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Mark Cerny on the PS4 Hardware: “There’s More in it Than What You Find in a PC”

Mark Cerny has already talked quite a bit about all things PlayStation 4 this week at the Develop Conference, and he continued that streak in an interview with VG247.

After saying how the PS4 is “based on custom chips that have a tremendously long lead time,” discussing them with developers back in 2008 – 2009, Cerny went on about how “we wanted the focus to be on the games that the creative directors wanted to make, rather than the minutiae of the hardware.”

He then continued:

At the same time we have to balance that out with a rich feature set that they can use in the later years of the hardware. The hardware has to grow over time. That’s why I refer to it as a super-charged PC architecture – there’s more in it than what you find in a PC.

There are all these customisations, such as what we did to the GPU and other parts of the system to ensure that they would really be these systems that programmers could dig into in year three or four of the console life-cycle.

Because the architecture of the system won’t change for many years, it gives developers the chance to “learn its secrets and get progressively better performance out of it,” says Cerny. “This is really important because some developers need five years to create a game. The fact that during that five year period the target hardware doesn’t change really allows them to bring titles to the world that couldn’t exist otherwise.”

While that five-year development cycle is likely to include AAA titles, smaller indie games are also a huge part of the PS4 ecosystem, with Cerny saying that “they act to balance out [AAA games]” because “variety of is experience is key to PlayStation 4. I think we’re going to see an incredible variety on PS4.”

At this point, are you planning on buying more indie games on PS4, or bigger games? Let us know in the comments below.

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