Valve: PS3 Orange Box Players “Got The Stepchild Version”

Valve: PS3 Orange Box Players “Got The Stepchild Version”

In an interview with CVG, Valve’s Doug Lombardi says the experiences of putting Half-Life on PS2 and Orange Box on PS3 have put them off Sony development for the near future.

He doesn’t complain about the differences in developing for one console, or PC, over another, but does say the PS3 versions of Valve products have been inferior to the original releases, and so the company’s not interested in doing anything on that console again unless and until they can put something out that gives Sony players the same experience as PC and 360 users.

We look at it as if we were customers of this product, how would we want to be treated and what sort of product would we want out of it?

We’ve run a couple of experiments over the years of PlayStation in general; we did Half-Life on PS2 with an outside company and then we did Orange Box PS3 with an outside company. We weren’t able to deliver the same type of product on PS3 and PS2 for that matter that we were on the 360 and PC.


Until we have the ability to get a PS3 team together, until we find the people who want to come to Valve or who are at Valve who want to work on that, I don’t really see us moving to that platform.

We’ve kind of learned a lesson in that again, if we were customers of that product on PlayStation, we’d feel like we sort of got the stepchild version of the product while the guys on the PC and the 360 got the sweet version of it.

Translated, what it really means is there is no one inside Valve with any interest in PS3 development, and the company on the whole isn’t interested in outsourcing any more ports after the experience with The Orange Box on PS3, which suffered some bad load times and framerate issues.

Still No PS3 Interest From Valve [CVG via TheSavePoints, thanks Meredith B.]


  • SONY shot themselves in the foot when they made the PS3 “intentionally difficult” to programme. for games. Firt party games (can) look and run well. However recent games like Ghostbusters which was created on and for the PS3 is noticeably inferior to the XBOX version – lower resolution, missing special effects and (yet again) frame rate issues as well as glitches. Rather than making the PS3 straightforward to programme for, SONY have made it a nightmare.

    I’ve lost cound of the number of games that developers have said required a reduction in resolution in order to ensure a “stable” framerate; HAZE is the obvious one, Ghostbusters is another… etc, etc. When developers talk about framerates, they aim for 30fps not 60fps?

    Considering the PS3 is touted by SONY as über powerful, you have to wonder at what exactly?

    • ‘Lazy-Dev’ pays us another visit i see…

      blah blah ps3 development sucks blah blah we just port out pc games to the 360 and reduce the resolution and eye candy blah blah easy money blah blah

      Keep moving people. Nothing to see here.

  • So Valve is saying that until they have a proper go at developing for the Playstation, which they’re not, they’re not going to develop any games for it, which they not trying to do?

    • Victor, no, they’re not saying that. In fact, they’ve recently said they’re actively recruiting PS3 developers.

      dravvid, you’re perfectly correct. Sony have bragged that it’s “hard” to develop for the PS3, due to the SDK/API and hardware differences. Sony cannot now turn around and complain that PC-centric developers such as Valve are somehow not doing the PS3 justice. If Sony want to court PC developers, then they have to make PS3 a much better business proposition for those developers.

      Same goes for PS3 fanboys; they can’t have it both ways. If they want a specialised, custom gaming machine with a specialised SDK, architecture and runtime, then they can’t complain when PC developers take time to develop for that platform.

    • Fuck yeah! One of the best coop experiences i’ve ever had. Well, my friend and I couldnt beat the last level but it was so much fun loading up in that armoury before trying to protect that satellite dish.

  • dravvid, what a stupid point to make. If the PS3 was so intentionally difficult to program for, why don’t I see developers like Naughty Dog, or Kojima complaining? The point is, Valve are PC developers, something some of you don’t seem to understand. The xbox is similar to the PC’s architecture so it doesn’t take very much effort to translate your code to the console.

    I have Orange Box for my PC and I’ve played it on the PS3 — its not that bad; I see Valves point in that they want the users to have the best experience possible, and until they hire some PS3 programmers that can tackle the issue; I agree with them that there is really no point in developing their products on the PS3.

    Once again — VALVE = PC software developers.

    • I agree with you Ben, dravvid’s comment was a bit over the top, extremely emotive and possibly a little fan-boyish.

      Other developers have had no difficulties developing for the PS3. I myself have never played the orange box or half life…but these guys can butter it up as much as they want, saying that there’s no point in developing for the PS3 if the experience is not going to be the same, its a vaild point ill give them that…however there is a part of me that just wants to point my finger and say LAZY!!!

    • ” If the PS3 was so intentionally difficult to program for, why don’t I see developers like Naughty Dog, or Kojima complaining?”

      They aren’t complaining because they are either OWNED outright by Sony or have lucrative EXCLUSIVE contracts with Sony.

      Sony are on record as saying that the PS3 is hard to program for, and that this is a good thing because it (supposedly) makes better games. As with most such claims in the console wars, it’s rubbish.

      All it means is that the console is hard to develop for, and expensive to develop for, and that the best results will come about when you have a $40m budget to work with, paid for by the Sony mothership as a brand-building exercise.

