out of Wednesday's conference," he says.
    "Personally, as a developer, the standout feature is the ease of which we should be able to develop for this new system compared to previous generations of console machines, which have slowed fast paced and iterative development."
    The console itself is exactly what developers were hoping for
    BigBit boss Nick Baynes

    The PS4's PC-like architecture isn't the only new feature to have met approval from the development community. The console's impressive 8GB of GDDR5 RAM came as a surprise to many gamers - and even some developers we spoke to who have worked with PS4 dev kits.
    Traditionally console dev kits contain more memory than retail units. With the PS4 dev kits containing 8GB of RAM, Sony's announcement that the retail unit would contain the same amount delighted as much as it surprised.

    "8GB of GDDR5. Just for a minute can you work out what that means?" Gilray says, excited. "That's a phenomenal amount of memory. And the fact it's GDDR5 memory as well is just nuts."
    Gilray isn't the only one excited. Respected game developers, including id Software programming legend John Carmack, Gearbox chief Randy Pitchford and Crytek R&D principle graphics programmer Tiago Sousa, took to Twitter to say how pleased they were with the amount of RAM in the console.

    "8 GB unified mem as baseline for next tech iterations makes me very, very happy. Fun times coming ^_^," tweeted Sousa. "I can't speak freely about PS4, but now that some specs have been made public, I can say that Sony made wise engineering choices," said Carmack.
    I can't speak freely about PS4, but now that some specs have been made public, I can say that Sony made wise engineering choices
    programming legend John Carmack

    PS4's video streaming technology, which lets you share video clips with social networks at the push of a button, and Gaikai-powered cloud functions, have sparked much debate.
    Gilray isn't sure about the idea of being able to ask a friend to virtually take control of your game to complete tricky sections. "I think part of being a games player is not having someone help you, to do it yourself," he says. "The idea of somebody else using a virtual controller to take over kind of freaks me out. It's a good idea, but it kind of freaks me out."

    He's more enthusiastic about being able to download games as you play them, and being able to pause and resume a game at will.
    "The whole 'you can download stuff while you're playing' thing is mental," he says. "That's phenomenal news. The idea of having it so you can buy the game and get a little drop quickly, start playing the first part of the game while the rest is downloading in the background, is brilliant.

    "I know we don't have the greatest broadbrand infrastructure in the world still in the UK, but what always gets me is if you've got a 4GB game to download, you've got to wait for 4GBs to download, when that might be a 20 hour game."

    Baynes has already come up with an idea for PS4's cloud features.
    "The built in light bar and touchpad have opened up some interesting control possibilities but the Gaikai streaming has a lot of potential for innovative game mechanics too," he says.
    "Outside of the examples given during the press conference, imagine a co-op game where you can interact with and see other players in multiple, detailed, diverse environments with picture-in-picture using Gaikai streams rather than loading and rendering the different scenes locally? It's given us some very cool ideas about new ways to play that just wouldn't be possible without it so that's exciting."

    "Speaking for myself, the social aspects of the PS4 sound incredibly interesting," says Brooksby. "Watching and interacting with other's gameplay streams is going to make playing and sharing really fun. I'm particularly excited at the prospect of 'blooper reels' thanks to the always-on video recording."
    The machine should stick to its strengths and serve all those that love games first and foremost
    Born Ready Games boss James Brooksby
    The new DualShock 4 controller.

    During its press conference Sony mentioned in passing that PS4 would support new business models, including free-to-play and episodic, and offer self-publishing on the Store, but it didn't go into detail. For Baynes, how the PS4 will sell games is just as important as how it will run them.
    "The biggest challenge for developers on PS4 is still the business model," he says. "All the games shown were still big budget blockbusters (even The Witness at three-and-a-half years in development isn't really what I'd call a low budget indie title), and so while it's very promising hearing the right noises coming out about opening up the Store to developers to self publish, and being set up for different monetisation models, it remains to be seen how competitive it is with the other open platforms out there.

    "Just looking at the games on show it felt very 'old model', but I'm sure that's due to the nature of the kind of titles you need to show to get the public pumped up for new hardware. I have faith that Sony has listened to what's needed in this area - as they've listened elsewhere with the hardware."

    Just looking at the games on show it felt very 'old model', but I'm sure that's due to the nature of the kind of titles you need to show to get the public pumped up for new hardware
    BigBit boss Nick Baynes

    Barry Keating, freelance narrative designer and game writer formerly of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, is also interested in how PS4 will make games available to gamers. For him, free-to-play and episodic gaming are avenues through which game creators can take more risks.
    "While a lot of the games on show certainly looked the part, what really interested me was the brief mention of episodic gaming and free-to-play, which I like to think will clear a space for developers to take risks with stories they might not be able to tell in AAA titles," he says.
    "Don't get me wrong, AAA games do still excite me, but what really piques my interest - now more ever - is a game that makes you stop and think about what you're doing, even if it's only for a fleeting moment. I'd like to experience more of that."

