The ever-closer relationship between Sony and developers has been at the heart of the PS4’s design since the project’s early days in 2008.
PS4’s lead designer Mark Cerny told Gamasutra that after canvassing devs in private, it quickly be came clear that his main priority was to build a machine that was both easy for devs to use and utilised an immediately familiar architecture.
Clearly we had had some issues with PlayStation 3, in that a very developer-centric approach to the design of the PlayStation 4 would just make things go more smoothly overall,” he said, referencing the now infamously obtuse – albeit powerful – innards of the PS3 that were the creation of Ken Kutaragi
"My first tour of the developers, I had a questionnaire where I just asked them their thoughts on what the next generation might bring. The largest piece of feedback we got was that they wanted unified memory."
"We quickly could tell that we should put either four or eight cores on the hardware. The consensus was that any more than eight, and special techniques would be needed to use them, to get efficiency.
"The biggest thing was that we didn’t want the hardware to be a puzzle that programmers would be needing to solve to make quality titles.
It may come to a surprise to some that the PlayStation Vita was actually the forerunner of Sony’s dev-centric philosophy. Here’s hoping devs embrace PS4 to a greater extent that they have the handheld.