  • The problem is obvious – since the 360 has similar architecture to a modern pc, it’s much easier to port/develop games for it. I’m a 360 owner and I admit that the PS3 is the more powerful machine, but developers are caught at the moment in developing for various platforms at once, and as soon as this happens the PS3 is always going to lose out.

  • “We weren’t able to deliver the same type of product on PS3 and PS2 for that matter that we were on the 360 and PC.”

    Oh rubbish. The Orange Box contains very old games and if Valve can’t get them running on the PS3 adequately then it’s down to their lack of skill and dedication. Much more complex games have been released for PS3 since Half Life 2, give me a break!

    Sounds like they are just refusing to get with the times and adapt to new hardware. BTW the PS3 version did have annoying load times but I’ve been playing lately and haven’t noticed many framerate issues. Probably 2 or 3 through out the entire game.

    • You’re in the minority there Mike. I have a 360, wii and ps3. I love all the machines. I bought orange box on ps3 originally due to free online etc as opposed to paying? The framerate was horrible. Single player was bad enough but when you factor in multiplayer which usually sees a framerate dip anyhow on any machine platform, then add in the fact the ps3 had trouble with the game… it was awful.

      Got the 360 version, it wasn’t as bad. Still a tiny few framerate issues but none that I didn’t experience on the pc either.

      The PS3 is hard to code for, it’s a fact set in stone no matter who tries to argue it. The best companies have already clarified this. Epic for instance. But thats not to say its impossible. Just damned difficult. But new software is developed all the time, new engines etc to make it easier. Look at the next 2 years games? Theyre looking fantastic on all platforms, even the wii oddly.

    • “The Orange Box contains very old games and if Valve can’t get them running on the PS3 adequately then it’s down to their lack of skill and dedication.”

      That is very silly.

      First of all, Half-Life 2 Episode 2 is not a very old game. It is actually a very impressive game. At least on the PC on the 360. Games don’t get less complex or hard-to-port just because they’re sitting on a shelf.

      It’s not about skill and dedication, it’s about money and time. Game programmers, by and large, are not lazy. If you knew any at all, you would know that professional game developers work FAR more hours than average, for far less pay than other IT/programming jobs. Game developers mostly do what they do because they love the work. The work is intense, and hard.

      That applies doubly to Valve.

      The basic problem is that the PS3 requires a LOT of “skill and dedication” as you put it. That’s Sony’s problem. They’re the ones who came up with a system that is “hard” to develop for. It’s also a very expensive system to develop and distribute on.

      Frankly, given the hurdles that Sony have placed in front of developers, it’s a wonder any non-bought developers will work on the console at all. Why do you think Sony has been buying up developers? It sure aint for friendship.

      It’s all very well for Naughty Dog or Guerilla Games to be brought up, as if they were comparable to Valve. But they’re NOT. Naughty Dog and Guerilla are OWNED outright by Sony. Unlike independent developers, Sony can spend as many millions as they like on brand-building products and face-saving exercises. Valve, on the other hand, is an independent software developer, NOT an in-house Sony studio.

  • The proof is in the pudding, as they say.

    PS3 was hyped by Sony (and fanboiz) to be all kinds of superfantastic things, yet years into it’s life and devs are still finding it a P in the A and cross platform games are inferior.

    Excuses, excuses…

  • IF the PS3 every starts selling units (A decent amount) then Valve will do a U-turn and start praising the console. It’s all about the money.

    (I couldn’t tell the difference between hl2 on pc & ps3 when I played, only that it looked great on 42″)

    • Bob! said
      “(I couldn’t tell the difference between hl2 on pc & ps3 when I played, only that it looked great on 42″)”

      You should remove the Vaseline from your spectacles then.

      And only 42″? That’s sad. I get to look at a 2 meter screen when playing my PC.

      • Pfft, smug moron.

        Maybe you should make this BIIG report with your 2m screen on the differences between the 3 platforms..urgh

        Why analyse grapics to a T?
        Do you really notice or care when your deep in play..? Unlucky for you if you do.

      • I play on a 2m screen. It’s great, but it has maintenance costs.

        But, Half-Life 2 Episode 2 looks fantastic on it, on a 360 or PC. Anyone who scoffs at HL2E2 or TF2 or Portal on a 360 really needs to examine their gaming priorities.

  • Don’t forget there aren’t any priate PS3 games yet and people can’t load it from hdd but pc/xbox games.
    Resulting game company create better game and they can sell more in ps3 platform..

    • “Resulting game company create better game and they can sell more in ps3 platform..”

      Except that:

      1) They don’t create better games. (The vast majority of PS3 games are inferior cross-platform ports.) Those games on the PS3 that are high quality, are the result of many millions spent by Sony. i.e. not Valve or other independent developers.

      2) They don’t sell more on the PS3. They sell less.

      It’s actually in Valve’s interest to pursue the Wii — as they are doing — rather than the PS3.

  • I need to make an important point which has not been said, directly anyway, by all you passionate mouse-ka-tears.

    Why do we 360 (ps3 too) gamers have none of the new content for tf2?

    I believe it is because Valve really don’t give a shit about console communities and as a few before me have mentioned, they are just porting for a quick buck. Which, I suppose is fine but I can’t help but feel a little dissapointed.

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