PS3 “a pain in the ass to work on.”

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PITA

By now, everyone knows that the PS3 is a tricky machine to program for. PS3 Fanboys will gladly tell you its “because of the power of the Cell!” and that developers are just rubbish workmen blaming their tools, but the truth is it took quite some time before developers without Sony’s resources, time and budget were able to use the system efficiently. We’ve seen how, earlier this generation, multi-platform released underperformed on Sony’s machine. Vigil, developers of Darksiders II have teleported us back to 2006 and say it’s not just tricky, it’s "It’s a pain in the ass to work on.”

The choice phrase comes from Marvin Donald, game director of the apocalyptic adventure. "It’s a pain in the ass to work on," he said. "Five years later, getting used to it? That means it’s a pain in the ass. I’m not an engineer, but I hear about it all the time. We have to do wacky stuff with the way we manage memory."

"Even as an artist, it’s like, OK, my textures are too big, I’m in trouble because I checked in something that’s making the 360 crash because it’s a 20×48 when it really should just be a 10×24, or even smaller. But on the PlayStation 3, the assets go into different categories, and if one of those categories becomes too bloated it’ll crash the system. It’s a little bit more sensitive on the PS3 in that regard. There are some things you just can’t do, or you have to do differently. Yeah, it’s a pain."

Criticize Vigil as bad developers all you want, but even Sony’s Kaz Hirai admitted the console was difficult to develop for, though his reason is more than a little fishy.

"It’s hard to program for, and a lot of people see the negatives of it, but if you flip that around, it means the hardware has a lot more to offer," Hirai explained in 2009. "We don’t provide the ‘easy to program for’ console that [developers] want, because ‘easy to program for’ means that anybody will be able to take advantage of pretty much what the hardware can do, so then the question is what do you do for the rest of the nine-and-a-half years?"

We’re really starting to see the fruits of labour now with beautiful PlayStation exclusive games like Uncharted 3 and The Last Guardian – but why would you want to release a console that you’re intentionally limiting for much of its lifecycle by making it befuddling to work with?

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Source : Eurogamer

Last Updated: July 20, 2011

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I’m old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time – they were capable of being masterpieces. I’m here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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