Guerrilla Games: PS4 not designed in an ivory tower

Sony's first-party devs involved in next-gen console creation from the start, says Herman Hulst
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Sony went to extraordinary efforts to ensure that the PS4 was designed precisely as developers wanted.

"We've been very closely involved in the development of the machine," Guerrilla Games co-founder Herman Hulst told The Guardian.

"We've had [PS4 system architect] Mark Cerny over several times. We got the entire group of core developers together and gave deep feedback on everything system-related.

“It's no longer designed in an Ivory tower somewhere in Tokyo, it's shared with us, with Naughty Dog, with Sony San Diego – and together we've built the machine.

“As Mark said at one point during the launch event, it's a console for gamers by gamers."

The ivory tower reference, of course, stems from the frustration created by PS3 uniquely odd architecture. Much like the PS2 before it, the machine was the creation of former PlayStation boss Ken Kuturagi.

It eschewed established hardware designs in favour of a bespoke approach that, while powerful in the hands of studios like Guerrilla, was a nightmare for others – particularly when porting games designed for the PC and Xbox 360.

It required extra learning and extra resource to get as game on PS3 and that became harder to justify when most titles shift in higher numbers on Microsoft’s Xbox 360.
All of which will be a thing of the past come the PS4.

"This platform is great to work on because of the PC-like architecture," Hulst added. "It's very easy for the engineers to get their heads around. We had the game up and running very early.

“We've now had two and a half years of development time, which was about what I'd want for a title of this scope – and the team size is about 150 people, it's only a little bigger than Killzone 3. We've invested a lot in tools, and in various clever ways of having more and more detailed assets, but tools are the key - we're getting smarter."

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