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  1. #1
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    wired.com :The American Who Designed the PlayStation 4 and Remade Sony

    http://www.wired.com/gamelife/2013/11/playstation-4/

    TOKYO — Shuhei Yoshida still remembers the call that convinced him Sony needed to change.

    It was the late spring of 2006, and Yoshida was rushing to make his deadlines for the unveiling of Sony’s next big bet on the future of home video games, the PlayStation 3. He had worked on various PlayStations for more than a decade and was now one of the execs in charge of developing games for the new console. He was a software guy. But the call came from someone on the company’s hardware team, someone who helped build the PS3 itself.
    When Yoshida picked up the phone, the caller told him that the console’s game controller, the DualShock 3, would include a motion sensor. That was news to Yoshida. And then the voice on the other end of the line told him to prepare a motion-sensing game for the unveiling, which would happen on stage at the annual E3 game and entertainment conference in Los Angeles.

    “This was two or three weeks before the show,” remembers Yoshida, sitting inside his office at Sony’s Tokyo headquarters, a wall of PlayStation games stacked behind him. “I said: ‘What?!!’”

    Yoshida and his team did produce a game for the keynote, frantically rejiggering a flight combat title they were developing called Warhawk. But, not too surprisingly, the demo was a complete mess — and a sign of things to come. The PS3 launched with only 12 game titles, and most didn’t take full advantage of its Cell microprocessor, a complicated if high-powered component that, much like the controller, was designed without much input from anyone outside a small team of hardware engineers.

    In the months to come, other developers were slow to embrace the PS3 as well, and this problem, coupled with the PS3′s hefty $600 price tag, made for a rocky start for the new machine. When the PS3 launched, according to most estimates, Sony controlled about 70 percent of the console market. Seven years later, it’s on even terms with Microsoft, whose Xbox 360 outsold the PS3 in the U.S. for 32 consecutive months.

    But the PlayStation 4 is different.

    With Yoshida giving his stamp of approval, Sony went so far as to hire a game maker — a software guy — to oversee the hardware design of its fourth generation console, due to reach stores in the US and Canada on November 15. The new PlayStation boss, Mark Cerny, is one of the world’s most storied game designers. In other words, he’s as software as you can get. In the early ’80s, at the age of 17, he went to work for Atari Games, making his name with the arcade classic Marble Madness, and he later made big waves in the console universe overseeing the development of PlayStation games such as Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon.
    He is, to say the least, an unconventional choice for the role. Cerny himself calls the arrangement “beyond unusual” and “crazy.” It’s not just that he’s a software guy running a hardware project. He’s an American who makes his home in Los Angeles, 5,500 miles from Sony’s Tokyo headquarters and the all-Japanese engineering team charged with putting the new console together. But Sony needed someone who could serve as a voice for the game makers and game players of the world. It needed someone who could bring a more egalitarian ethos to the development of the new PlayStation. It needed someone who could right the wrongs of the PS3. And Cerny offered all those things.

    “When PlayStation 3 wrapped, we all started to do post-mortems. It was pretty brutal, frankly,” Cerny remembers, saying it was “very, very difficult” for software designers to build games for the console. “I just couldn’t stop thinking that maybe there was a different path. Maybe there was a hardware that could be made where it would be natural to make the games.”

    In fashioning the PS4, he and his team pulled in opinions from across the world, tapping the expertise of the 14 game design studios owned by Sony and another 16 outside the company — something that would have never would have happened under the old PlayStation regime. The result is a much cheaper console that makes life as easy as possible for game makers. Its retail price is just under $400 — $100 less than the new Xbox One — and thanks to its relatively simple design, the console is launching alongside a slate of 22 new game titles, including a PS4 exclusive called Knack, directed by Cerny himself. Another eight to 10 titles are set to arrive before the end of the year.
    Cerny’s new role is just one indication that this is a new Sony, a Sony intent on opening up its development process and building its game gear in a way that better anticipates what the gaming world wants. It’s a change driven by necessity. Since the launch of the PS3 seven years ago, the gaming world has become a very different place. Consoles now have to compete with all sorts of other game platforms, including personal computers, smartphones, and tablets — not to mention the web. To be sure, Sony has to keep pace with its hardware, but all the high-fidelity graphical capability in the world won’t help if they can’t offer gamers games.

