The PS4 Will be More Developer-Friendly
While the PS3 may be a powerhouse of a console it is also a beast to work with, at least if you don't know every little trick to squeezing performance out of the machine. Developers have been frustrated throughout the console's life-cycle at just how complicated it is, and its complexity has caused major developers such as Valve to all but avoid the device up until now. It seems that Sony has learned their lesson though, as the company has confirmed that they are working closely with leading developers from around the world to make the next PlayStation more dev-friendly. "When Ken Kutaragi moved on and Kaz Harai became the president of SCE, the first thing Kaz said was, 'get World Wide Studios in on hardware development,'" said Sony Worldwide boss Shuhei Yoshida. "So he wanted developers in meetings at the very beginning of concepting new hardware, and he demanded SCE people talk to us [developers]."
While taking such a stance may seem like simple common sense, it will likely earn Sony a lot of goodwill in the development community. During the creation of the PS3 the company kept the tech so top-secret that many development studios didn't learn how the device worked until very late in the process. By then it was too late for them to suggest changes or additions, and the end result was a console which, while powerful, is extremely hard to code. Devs have struggled for years to crack the mysteries of the machine, and are just now figuring out how to most effectively work with the PS3. With the PS4 they'll now be able to hit the ground running, and there likely won't be quite as much of a learning curve as there was this time around. That means more impressive games coming out closer to launch, which is a win for developers and gamers alike. So what will this new device look like? Will Move replace the traditional controller a la the Wiimote, or can the DualShock continue its lifespan? Will PS4 games still come on discs, or are we about to plunge headlong into the all-digital future? Will 3D support for games continue to be a bonus feature, or will it be required? If only we were developers we'd already know the answers to these questions! Quick, somebody go learn C++ or something, our rumor-mongering depends on it!