With The Last of Us Remastered out this week on PlayStation 4 (check out our review), various members of Naughty Dog have been divulging information about the re-release’s development, including Lead Developer Christian Gyrling, who told The Verge that it “looked broken up until a week before shipping.”
The reason for this is, despite Naughty Dog receiving 120 PS4 dev kits back in September, “we did not have a PlayStation 4 engine capable of running anything on January 1, 2014. The Last of Us shipped in June of 2013, but we didn’t start writing any code or move people over to working on the remaster until February of 2014.”
Lead Programmer Sandeep Shekar was also interviewed, revealing the biggest challenge about porting The Last of Us to PS4 in such a short time:
The big challenge was rewriting our engine to work on a multicore system like the PS4. Our games have always been very heavily optimized towards the PS3 hardware — even though the PS4 is so much more powerful, it’s a very different architecture. It was quite difficult.
Speaking about whether or not The Last of Us team thought a PS4 port would happen during development, Shekar said, “While we were finishing up the game and looking at the quality of the game, I’m pretty sure most of the programmers had a pretty good feeling that we would be porting this over to the PS4, but we weren’t really planning for it or preparing for it in any way until after we shipped.”