Sony's Mark Cerny and Shuhei Yoshida have discussed the importance of ease of development on PS4 and how they hope to avoid the problems that befell the PS2 and PS3 post-release as strong launch lineups gave way to software drought.
"We asked assorted creators what kind of functionality we should put in, and we used their responses as a base when we finalized the hardware architecture," said Cerny. "We're aiming for not just performance, but also an environment setup that allows for smooth PS4 game development."
Sony have previously called the hardware underpinning the PS4 a "supercharged PC", and its the familiarity of that setup which will assist developers in creating working prototype experiences for the PS4 far quicker than they've been able to do so before.
"Small-scale projects don't even take a month [to reach that point]," Cerny said, "and even big titles can get rolling in two or three months. As a result, I think we've built one of the neatest launch lineups in game history. With our PS3 experience, we understand the factors needed for powerful, effective development, so that's why we treated our twin goals of performance and ease of development so seriously. Thanks to that, I think we were able to reduce development time on Knack by around a year."
But as we saw with the PS2 and the PS3, not to mention Nintendo's current woes with the Wii U, the question reains on how to ensure a smooth upswing of sales throughout and beyond the launch period. For Sony, the answer lies in the indie sector.
That's why we're trying to give our help out to indie titles," Yoshida stated. "Huge titles from large makers take time to develop; they can't just be brought out immediately. However, with the indie scene, especially in the West, we're seeing really neat games coming out from there pretty much every week. I'd like to get that indie flow going in the Japan market as well, with unique titles coming out one after the other. More and more users are making digital purchases these days, so even studios making games with small teams can make it into a business." [Famitsu via Polygon]