    For all its social and video-sharing features, the general consensus is that the PS4 is pitched squarely at the core gamer, putting games before all else. At a time when Microsoft is rumoured to be taking a more all-encompassing approach with its next Xbox, due to be revealed in April, Sony's line has divided analysts and commentators, with some questioning the wisdom of creating a potentially more expensive gamer-focused machine.
    Brooksby, though, called on Sony to "avoid the temptation of turning the PS4 into a multi-purpose set top box".

    "The machine should stick to its strengths and serve all those that love games first and foremost. I don't want to see too many non-video game 'opportunities' dilute what the system will do best: play games.

    "And of course I want to see Sony do well, PlayStation is an important part of the gaming landscape - from what we've seen so far, it looks like everything is on the right track."
    http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/20...ght-developers
    Last edited by Ghost; 02-23-2013 at 10:03.

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    Awesome post again! I hope you don't mind good sir, but I edited in a few breaks in the text so it is not such a TEXT WALL OF DEATH!

    I am really gladto see that this generation, the PlayStation won't get shafted by 3rd party. With awesome 3rdparty support and Sony's 1st party juggernaut army, 8th gen is looking $#@!ing badass for Sony's black box. I loved the response of the Epic dude speaking to Geoff at the end of GTTVs coverage. He said something along the lines of that elemental demo being a love letter to console makers, and 'someone' responded. If Epic are happy, $#@! is good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghost-Rhayne View Post
    Awesome post again! I hope you don't mind good sir, but I edited in a few breaks in the text so it is not such a TEXT WALL OF DEATH! I am really gladto see that this generation, the PlayStation won't get shafted by 3rd party. With awesome 3rdparty support and Sony's 1st party juggernaut army, 8th gen is looking $#@!ing badass for Sony's black box. I loved the response of the Epic dude speaking to Geoff at the end of GTTVs coverage. He said something along the lines of that elemental demo being a love letter to console makers, and 'someone' responded. If Epic are happy, $#@! is good.
    Even Crytek are happy and you know how much they $#@! about hardware.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghost-Rhayne View Post
    Awesome post again! I hope you don't mind good sir, but I edited in a few breaks in the text so it is not such a TEXT WALL OF DEATH!

    I am really gladto see that this generation, the PlayStation won't get shafted by 3rd party. With awesome 3rdparty support and Sony's 1st party juggernaut army, 8th gen is looking $#@!ing badass for Sony's black box. I loved the response of the Epic dude speaking to Geoff at the end of GTTVs coverage. He said something along the lines of that elemental demo being a love letter to console makers, and 'someone' responded. If Epic are happy, $#@! is good.
    makes a person feel all giddy. I'm clearly not a developer by any means but I'm excited that developers are excited. The reason I'm excited is because this means that we are going to see more risks in gaming. Some risks will be bad but we will all see something revolutionary with the PS4, it's going to happen. I didn't see so much revolutionary with the PS3, it's going to happen with the PS4.

    Going back to the PS1 and how easy that was to develope for, Developers jumped right on that wagon and we had a TON of games for the PS1. Looks like they are following that mind set.
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    Quote Originally Posted by radgamer420 View Post
    Even Crytek are happy and you know how much they $#@! about hardware.
    They are definitely hardware snobs, so I was surprised too when they praised the system!

    -=[ PSN ID: Tha_MonkeyClaw ]=-

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    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyClaw View Post
    They are definitely hardware snobs, so I was surprised too when they praised the system!
    they are not snobs, they are lazy bastard who dont wanna to optimise their code

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    Quote Originally Posted by FireSol View Post
    they are not snobs, they are lazy bastard who dont wanna to optimise their code
    That too!

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    "The machine should stick to its strengths and serve all those that love games first and foremost. I don't want to see too many non-video game 'opportunities' dilute what the system will do best: play games."

    This. This! THIS! ..
    ​This!

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    If the ps4 is priced at $400 then it's going to take off and not slow down. Saying that it takes half the time to create for the ps4 than it would for the ps3 is $#@!in huge. That's making me think about the possibilities of 3rd party exclusives making a return.

    We should be seeing a lot more psn titles such as Flower, ect. being produced for the ps4. The Ps4 being powerful and so easy to work with should be an indie developer's dream.

    Destiny and Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor is all I need for the rest of the year.

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    I don't think it has to do netflix or buying music, those are easy and there is nothing to that type of business at all. I, myself wouldn't worry to much since those are more then likely in the PS4 anyway but it's not like they worked on those things for years to put into the PS4.

