Naughty Dog Vice President, Neil Druckmann, has said that while transitioning to the next generation of hardware isn’t an easy feat, it gives developers much-needed relief from constraints felt by the end of a console life cycle.
Speaking on a podcast hosted by former Nintendo boss, Reggie Fils-Aime (via GameSpot), Druckmann likened the transition to a “double-edged sword” because developers have to fight a necessary “uphill battle.” He explained:
At the end of a generation, you always feel the constraints. You always feel like you’re pushing against a bunch of walls and finding the little cracks where you can take things a little further – whether it’s memory or CPU or hard drive speed. When you start a new generation, it’s a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you have to build new tech for the new hardware, and that can be an uphill battle. But on the other hand, all of a sudden you feel this freedom of, ‘Oh my god, we can breathe again!’ ‘We can break away from these constraints.’ And one of the things that we’re excited by is the solid-state hard drive and what it means for almost seamless loading.
Druckmann added that there’s a lot of additional work that goes into ensuring a seamless experience for players that isn’t marred by lengthy loading screens. The new technology will make this work easier for developers.
“There’s so much work that happens behind the scenes of how we design the levels, how we chop them up, and it’s all invisible to the player; you never see any of that work,” he continued. “But now, knowing that we’re going to be able to load things more quickly, it just means the designers don’t have to be as constrained by how they lay things out. ”