    “Game partners are going to be as crucial as any of the particulars of the hardware,” says Scott Steinberg, a game industry consultant and pundit. “Cerny’s roots go back 30 or 40 years, and he understands what’s going on here. This isn’t just a technical play.”

    Our Man In Tokyo

    Mark Cerny first walked into Sony’s Tokyo headquarters in 1993. He grew up in Berkeley, California, not far from Silicon Valley, but in the late ’80s, after leaving Atari, he spent three and half years living in Japan, working at Sega on games such as Missile Defense 3-D and Shooting Gallery. During the time, he learned to speak, write, and read the language, and at a friend’s wedding, he even met the Japanese woman he would ultimately marry. By 1993, he had moved back to Northern California and joined another game outfit, Crystal Dynamics. But thanks to his Japanese connections, when he caught wind of the first PlayStation, then under development, he landed a meeting with Sony.

    At the time, Sony was offering PlayStation software development kits — a set of tools for building new games — to a few select designers, but only in Japan. But Cerny talked his way into a kit for Crystal Dynamics, in part because he could read and sign the Japanese contract. The Sony exec who handed him the contract, after meeting him for the first time that day, was Shu Yoshida. “Crystal Dynamics became the first non-Japanese development group to work on the PlayStation,” Yoshida says. It was the beginning of a long relationship between Cerny and the Japanese electronics giant. He went on to build games not only for the original PlayStation but also its successor, the PlayStation 2. On the PlayStation 3, he was “embedded” with the hardware team as it build the console, to get a feel for the new hardware — though he didn’t have a say in particulars of the design.

    Much more at the link. This is page 1 of 3
    Last edited by victorijapoosp; 11-07-2013 at 16:22.
    Maths is biased! It keeps telling me the PS4 is 50% more powerful than XboxOne!
    Great song, should have more views :'(

    SHIMAASAAAANIIII!!!!!
    http://i.imgur.com/bP50xuM.png

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  3. #2
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    this guy saved the PS brand. if crazy ken was still there we would have a ps4 with 5 cells and the cost of 1000 dollars lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by coolguy View Post
    this guy saved the PS brand. if crazy ken was still there we would have a ps4 with 5 cells and the cost of 1000 dollars lol
    You aren't kidding! Surprised no one has interviewed him yet on his take of the PS4 and what he thinks of Playstation's new vision for the future...

    -=[ PSN ID: Tha_MonkeyClaw ]=-

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    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyClaw View Post
    You aren't kidding! Surprised no one has interviewed him yet on his take of the PS4 and what he thinks of Playstation's new vision for the future...
    They've probably got him under an NDA..

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    The guy didn't just save Sony. He saved console gaming.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Malt View Post
    They've probably got him under an NDA..
    LOL! That is the funniest thing I have ready today!

    Quote Originally Posted by Praetor Illuminatus View Post
    The guy didn't just save Sony. He saved console gaming.
    Hell yes he did!

    -=[ PSN ID: Tha_MonkeyClaw ]=-

  10. #7
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    Sometimes... I miss Crazy Ken.

    Though Cerny has his moments, in the recent video accompanying this article he says.

    "Knack is 1080p Native" stressing that it is "NOT UPSCALED".
    Maths is biased! It keeps telling me the PS4 is 50% more powerful than XboxOne!
    Great song, should have more views :'(

    SHIMAASAAAANIIII!!!!!
    http://i.imgur.com/bP50xuM.png

  11. #8
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    I liked that read.
    Be Together - Not the same.



  12. #9
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    Good post, I really enjoyed reading this article!

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    Very well written. Cerny is the man...

  14. #11
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    Excellent find. Thanks for posting!

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