    What I am psyched about is Cryteks excitement. You know it's a good system when they get excited. While Crytek isn't the end all be all of developers, they are still good developers and they do try to make good games whether people want to believe it or not.
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    To be fair most of those quotes are from Stewart Gilray and I doubt any of his PS3 games came close to maxing out the hardware lol.

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    Brooksby, though, called on Sony to "avoid the temptation of turning the PS4 into a multi-purpose set top box".

    "The machine should stick to its strengths and serve all those that love games first and foremost. I don't want to see too many non-video game 'opportunities' dilute what the system will do best: play games."
    I'm really baffled why people keep bringing this up. It's inevitable that powerful systems will be used for all kinds of purposes, some not necessarily in line with its main intent. PS3 became a lot of people's Blu-ray players and Netflix boxes, so is mine. It's superb for that. Just as my PS2 was my sole DVD player for years. Had no impact on my gaming, nor does it for most people. Nor did it dilute the quality of the libraries for both, which are world class. Has anyone seriously thought that the PS3 was hamstrung because it became a media hub? Come on.

    And with a device as potent and connectable as the PS4, developers and tinkerers are going to come up with novel ways to use such a powerhouse, high bandwidth unit. In no way does this mean that Insomniac, Naughty Dog or Polyphony Digital will get distracted and start making Vita and smartphone apps instead of AAA titles. If Kazunori decides to make GT6 able to run on a smartphone, he won't gimp it on PS4. No serious developer has ever shortsheeted a game made for serious hardware. And this is some serious hardware. I think this is a silly meme that refuses to die.

    What I am hoping is that these articles of developers gushing over the capacity of PS4 die down quickly. I mean, SONY made it a point to ask developers what they wanted in PS4, duh. So soon, I'm counting on those remarks being in concert with games they're developing for it, since the reveal is overwith. Yes, awesome system, now let us in on what you're doing with it.
    Last edited by Tetsu; 02-23-2013 at 19:37.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireSol View Post
    they are not snobs, they are lazy bastard who dont wanna to optimise their code
    No, they are extremely talented developers who don't want to have to spend half their time and budget stripping out features and reducing content so the games will run on obsolete hardware. Their games are optimized for high end gming PCs, and if you don't have one then they have to waste time and money making the game work on your system.

    If it wasn't for their owners demands I doubt they would have bothered with consoles at all. They don't make games for crappy systems unless they are forced to, and they don't like having to design their games around low grade handicapped systems. The PS4 will be a HUGE relief for them because now they have a baseline that will allow them to push their games even harder without having to worry about making it work on less than DX11 hardware.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Completely Average View Post
    No, they are extremely talented developers who don't want to have to spend half their time and budget stripping out features and reducing content so the games will run on obsolete hardware. Their games are optimized for high end gming PCs, and if you don't have one then they have to waste time and money making the game work on your system.

    If it wasn't for their owners demands I doubt they would have bothered with consoles at all. They don't make games for crappy systems unless they are forced to, and they don't like having to design their games around low grade handicapped systems. The PS4 will be a HUGE relief for them because now they have a baseline that will allow them to push their games even harder without having to worry about making it work on less than DX11 hardware.
    Is this really how you view the world? Bit too tory for me

    Most of the people you're talking about there wouldn't have jobs if it wasn't for consoles.

    "optimised for high end gaming PC's" gave me a chuckle. Most PC devs don't optimise their games at all.

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    Well I am devo'd by the lack of BC BUT if the PS4 becomes absolutely PS2 type dominant to the point no one worries about a risk collapsing (Was the best part of the PS2, so many consoles sold few games didn't have at least 500k+ fans regardless of how bizzare) I could see myself being quite happy. Sadly don't think we'll get another PS2 situation but one could hope a system does it again. Devs loving it though is a good start! Now just don't be overpriced to all $#@! for ZERO reason here in Australia like all other consoles...
    if I am in the PS3 or 360 section I will NOT post about the competitor just to please people, if you want to know what I think about the competitor link me to a thread in the appropriate section

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    Quote Originally Posted by Completely Average View Post
    No, they are extremely talented developers who don't want to have to spend half their time and budget stripping out features and reducing content so the games will run on obsolete hardware. Their games are optimized for high end gming PCs, and if you don't have one then they have to waste time and money making the game work on your system.

    If it wasn't for their owners demands I doubt they would have bothered with consoles at all. They don't make games for crappy systems unless they are forced to, and they don't like having to design their games around low grade handicapped systems. The PS4 will be a HUGE relief for them because now they have a baseline that will allow them to push their games even harder without having to worry about making it work on less than DX11 hardware.

