Skip to main content

Kaz Hirai : Sony Intentionally Made the PS3 Hard To Program For

As a programmer myself, I can't believe what I just read about the Playstation 3. Apparently, Sony intended to make the PS3 hard to program for, so that it would have a longer life cycle in the market....

Yes, that's his logic.

And I quote...

http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=21933

He also took on frequent accusations that the challenges developers often find in programming for the PS3 represent an obstacle for the console.

"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?"

Hirai suggested the PS3 would see the same kind of software evolution curve that the PlayStation 2 did, as represented by the fact that God of War 2 was noticeably more sophisticated than its predecessor on the same console.

"So it's a kind of - I wouldn't say a double-edged sword - but 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," he said.


I still can't believe that they're PROUD of this. I had to take a screenshot of it from Gamasutra just to be sure I wasn't losing my mind:



So, waitaminute....for Sony today, it's better to have a console that's hard to make games for? So, they're assuming that gamers are eager to wait years and years for games [that take advantage of the PS3's capabilities] to get released in the market?

Have they LOST their MINDS???

Isn't it better to have a console that's easy to make games for, so that you can make more games for it? The more games that get released for a platform, the better it is for gamers. Because there's a lot more games to choose from, and developers are enabled to focus more on their creativity instead of wrestling with intricacies of game hardware.

If this is the thinking that's running Sony Computer Entertainment today, I wouldn't be surprised if they disappear from the hardware business entirely in the next five years, much like SEGA did a few years ago. In the past, SEGA released the SEGA SATURN which was known for its notoriously difficult learning curve [in terms of programmability]. The Saturn suffered from a very weak library of games because of this, and in turn, this served to taint Sega's reputation with gamers for a very long time. This is also the reason why the Dreamcast was ill received in most markets worldwide [thus causing SEGA to exit the hardware market completely].

And now, with Sony we're witnessing history repeat itself. Maybe there will be a game that will come along that will change the PS3's fortunes. Who knows. But after reading that interview, I'm inclined to think that the Playstation 3 has no future.

***

Time for some constructive criticism.

Yes, I own a Playstation 3. I'm hoping it will prove its worth someday. Well, Ridge Racer 7 is proving to be a bit of fun; I also enjoyed Ratchet and Clank and Little Big Planet, for whatever that's worth. It's just that Sony's statements about themselves is worrying about the platform. In the end, developers support the platform with the most installed base; it's a simple and hard fact. Installed base grows because of game library; and you CAN'T have a big game library if developers can't figure out your hardware.

So Kaz and the rest of the management team at Sony have to start figuring that out. They have to HELP developers make games for the Playstation 3. If they want to catch up (and it will be really, really hard to do that), they have to make the development path easier for developers, get a more diverse set of EXCLUSIVE titles for their platform, and make their console worth having.

If they don't get to work soon, we may never see a Playstation 4.

Popular posts from this blog

Gamers based in the Philippines: How to get in Xbox Live

NOTE: This article has recently been updated (as of August 12, 2006). Singapore no longer lets you input '00000' as your zip code. Please see below for alternate zip codes.

So you're a Filipino living in the Philippines with a brand-spanking new Xbox 360. You've heard about all the wonderful stories on Xbox Live. You happen to have a pretty good broadband connection. One day, you try out the Xbox Live sign-up options on your 360, and you find out to your dismay that your country is NOT listed. What do you do?

Now, you can probably enjoy your 360 without live at all, but I have to tell you: YOU ARE MISSING OUT. As Peter Moore said in the recent MS Press Conference: "Having your 360 connected to Xbox Live is as vital as having your computer connected to the Internet".

He is so damned right.

I've been playing on Xbox Live for almost a year now (both on my original Xbox and the Xbox 360). Essentially I found out all of this with a little bit of research, a little…

Xbox One - System / Games general review

We picked up a [kinect-less] Xbox One a few weeks ago and have been putting it through its paces. Overall, right now I feel pretty good about this console. But I have to admit, the first experience of buying it is not very good. I'll go with the BAD news first. But do note that it isn't all bad news....

- The first time you bring it home, the console can't work without Internet. That's because it needs an absolutely-unoverrideable mandatory update. Basically, if you get this for your birthday and it's 7PM, expect to actually play games on it around a day or so later, depending on your internet speed.

- The first patch I got for it was around 800MB. This number might have changed by the time of this writing.

- All the launch games now have accumulated patches/updates over 16+ GB in size. Not just Dead Rising 3, which has been reported widely in the media. Even Forza 5.

- My internet at home is PLDT 3Mbps; managed to get all the updates pretty quickly....that's a…

E3 2015 Conferences from the Big Three - My thoughts

Microsoft:

- They get a lot of points from me for actually announcing games that will be out in 2015.
- The Backwards Compatibility update is a huge surprise that I absolutely did not expect. Having BC is difficult and expensive to do, but somehow MS managed to do it, which leads me to believe the solution they found is an inexpensive one if they've decided it's practical to do QA work for the Xbox 360s gigantic library of games and make them all work on the Xbox One. If it was too complicated or expensive they probably wouldn't have bothered. But since they did, I think we're going to see full BC some time soon for all games. It's only a matter of time.
- Halo 5 looked fantastic, but 343 has a lot of work to do to restore faith, after the horrific launch of the Halo Master Chief Collection. I think they can do it, and I'd imagine they're certainly motivated now. If they screw this one up....MS might reconsider forming a new team to handle the Halo franchis…