It’s no secret that the PS3 is not the easiest console to develop for. While we can finally say that sub-par PS3 ports are going by the wayside, it took developers a while to learn their way around the system. However, according to Hermen Hulst, Managing Director at Guerrilla Games, the PS2 was even more difficult to learn: “If you are native to PlayStation, our tech director doesn’t say it’s particularly difficult. It’s specific, but it’s not difficult like PS2 was difficult - PS2 was difficult to crack, but PS3 didn’t take us a long time to get up and running.” Now while GG didn’t have much trouble getting warmed up with the PS3, Hulst admits that multiplatform devs would have had a harder time, calling it “very different” compared to other consoles.
Despite being different though, Development Director Arjan Brussee believes that when approaching the Cell processor in the right way, it is easier to develop for that the competition: “I actually think PS3 is a simpler architecture than some of the other consoles; you just have to have a certain mindset on how to address it. I think the Cell-based processor with the SPUs and the super high speed DSPs that you can throw all your calculation tasks at gives us a model that's way easier to program for, even for junior programmers, than the general purpose multi-core type of architecture, which the PC and Xbox 360 have.”
With the trend of the PS3’s exclusive titles generally looking better than the 360’s, but having poorer multiplatform success, Guerrilla’s statements would seem to be right on the money. It undoubtedly helps to be able to focus on only one console than have to juggle two very different beasts.
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