Gaijin President Talks War Thunder on PS4: Head Tracking, Sony’s Openness, PC Interconnectivity
Earlier this month, Gaijin Entertainment announced WWII MMO War Thunder for PS4 as a console exclusive. To find out why they chose Sony’s console, how it compares to the PC version and if head tracking is the future, we talked to Anton Yudintsev, President and CEO of Gaijin Entertainment.
How have you found developing on the PS4?
Really interesting. PS4 is a next-generation platform, and even with our experience in console games development, we have discovered truly amazing features that perfectly fit our War Thunder MMO project, which was originally a PC game and was recently announced as being in development for mobile devices. Because of the PS4’s features, we are going to be able to develop a lot of really cool features that are not currently presented in our PC version which is in open beta. These features will be ready for PS4 players right from the start.
The press release mentions head tracking – how easy is that to do with the PS4 Eye?
It is great. PS4 Eye camera works on higher resolution and higher frame rate then PS3 Eye (that was used for head tracking on Gran Turismo). It also has stereo camera, which means that it can separate a player from a person in the background. So it will be basically like TrackIR but without any extra devices mounted on your head – just your face.
Do you think that head tracking will become a standard on future PS4 titles?
Definitely not all games needs head tracking, but it’s highly appreciated for some genres, especially simulators and war games. So I think the future of PS4 head tracking system is very promising.
Why did you decide to partner with Sony rather than Microsoft?
Microsoft is a good partner of ours for a long time. Currently, Sony is more open and more actively looking for new game concepts, new business models and new titles than Microsoft. But things can change in the future – we potentially can go to any platform if the platform owner is not setting borders between our players. Currently, Sony’s PS4 is the most open platform, open to allow us to find a way that War Thunder players can get their game on cross-platform which is really cool and something the industry has lacked for years. Sony’s guys really want to help us to make great game for our players and that means a lot when you are making a game for any console.
Is the PS4 version only first person?
Of course not. We will have the whole range of viewpoints available for our PC players – from the cockpit, from the virtual cockpit, third-person view, as a turret gunner or through bombing sight. So, we won’t restrict PS4 players by any means.
Are there any marked differences between the PS4 version and the PC one?
Greater visuals, at least for some time (I don’t think that average PC will be as powerful in the near future). Head tracking, native social features (like streaming) and some other fancy stuff mark the difference between the PS4 and PC versions.
I don’t know what will be the price of the new console, but usually it is much cheaper than good gaming PC – and sometimes cheaper than just new PC video card.
What is the maximum number of players in a map in a PS4 game?
The same as it will be on PC (it will depend on game mode).
Will there be interconnectivity between the PS4 and PC version?
For sure! We’d would have never started the development if Sony prohibited this interconnectivity. Sony is all for it.
You’re set to release a mobile version, and Sony has often touted the PS4’s interconnectivity with mobile devices, will the PS4 and mobile War Thunders interact?
Probably – yes. We are working toward that goal. Eventually, we will be able to take all gaming with us as we see tablets and other mobile device become more capable of handling video games. That future is coming fast.
Are there any plans to bring the mobile version to Vita?
Not yet. Things can change, but we are not very big company. Maybe later. We will not rule it out.
MMOs on current-gen consoles have often struggled because of the delays Sony and Microsoft enforced as they tested and checked every patch and update. On PS3, DUST 514 was exempt from these delays – will War Thunder also be exempt, or is Sony handling patches differently on PS4?
Our game is an action MMO with interconnectivity and cross-platform multiplayer options. We plan on releasing patches often for both PS4 and PC to make sure fans get the best experience possible at all times. As far as I know, Sony is going to handle patches differently in the near future (at least for PS4), but there still will be tests and checks and it will take more time than we can afford. For single player games that’s ok, but not for us. So, with the help of Sony, War Thunder will be [also be] exempt.
How are you planning to distribute the game – fully free-to-play, or with an entry fee? And will it be download only?
Free-to-play, download only.
Can we expect to see Star Conflict come to PS4?
Is this a launch title?
We hope so, but there is no final release date for both PS4 and War Thunder. But we think that we’ll be present for the PS4 launch or very close to it.