Devs Hoping The PlayStation 4 Makes Cross-Platform Developing Easier
When new hardware is announced, one question always asked is: How much better will it be than my current console? Considering how long the current generation of consoles has been out for (Microsoft's Xbox 360 came out in 2005 while Sony's PlayStation 3 was released in 2006) the question is understandable. The PC long ago outstripped the power of the consoles but the new consoles are expected to reach parity by using current generation PC parts.
Now that the PS4 has finally been announced, Lain Smith of Codemasters (developer of "Grid 2") has something to say about what we can expect from the next generation of games:
"I think with every big hardware improvement the industry goes through that line [between virtual and reality] will continue to erode regardless of the game genre, but I don't think the distinction will ever fully go away no matter how impressive the tech. You still need to ask the player to suspend their disbelief and come on a journey into the game world."
The same can be said about what some developers are describing as a different console under the hood. Ubisoft, maker of the upcoming "Watch Dogs," "Assassin's Creed" franchise and the every-delayed "Beyond Good & Evil 2" are among those who have high hopes for the future. Ubisoft CEO Yennis Mallat in an interview with CVG shortly after the Playstation 4 unveiling said:
"From what we can talk about, which is the PlayStation 4, it's been a radical change from those guys," referring to older consoles from Sony. "PlayStation 4 really comes as a pleasant surprise because indeed it's a very familiar architecture," he said. "I think it's paying off for us deciding to develop on high-end PCs early. It's a less complex transition."
At GDC 2013 Sony unveiled more information about their console's capabilities on top of what was previously revealed. It will feature a 64-bit x86 architecture, with what Sony refers to as minimal power consumption, eight cores and hardware threads with 2MB L2 cache for each of the four-core groups (each of which also has a 32kb L1 I/D-cache). The system's dev tools run on Windows 7 64-bit, and Playstation 4-specific tools have been integrated with Microsoft's Visual Studio 2010 and 2012. This includes the PlayStation Shader Language, which provides for functionality comparable to DirectX 11.0 and OpenGL 4.0 for higher performing graphics.