Sony’s Mark Cerny described the PS4 as "the most open console" for developers to get games in front of an audience in the Playstation presser on Wednesday night. Asked to clarify this statement, SCE Worldwide president Shuhei Yoshida responded by pledging support to smaller developers when it comes to the PS4, and stating that Sony is actively trying to make it far easier for smaller devs to develop for the next-gen system.
"We believe in smaller developers," he told Gamasutra. "They are very creative and they go out of the norm to do something really amazing. So we really want to make it easier for them to come to our platform and publish. And we know there are many things we can do, in talking with these guys and asking what they want us to do. And one effort we've been doing in that context is the PS Mobile platform. That doesn't even require the purchase of a dev kit. It's totally software driven, and they can develop games… on PC, for example. And once you decide to publish it, you want to test it on the final hardware, but you don't have to acquire a pricey dev kit.
"The approach to PS4 we're internally working on is, I hope to see somewhere in-between the current model that we have on PS3 and the PS Mobile totally software-driven model. We could continue and go and expand the PS Mobile approach, but the beauty of developing games on console is we allow the developers to go really deep into the hardware, and to unlock the potential. And so in order for us to do that, the developer has to have the dev kit to work on. So at least initially, we have to provide the dev kit to make games on PS4."
Yoshida confirmed that Sony are trying to find a middle ground between the open nature of Playstation Mobile and the closed systems of the PS3, however he couldn't help but note that the dev kits for the PS4 are still pretty expensive right now.
"We usually don't talk about the pricing of the dev kit. But yeah, I'd say it can be cheaper [than the PS3's]. But I don't know if it's cheap enough for those indie guys. Because it's not just the cost of hardware, it's also the SDKs and tool chains and dev support and all those costs."