    Riiight...take your high end rig and see how well it maxes out Crysis 1, unoptimized turd that it is. (a really shiny turd, but still)
    Granted they have gotten better with 2 and definitely 3.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyn View Post
    Most PC devs don't optimise their games at all.
    This is what kills me about so many PC gamers who speak with authority from nothing.

    I will say a couple of things in their favor. They do optimize some, and they really can't go too far in that direction because... well, what are they supposed to optimize to? PC hardware is all over the map with different CPUs, GPUs, motherboards, memory, OSes, and then there's the other universe of laptops to deal with too. There is some commonality, families of hardware that generally follow a precisely defined structure, and APIs like Direct-X help out. But that's about all they can count on, and the user having a PC with a remotely current version of Windoze, so that's mostly what they code for.

    But there's also this wild illicit relationship between the game dev world and PC hardware world, in which the developers crank out tremendously more power hungry games every year, and the hardware guys offer brute force solutions to deal with themin the form of new iterations of somewhat the same technology as six months ago but with more grunt and capacity. And the display makers get some business almost as often, as gamers want screens that show every teensy pixel properly. And this means that you're stuck in a perpetual upgrade chase every few years or your game may look and play like crud. Or not run at all.

    Meanwhile, in the happy land of console gaming...

    The developers do all the upgrading for us. They do have a solid advantage in that they have fixed hardware to come to grips with. They can mine performance almost to the point of its obsolescence. And this means that games on six year old hardware run better and look better than games of a few years ago, with no expense but the cost of the game.

    Sure, it's a blast to build a new gaming rig, or buy one that's pre-built, but I much prefer the six or seven year lifecycle of more affordable consoles, and I haven't really seen the overwhelming epicalness of PC games to warrant all their condescension.
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    Because 8GB of ram we are going to see lots of features. Its really cool and campare to the PS3 ram. Its a big big, different.


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    John Carmack at Quakecon last year did go on about optimising games for PC's versus consoles. The general idea was that you can spend a huge amount of time optimising PC code only to have it increase about 5-10% efficiency simply because modern PC processors already optimise the inefficiency on the fly and the OS layer means they can't really do anything to extreme in terms of custom hardware code.

    PC developers aren't lazy and they will optimises where possible but there is little that can be done as a whole beyond just good code methods.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FireSol View Post
    they are not snobs, they are lazy bastard who dont wanna to optimise their code
    As much as I hate crytek's arrogance about their graphics, their engine is FAR from unoptimzed. Compare crysis to crysis 2 and you'll see how optimzed the cryengine 3 is.

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    Crysis was a piece of unoptimized sh*t but they improved a lot with Crysis 2 and 3.

    Crysis 3 graphics maxed out btw... it's the most impressive thing I've ever seen... and that includes everything I've seen. It's a pitty the game itself isn't that good.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquanox View Post
    Crysis was a piece of unoptimized sh*t but they improved a lot with Crysis 2 and 3.

    Crysis 3 graphics maxed out btw... it's the most impressive thing I've ever seen... and that includes everything I've seen. It's a pitty the game itself isn't that good.
    I've seen Crysis 3 max at 4k resolution (only pics though cuz it will be 2fps lol) and it looks beautiful but I found KZ shadow fall slightly better (just my opinion)

  25. #23
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    Anybody else see this comment from Jonathan Blow (Braid developer and The Witness developer):

    "I don't have good communication with anyone at Microsoft right now, but all our technical people like the PS4 specs a lot more than the leaked Durango specs, and we like the positioning of the PS4 (it's about games) more than what we perceive Microsofts positioning is going to be."

    http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/02/...lusive-for-ps4
    Last edited by PSTrey; 02-24-2013 at 04:02.

  26. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyn View Post
    Is this really how you view the world? Bit too tory for me

    Most of the people you're talking about there wouldn't have jobs if it wasn't for consoles.
    Well duh. They have more people employed trying to make their games work on consoles than they need to make a PC only game.



    "optimised for high end gaming PC's" gave me a chuckle. Most PC devs don't optimise their games at all.
    Your response gives me a chuckle. Care to share your programming experience? A list of games you've helped develop to have this wonderful insight would be nice.

    Don't tell me you're just making up comments because you don't like what I said. That would be lying, and you're not a liar, are you?

  27. #25
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    Achievements IT'S OVER 9000!
    So far Sony seems to have made some very smart and developer (and so too gamer) friendly choices for the hardware inside the PS4. Unlike the PS3, which was - and let's be honest here - essentially a foothold for Sony to push certain technologies, the PS4 is a platform for what's important in this market. The system is reasonably powerful yet easy to develop for, so PS4 gamers can expect less extended development periods and potentially more multiplatform (and indie!) titles to boot.

    Sony it playing hard, and they're a lot less $#@!y this round. They have my attention.
    Last edited by Nerevar; 02-24-2013 at 04:28.
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