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PS4 Naughty Dog projects to use current engine

31 May 2013

Naughty Dog has confirmed its PlayStation 4 projects won’t be built from scratch using a new game engine, but will instead utilize the same tech from Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception and The Last of Us.

“We learned a big lesson coming from PS2 to PS3. There was a lot of hype over what next-gen was going to be,” said Bruce Straley, game director on The Last of Us, during a chat with DigitalSpy.

“It was all going to be like movies, like a pre-rendered cutscene-style fidelity. That turned out not to be true. Granted, what we’re able to do now is pretty damn close, but it took Naughty Dog four games to get there – one of the top developers in the industry with some on the most amazing scientists working in our programming department.”

“We scrapped everything at the beginning of Uncharted 1, and we had a perfectly good engine with the Jak & Daxter franchise. We could have started with something there and then built off of it and only changed the pieces and parts as we needed, when we needed. And that really caused a lot of turmoil.”

Naughty Dog is clearly adopting an ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ approach to next-gen development, though Straley made it clear that tweaks will be implemented should the engine hit a wall.

“We learned our lesson in saying, as we move into development into next-gen, we want to take our current engine, port it immediately over as is and say, ‘Okay, we have a great AI system, we have a good rendering system’.

“We have all these things that already work. Only when we hit a wall will we say, ‘When do we need to change something? When do we need to scale it? ‘When does the gameplay, when does the story, when does the world that we need to create – when does this engine hit the wall? Right, now we need to change this part of the engine.’”

Naughty Dog will release The Last of Us on June 14, exclusively for PlayStation 3. While the company hasn’t yet announced what its debut PS4 project will be, we'll hopefully hear more information at E3.

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