PS3 Version of BioShock Infinite Not a Port at All Says Irrational

November 21, 2010Written by Zak Islam

When the original BioShock was released back in 2007 by Irrational Games, the game wasn’t to grace the PlayStation 3 until one year later – which was developed by a separate 2K studio, 2K Marin. Due to this, PS3 owners may be worried about Irrational’s next BioShock title, BioShock Infinite being ported. However, according to the the developer BioShock Infinite will not be a port in any way, as there’s in-house team simultaneously working on each version of the hotly anticipated title.

Chris Kline Irrational Games’ Technical Director stated that the famed developer is serious about ensuring the PlayStation 3 version of BioShock Infinite is great and have no plans whatsoever on giving the PS3 version to another studio to work on. Kline continued to give a detailed explanation on the matter.

“We’re serious about making sure the PS3 version is great, and here’s a little info on how we’re going about doing it. We have no plans to hand off the PS3 version of BioShock Infinite to another studio. In fact, it’s not a “port” at all. We have a much larger team than we did on the original BioShock, so we’re doing simultaneous in-house development on the PS3, 360, and PC versions of the game.

We all know that the PS3 is powerful but unique console with its own strengths and challenges. But compared to the PC, the Xbox 360 is challenging too. So instead of declaring a “lead platform” and porting the game to the others, we’ve instead changed the game engine so that all platforms look (to a programmer) more like a PS3. This means implementing a task-oriented task processor that assumes a NUMA (non-uniform memory access) design that mimics the PPU/SPU split of the PS3. Writing code this way is more difficult for us, but has a key advantage: it’s both optimal for the PS3 *and* gives speed improvements on other platforms due to increased cache coherence and more efficient use of multiple processing units.”

Kline continues to talk about the team actually developing the game for Sony’s black behemoth machine.

“In terms of production, we’re constantly testing our code on the PS3, as it is part of our QA team’s daily test plan. All of our programmers have PS3 and 360 dev kits on their desks, and can test on the PS3 just as easily as on the 360. To make sure we find and fix problems as quickly as possible, we have a “continuous integration automated build system” that rebuilds the PS3 version and runs basic tests on it every time a programmer or artist makes a change to the game. It even emails them right away if they break something. In addition, we’ve also built tools that allow artists and designers to instantly check whether or not their levels will fit in memory on all three platforms, without ever leaving the editor.”

Finally, Kline ended his forum post with: “I hope that gives you some confidence that we’re serious about making a great PS3 game.” As a gamer, it’s comforting to hear the team is putting great emphasis and focus into developing the PlayStation 3 version of BioShock Infinite and it’s always a pleasure to see a developer echoing exactly that.

BioShock Infinite is currently scheduled for a release in 2012, and although it may seem like a long wait – oh, who am I kidding – fans can’t wait for that long; we want the game in 2011 at least Irrational!